Sanctuary Stewards: Sara Katz & Ed Smith
In 1993 Sara Katz and Ed Smith, founders and owners of Herb Parm, purchased a lovely 85 acre farm in southern Oregon. While the lay of the land was beautiful to behold, this farmland had been over-grazed by sheep and cattle for the prior 20 years, so the job before us was (and is) to restore the fertility to the land that had captured our hearts and vision.
For the last six years, under the stewardship of the original Land Manager, Tim Blakley, and current Land Manager, Alan Braun, this land is once again becoming fertile and abundant in a diverse assortment of herbs. Native medicinal herbs pre-existing on the land include Trillium, Lomatium, Oregon Grape, Spikenard Wild Ginger, Elder and others. Through replanting of native shrubs and trees we are working to restore the riparian zone around two creeks to reduce erosion and help renew salmon habitat in the watershed as well as creating new shade beds for establishing native medicinal woodsgrown herbs.
Working steadily over the last five years to wean ourselves from harvesting plants from the wild for our herbal products, we are currently growing about 80 different herbal crops to use in making our herbal extracts. The development and maintenance of this farm requires an immense amount of work. Besides a dedicated staff of 10, we also offer a Work-Study Program from March through June taught by the Herb Pharm staff, herbalists and farmers of southern Oregon.
We invite all UpS members, if you are traveling in the northwest, to stop by and visit our farm, wander in the gardens, and enjoy the beauty and scents and vibration of this herbal sanctuary.