Oak Haven Farm would be a misnomer if there wasn’t some form of farming happening here. When I purchased the property, it was severely overgrown with not a hint of herbs, fruits, or vegetables. I knew I had to change that.
Gardening does not always produce an immediate result. But, that’s okay. Half the joy of gardening is simply getting dirt under your nails. I’ve been slowly cutting back the overgrown weeds, adding garden beds (since this land once supported an apple orchard, there could be arsenic in the soil), and just generally loving on the land.
I trained for two years in an Herbalism program under an amazing teacher and mentor that I’m now privileged to call friend. Susan Hess is the proprietress of The Still Room at Pitch Pines, in Mays Landing, NJ. When I trained with her, she was teaching from her farm in Chester County, PA; I’m beyond thrilled that she’s closer now. Also, she’s PA Dutch like me so she teaches with a lot of nods to our heritage. That was a bonus! In any event, if you’re looking to learn or expand your knowledge in Herbalism, Susan is an extraordinary teacher, incredible practitioner, and a generally amazing person and I encourage you to take her classes.
I’ve incorporated my learning from Susan and my desire to live holistically into my gardens. Everything is grown organically. I’ve got herbs, vegetables, and fruit that grows each year. I make my own remedies and preserve as much of the harvest as possible. And, I love to share my knowledge through the occasional workshop.
The gardens, like the house, will always be evolving so I’ll always have something new to share.