• Goldenseal
  • Black Cohosh
  • Laddy Slipper Orchid
  • Trillium

Cosby, TN
Sanctuary Steward: Cynthia Johnston

I moved to the Smoky Mountains in 2003 to explore my dream of living closer to the land. I knew there was ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) here but had no idea how many other endangered native species existed and were abundant here. These include black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), trillium (Trillium erectum), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), as well as wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), an herb I use in my product line. It has been exciting to explore and learn, not only about these plants, but also the many others that greet me on my walks in the woods.

 I came here to this small five acre piece of land nestled in the Smoky Mountains to grow some or all of the herbs I use in my business. I have been able to cultivate comfrey (Symphytum officinale), calendula (Calendula officinalis), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), roses (Rosa spp.), and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis); but the idea of cultivating natives had not occurred to me. This site is a natural place to encourage those natives that are already here, but also to propagate ones like wild yam and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) that are not so abundant. I use a large enough amount of wild yam that I am not quite comfortable harvesting it from here, but it is a comforting feeling to know that the energy of the plant is all around me.

Exciting news for us here at MoonMaid Botanicals Plant Sanctuary—we are adopting wild yam in cooperation with United Plant Savers. It is a plant I love, marvel at each year as it spirals into whorls in the garden and woods and shows up in the most amazing places like our Medicine Wheel. And every year brings new surprises. 

Our five year plan is to build a classroom, increase our outreach into our community here with programs for kids and increase plant walks, both here, for schools and even on other folks’ land. I believe that if more people knew what was growing in their backyards, we would have a lot less pesticide use. If you are ever here in the Smokies, please come visit. We love folks dropping in and showing them around our little patch of paradise.

Chilmark, MA Sanctuary Steward: Rebecca Gilbert Native Earth Teaching Farm is located in Chilmark on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. My grandmother bought this farm in the 1920’s from the estate of a whaling captain’s wife. One hundred fifty years ago


Franklin, PA Sanctuary Stewards: Sonja Hunt & Leslie Alexander The idea for Restoration Herbs was conceived on a windy beach in Scotland, UK in May 2004 and was born in Franklin, PA in June 2005. After several months of searching we finally found this property tucked away in a corner with an acre of woods falling down to a creek behind the house and 5 acres of pasture in front. This we are slowly turning into formal and informal herb gardens, vegetable plots and will soon begin planting an orchard and a wild flower meadow. Our land is already home to many ‘to-watch’ and more common herbs such as: alfalfa, cleavers, red clover, chicory, monarda, burdock, jewelweed, hawkweed, St Johnswort, butterfly weed, mahonia, white sage, Joe pye weed, pokeweed and Echinacea angustifolia. The woods with their stands of black cherry, white pine, hemlock, dogwood, ‘muscle trees’, shag bark hickory and linden are perfect for the re-introduction of once prolific species such as American ginseng, black cohosh and goldenseal. Indeed, in the 1800’s Pennsylvania hillsides hosted copious stands of ginseng but its export business was only too successful and almost rid the area of these indigenous species. Restoration Herbs has three goals.


East Barre, VT Sanctuary Steward: Rosemary Gladstar We currently own six hundred acres, 550 plus in wilderness forest, and 50 in fields with two homes and a retreat center. This land has a long history of


West Kingston, RI Sanctuary Stewards: Kate and Dan Rakosky We live in a tiny pre-revolution era village called Usquepaug, Rhode Island located in rural South County. Thirteen years ago it was our great blessing to become stewards of this land. The two-acre parcel we affectionately call Sagewood was once part of a nearly 300-year-old farm. The house is still intact, retaining the charm of a simpler time. The old stone barn foundation and surrounding stonewalls have had been enveloped by the returning woodlands and beautiful gardens. For such a small space it has diverse habitats supporting native wildlife. About half the land is wooded and connected to many acres of contiguous woodlands under the protection of our local land trust. Portions of this parcel and the surrounding land contain wetlands, which has helped protect the area from development pressures. A small stream runs through the middle of the land at the edge of the woods into a pond. We have seen otters using this waterway where skunk cabbage, ferns, winterberry, barberry, multiflora roses and grapevines are growing and around the edges of the pond are turtlehead, goldenrod, lobelias siphilitica and cardinalis (a delicacy to hummingbirds), marsh mallow, tall meadow rue, blue


