Growing up in a small mill town in the Columbia River Gorge, I was raised to appreciate the outdoors and the simple things in life. We didn’t have a lot of money for frivolous consumption, but we were comfortable and we made do or we did without.
I was an avid book-worm, spending many hours lost in fantasy worlds and great adventures. I found many ways to express my creative urges with paper and pencil, a hand-me-down sewing machine, and a small scrappy flower bed I turned into my herb garden. We were taught to be creative, handy, and independent.
It is this simplicity and sense of self-reliance that has followed me into adulthood and continues to motivate me to grow my own vegetables, heal and craft with herbs, and live as close to the rhythms and cycles of nature as possible.
Just this past year I have found myself carving out a small herb farm right smack in the heart of the Midwest. We are surrounded by acres of agri-corn and soybean planted and harvested with huge tractors and combines, and watch as the produce is stored in grain bins waiting for the price to increase or to fulfill government contracts. This corn and soybean will eventually be used to feed livestock or manufactured into ethanol fuel.
Our small farm is being grown one natural garden or herb bed at a time using sustainable growing methods including composting, mulching, cover crops, plant rotation, and soil management. Despite my desire to grow organically, we are unable to label our farm organic when the farmland surrounding us is managed with GMO seed and herbicides.
My desire is to live in the most self-sustainable way possible and show other people how we are doing this. I prefer growing most of our own food, including vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, and someday our own meat. Living simply without falling into the trap of mass-consumerism and a throw-away lifestyle is what I am striving to attain and what I want to share.
My purpose is not to start a war with the farmers who are working hard to make their living growing government corn and soybean but to create a quiet revolution in sustainable living awareness beginning with my own family and our small herb farm.
I want to share how we create our gardens, raise our chickens and bees, revive our woodlot, craft and heal with our herbs, and find peace and enjoyment living a simpler lifestyle within our four acres. I want to share how we create a cottage business using our harvested herbs to make natural herbal soaps and how we market them either online or at local farmer’s markets.
As I consider my manifesto for Whimsical Moon Herb Farm, I find myself feeling the need to share what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we plan to make our dreams happen. This declaration has taken on the significance of a calling. I am called to dig in the dirt, grow healthy gardens, care for the land, and create a lifestyle that is nourishing to both body and soul.
I would like to invite each of you to share a cup of hot cocoa, a moment of whimsy, and your own expression of creative dreams and aspirations.