The time has come for me to take a little hiatus on herbalism (writing about it, that is).
For those of you who have been reading up on my herbalist stuff: no, I won’t be gone forever.
The end of 2016 has brought about some startling changes that will, inevitably, take me away from my computer in my free time.
The biggest change of all: my farmer husband William Lorentzen and I are starting our own organic farm!
We’re working with generous land donor, Steve Beaumont, and SILT (the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust) to begin work on 5 acres in the Driftless Area of Iowa in Garber, not all that far from Elkader. Over the years, this could expand into up to 20 acres of operation.
The farm itself is situated on the closest thing that could be called a mountain in Iowa: an enormous bluff with 360 degree panoramic views, probably the highest point in Clayton County.
The whole mountaintop is planted with native prairie that has been in place for over 15 years, but is now ready to produce some healthful food for the surrounding areas, too.
Veggies and shiitake mushrooms (quite possibly oyster mushrooms as well) will be the farm’s specialty. Plans are to make all these healthful, organic foods available at markets in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and possibly even Cedar Falls – perhaps Iowa City as well. Restaurants and Co-ops may be on our sights at some point, too, and potentially a CSA as well.
The name? Oak Savanna Mushrooms and Veg will be our farm name. Make sure to check out the website, and there will certainly be updates there to come. (We also toy with the idea of planting some of the mountaintop with oaks on the northern exposure side, to truly restore it partially into all-natural oak savanna in areas where veggies will be harder to grow).
As such, my focus will turn on organic veggies, and how these healing plant foods that should be made available to everyone.
However, I do hope to graft traditional herbalism into these endeavors somehow, and someday, while still being able to make ourselves a living – and this may be part of my journey of discovery through next year’s process.
Maybe products, a CSA, or something similar can become a part of this operation. It will take a lot of experience and getting acquainted with what’s possible, and how the worlds of herbalism and organic farming can truly meet.
So this means less musings, writings, recipes, and rantings about herbs, health, and everything in between for most of 2017. At least, that’s what I predict.
All my time will be dedicated to my freelance writing work on herbalism, health, organic agriculture, gardening, food, nutrition, and so much more. I’m even planning on getting my feet wet in the world of farm-funding grants, both private and federal.
Any other time I’ll have will be fully dedicated to get this farm up and going!
I’m also to be an up-and-coming herbalist-in-residence for a blossoming herbal products company with a focus on women’s health specifically. That should be exciting, and also keep me plenty busy, too.
It’s hard to tell if I’ll find some time to write an informative blog post here and there.
But who knows: one or two might still be able to make it out. We’ll see. I hope to pick the pen back up when I know how to properly combine my work in real life with writing in a way that enhances them both harmoniously.
So, until then: I’ll be on the Iowan mountaintop!