New Paltz, NY Sanctuary Stewards: Halyna Shepko & Richard Hamilton Shawangunk (pronounced Shongum in Algonquin), a mountain range 90 miles north of New York City, translates to "near and high place where you go south",


Willseyville, NY Sanctuary Stewards: Suzanne Johnson and Jeff Joseph It was our good fortune to become land stewards in 2003, when after a long search we purchased 33 acres of forestland in south-central New York State. We are both Biointensive gardeners and naturalists and have also studied primitive skills with Tom Brown’s Tracker School. I have herbal certificates from Donna D’Terra’s Yerba Woman program in Willits, CA and from The Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. Jeff is a woodworker, New York State Master Forest Owner and member of the New York Forest Owners Association. Our intention was to find a location we could caretake to bring the forest back to health while learning to grow and provide our own food, medicine, heat and shelter. The property is part of the central Allegheny Plateau, at about 1100 ft. elevation, and lies at the northernmost edge of the Susquehanna River watershed. The entire region was covered by a shallow sea in the Paleozoic Era (+/- 370 million years ago); aquatic fossils are common in the sedimentary bedrock. The soils are glacial till left behind after the last glaciation, and on our property is a fertile, silty loam. Most of the region was cleared


Applegate, OR Sanctury Steward: Barbara Hughey We moved to SW Oregon two and half years ago. When we first saw what would be our new home we marveled at the different kinds of environments that were here. Forested hillsides, gave way to bright sunny open fields, and from south to north there is a lovely creek, overhung with big trees. Alders, oaks and ash form the canopy. The creek is very beautiful. The sound of the water, and the wonderful plants, animals, birds and insects that are sustained by it creates a peaceful sanctuary. We were enchanted. However, we realized right away that this place needed some attention. A “hands off” attitude towards nature had led this magic spot to be overrun by an invasive plant tangle of Himalayan Blackberry. I should mention that we were able to get started with this work with the help of our local Watershed Council. There are about eighty of them in Oregon. The WC’s do on the ground restoration projects all over the state to foster biodiversity and habitat enhancement. Through this wonderful organization, we were able to secure a grant to employ some expert help to get us on our way with a


Worthington, MA Sanctuary Steward: Mariam Massaro Singing Brook Farm is land richly endowed with native species including: Black Cohosh, Bloodroot, Partridge Berry, Ladies Slipper, Goldthread, Maidenhair Fern, Spikenard as well as others on the UpS “At Risk” and “To Watch” lists. Open to the public one day per week in the summer months for tours, the farm also offers workshops, classes and ceremonial events, water garden tours, apprenticeships for Wise Ways Herbals, organic planting and harvesting throughout the year. Certified Organic by NOFA/Mass in 1996, the farm is nestled in a tiny valley in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. Singing Brook Farm is already a sanctuary for plants, people and animals with a primary purpose to provide a public place for people to see medicinal herbs growing in their wild, natural settings, to help foster awareness of their value and show the ease in which they can be grown. Trails for herb and forest walks as well as working organic herb gardens add to the educational value of this farm. Check out our web site at www.wiseways.com for further information and to see pictures of the beautiful gardens at Singing Brook Farm.


Leicester, NC Sanctuary Stewards: Ceara and Faye Foley As a child I spent all of my “free” time in Nature developing relationships with plants rather than people. I truly feel that these plants had aided my evolution more than any other beings. So, naturally when I decided to officially devote my life to becoming an herbalist, I wanted to study with them rather than study them with someone else. I am deeply blessed to have found Soulflower Botanical Sanctuary to fulfill this purpose and to call it my home. Soulflower Botanical Sanctuary is located in rural Madison County, NC, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the world’s oldest mountains and possibly North America’s most botanically diverse area. A respite for plants and animals (including humans), Soulflower consists of 31.31 acres with organic gardens, a beautiful stream, rock outcroppings, a cave and a hand dug, spring fed pond. The rich hardwood cove which includes eastern hemlock trees, red maple, black birch, black gum, white pine, and tulip poplar, has various solar aspects and land forms creating a variety of microclimates that support over 65 plant families and 150 genera. At Soulflower we strive to do more good than harm and live


