Sanctuary Steward: Dr. Bruce A. Buren
Woodland Farms has been in our family since the early 1820’s. At the time of my father’s death I was a licensed professional living and working in the city. Estate matters required me to make weekly trips to the “farm”. As time passed, I began to look forward to the weekend trips and I began spending more time there. I took long walks, I listened to the silence and found it full of wonderful, delightful sounds. Ultimately, the spiritual sensibility I felt from being in intimate contact with nature caused my paved road to crack and life to pour out. I chose a lesser traveled road. Woodland Farms is the outgrowth of my re-discovery of the essential value of nature. I wanted to share with others a part of what I had found to be a part of us all.
Woodland Farms’ greatest attribute is its pristine native soil. Located in the upland region of eastern Ohio on the highest mount in the area, this site is protected from the actions of others. The land has been an organic operation since the early 1820’s. There are nearly 55 acres of woodland and 25 acres of meadows, ponds and wetlands. The land contains numerous springs that provide abundant water and the wooded areas are steeply sloped providing the much needed drainage.
We raise our medicinal plants by encouraging their growth in their native habitats. We form beds where the plants have already developed a community. We clear the non-native or invasive plants and brush and manage the trees for proper shade and growing space. We then harvest to improve the community and plant to increase the size of the bed. We do not grow large beds of any plant because that creates an imbalance. Woodland Farms operates on the basis of natural, sustainable, ethical use of the plants. We harvest by replanting seeds, crowns or roots of the harvested plants and we supplement with organic seeds and rootlets as needed.
We know our plants are valued for their medicinal qualities and we take great care in delivering the purest and most potent herbs to our customers. We provide workshops, write articles and conduct field trips with the hope of increasing awareness of the need to preserve the native plants and the land. On our walks you may see Rattlesnake Plantain, Indian Pipe, Indian Cucumber, Yellow Violets, as well as American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Bloodroot, Trillium, Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh, Jack in the Pulpit and many other “At-Risk” plants. We also work with a group of organic farmers to educate them about native medicinal plants, and the cultivation of plants in their native habitat.
We are excited at the prospect of becoming members of United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary Network because it provides us with an opportunity to meet others who care about plants and to share in the knowledge about the use of these plants. We support the work of organizations that are dedicated to the conservation of medicinal plants. One aspect of the efforts of such organizations must be the education of the market-place to the true benefits of preserving and growing these plants. There must be a sustainable use of the plants and an appreciation of the cost of maintaining a sustainable source in order to continue to enjoy the full value of these wonderful plants. We, at Woodland Farms, believe UpS is one such organization and we are proud to be a member of the Sanctuary Network.