BSN STORIES

butterfly

WEEDS: AN ESSAY OF WILD PLANTS

BY JOSHUA HARKNESS Why must we think so poorly of wild plants? We dismiss them merely as “weeds”; we think of them as insignificant foreigners in our lawns, gardens and other manicured “landscapes”. We see them as a threat to the aesthetical appeal of the sterile environments we are so fond of creating. These are not invaders taking over our artificial spaces, rather we are the invaders who have so indiscriminately taken from them their ...
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wild simulated ginseng

GIVING THE GREEN LIGHT TO HEALTHY WILD-SIMULATED GINSENG CULTIVATION

by Justin Wexler and Anna Plattner Wild-simulated ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) plants growing amongst native companion plants at American Ginseng Pharm in the Catskill Mountains. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) loves shade but not too much shade. After seven years of direct observation of hundreds of acres of wild-simulated and wild ginseng, we’ve noticed a pattern. Old wild ginseng plants growing in deep shade grow extremely slowly. Likewise, in full shade, the wild-simulated seedlings of our ginseng ...
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watershed forest farm

WATERSHED FOREST FARM

Madison County, North Carolina Sanctuary Stewards: Michelle Dixon and Peter Waskiewicz Peter & Michelle Our Botanical Sanctuary story began Thanksgiving 2016 when we stood with the Lakota Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock and became avowed water protectors for life! On the long road back to North Carolina we hatched our first action plan and long-time dream: find a sunny mountain parcel with surface water and a spring to protect, and then start planting a permaculture ...
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american ginseng walker

WALKER MOUNTAIN BOTANICAL SANCTUARY

Deerfield, Virginia Sanctuary Stewards: Shay and Kim Clanton and family American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) Walker Mountain Botanical Sanctuary lies in a hollow between two mountains—Walker Mountain and Sideling Hill. Clayton Mill Creek, a rushing rocky mountain stream, flows the length of the hollow. At the base of the north slope on Sideling Hill there is a small, nearly hidden spring. The mossy hollow above this spring is where the ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) grows. Some of ...
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yurt classroom

GREEN COMFORT BOTANICAL SANCTUARY

Sperryville, Virginia Sanctuary Steward: Teresa Boardwine Yurt classroom and apothecary The Green Comfort Botanical Sanctuary has been growing for 15 years on an acre near the Shenandoah National Park, in Sperryville, Virginia. The land that surrounds us is naturalized and undeveloped, providing opportunity for plant walks through adjoining properties in woods, to a sandy river basin, out to pavement and sunny fi elds, too. While sponsoring a week of botany field work, we identified more ...
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appalachian woodlands

ON THE BIG MOUNTAIN WITH PAWPAW BILL

By Joe Pigmon with Kate Farley Appalachian woodlands Those of us who love Appalachian woodland medicinal herbs often hear stories about the men and women who have harvested these plants from the wild for generations. Sometimes these stories blame traditional herb harvesters for the declining abundance of our beloved plants. We hear about diggers who take plants indiscriminately without a care for future generations. Some people think of the many negative assumptions about poor Appalachians ...
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heart springs sanctuary

HEART SPRINGS SANCTUARY

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Sanctuary Steward: Jen Frey Jen Frey walking through the meadow of Heart Springs Sanctuary Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies on Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) In 2014, heartbroken, I sold my beloved farm. This was the place that helped my life-long affair with Plants bloom into something deeper and pushed me down my Soul’s path. I loved the farm—it was where my babies grew and explored. It was where I discovered many dreams ...
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