Danby, Vermont Sanctuary Stewards: Pam Montgomery and Mark Carlin Sweetwater Sanctuary sits at the base of Marble Mountain and the Dorset Peaks, some of the highest mountains in southern Vermont. This is home to black bear, coyote, bobcat, moose, raven, wild turkey, porcupine, ermine, beaver, red-tail hawk and the extremely rare catamount. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of protected woodlands and meadows with a rushing brook that cascades down the mountain and flows centrally through the property. There are many natural springs on the mountain and right at our doorstep is Heart Spring, generously providing our drinking and washing needs. This constantly flowing water filters through the mountain’s abundantly natural marble (calcium carbonate) base creating a very high PH, literally making it sweet. It is this pure, sweet water that is the ever present reminder of the dynamic life force that nourishes not only our bodies and soil but our spirits as well. For centuries the rich alluvial deposits have found their way to the base of Marble Mountain giving us deep rich soil that makes for good gardening. Sweetwater is a natural sanctuary with many of UpS’s identified at-risk and to-watch plants growing wild such as blue cohosh,


Laurel, MD Sanctuary Steward: Kathleen Bennet When arriving at Tai Sophia Institute for the first time, you may wonder about the juxtaposition of a school of holistic healing in a business park. But walk through the doors – and especially the lush garden – and you notice right away that something different is happening there. Often considered a place of “great energy,” Tai Sophia is a haven for the holistic healing education, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, health and wellness coaching, and transformative leadership programs. The two jewels of Tai Sophia are the quarter-acre medicinal herb garden and the wild lands of the neighboring Patuxent woodlands and river area. Its campus is situated among thousands of acres of preserved natural woodlands that surround the middle Patuxent River and lead to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. Tai Sophia is proud that their students have the unique opportunity to learn and practice in the midst of Maryland’s natural beauty. Students and faculty at Tai Sophia have been involved in planting native medicinal plants (American ginseng, black cohosh, goldenseal and Virginia snakeroot) in the adjacent forest, and an array of common botanical remedies in the Institute’s herb garden. On hot summer days, Tai Sophia


Middleburgh, NY Sanctuary Stewards: Dan and Betty Pillsbury Five years ago we happened upon three gentle acres nestled between the hills of the Helderbergs and northern Catskill Mountains of New York state and were immediately smitten. This small parcel of level land is surrounded by heavily forested hills and hollows in the tiny hamlet of Huntersland, in the town of Middleburgh. An inexplicable draw pulled us here and after 20 years of moving due to jobs, we felt like we were home. A deep sense of peace and contentment settles on this property and visitors constantly comment on that. It’s amusing and satisfying to watch urbanites visit and inhale deeply the clean air and essence of the land. Here is where we have established The Green Spiral, our gardens and herbal products company. It has been a dream we were able to make come true. A small brook borders the south side of the property and provides a sweet music. A great blue heron, cedar waxwings and warblers flit along the bushes brookside. Along the bank grows soapwort, St. John’s wort, milkweed, vetch, bittersweet nightshade and wild raspberries. The adjoining meadow provides Joe Pye, boneset, blue vervain, red clover, yarrow, hawkweed,


Blairsville, GA Sanctuary Steward: Karin Rutishauser Our land, consisting of both open and wooded acres, is nestled in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains just a few miles from North Carolina. Here, we started the Herb Crib in 2000, built a small retail shop and cleared land for an organic herb garden. Over the years the business has grown and so has my interest in native medicinal plants and the land. As I learned more about the plants, I discovered that we already had many growing right in front of us. This spring I found fifty-nine Lady's Slipper Orchids behind my little shop! I was so excited about the discovery that I called all my friends! Walking the land and finding bloodroot, wild yam, pipsissewa, Jack-in-the-pulpit, hepatica, and trillium growing wild gave me the idea to apply for Botanical Sanctuary status with UpS. I started with a 1/4-mile medicinal plant trail along my creek that has witch hazel and sassafras and some of the above- mentioned plants already growing. The trail ends in a gentle curve shaded by big oak trees. In the sanctuary, I planted the first beds with goldenseal, American ginseng, black and blue cohosh and mayapple. The fall "give-away


Keene, NH Sanctuary Steward: Katy Locke In August of 2009, two dreams were born in my life that are now becoming one: first, I attended a slideshow presentation by Kate Rakosky on her United Plant Savers (UpS) Botanical Sanctuary Garden - how to establish, maintain, and delight in, such an endeavor


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