Mark’s Farm Update
e are moving into winter here at the farm. The light is starting to come in at
that angle that makes things hazy and the colors warm. Even though nature
is beginning to slow down we are still moving at full speed ahead to bring in the crops.
Each year we hope that the rain waits for us to complete the harvest of the plants and
dig the roots. This year, so far so good.
Everyone is working hard, from the field workers harvesting clover and calendula by
hand, to the people on the phones taking orders, to the millers, the tractor drivers and
the administrative staff that keep our business rolling day to day. We are all trying to
make sure our customers are happy. It takes a team, working together, to bring in the
fresh herbs and ship this good medicine to our customers all over the world.
This year we have some very good news from the fields. We are now one of only two
farms in the U.S. cultivating and growing Plantain Plantago major. I am very pleased to see that the soils and climate here at Pacific Botanicals are
ideally suited to this plant. Our crop is very robust and we should have plenty of stock available throughout the winter.
As so many of you know, plantain supports wound healing and promotes urinary tract and respiratory health. We are happy to be offering this
high quality American grown herb to our customers.
There are many facets to our farm processes that affect the quality of our herbs. First and foremost is experience. After 30 years and lots of
trial and error we have acquired a good deal of knowledge on how to produce the finest and most potent botanicals. We understand our microclimate
and what grows well here. The quality of the air and water in the Applegate Valley are superb. We have honed our production processes
together with the help of our great management team so that we can produce and deliver this high quality product over and over again each year.
I guess the thing that is not so measurable but is just as key to what we do here is that we love what we are doing. We are still inspired as the
seed becomes shoot, root, plant and then flower, knowing that eventually each herb will be medicine for an individual somewhere in the world.
This passion still goes into our herbs.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy our catalog. All the best through the fall and the holidays, from our home to yours, Mark.
-Mark Wheeler, Founder, Pacific Botanicals
This Important Paper Just In:
A Sustainable Agriculture Perspective on Food Safety
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has released a new paper, "A Sustainable Agriculture Perspective on Food Safety," in anticipation of upcoming debate and vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act. The paper offers sixteen guiding principles for achieving sustainable, safe, and healthy food systems, which emphasize that while risk can never be entirely eliminated, minimizing risk begins on the farm and must continue through every step until it reaches the fork. Click here for the full text of this important paper.
Toni’s Window on the Field
t’s really busy here at the farm as the last of the fresh herbs are harvested and either shipped
fresh or dried, cut, and stored to be ready for sale to our customers. We are harvesting the last
of the roots. I can see the big diggers out the window. The root washers are going and the leaves on
the trees surrounding the farm are turning rust, red, and golden. Winter is on its way.
It is amazing to me how fast this summer came and went. David and I have fond memories of
camping and biking around the coastal headlands. A little cooler this year, but still wonderful.
One of the things that we do here at the farm during the summer months is give tours to different
groups: interns, naturopathic doctors, students and herbalists. This year in addition to the students
and interns, we had a magical visit with the children and parents of the Waldorf Farm School in
Ashland, OR. This school has a unique approach to elementary education that is near and dear to
our hearts. In addition to its unique curriculum they conduct school in a barn on a 10 acre farm!
The children are learning to be grounded in farm processes and gardening in addition to educating
the intellect. It was so wonderful to see very young children romping around in the big fields sniffing
and tasting all of the herbs. We are so glad that we could expose them to botanicals at this young
age and hope it will plant a seed that will flower when they are grown. Who knows what budding
herbalists and Naturopathic M.D.’s we had scurrying through our clover fields. Their sweet intense
energy was such a delight.
We have some great news for those of you who have propietary formulas for your superfoods or tea blends. We are now offering custom blending
here at Pacific Botanicals. You can now order your formulas from us and we can powder and blend the herbs to your specifications. Call me to
see if we can support your business with these services.
Well, I hope you are ready for another year and I hope this new year will be full of joy for you and yours. Stay warm and be blessed, Toni.
-Toni Corrente-Evans, Chief Operations Officer
|Marshmallow Leaf Althaea officinalis
Marshmallow root promotes a soothing effect for mucous membrane irritation in the gastrointestinal
tract and urinary tract. Its anti-inflammatory activity appears to potentiate the effects of topical steroids.
The leaves may help promote healing for cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory
catarrh and irritating coughs. To order click here.
|Plantain Plantago major
The mucilaginous fresh leaf is used topically to support healing for wounds, insect bites, stings and in cough
syrup recipes. Internally it can be used to support treatment for urinary tract infections, diarrhea, ulcers, bloody
urine, digestive upsets, and excess mucous discharge. Many American Indian groups used plantain for many similar
complaints, as well as for fever, respiratory infections, and constipation. To order click here.
|Nutritional Yeast Flakes Saccaromyces cerevisiae
After so many requests from our customers we now offer Red Star nutritional yeast flakes as part of our
SuperFood line. Nutritional yeast is a source of complete protein and B-complex vitamins. It is naturally low
in fat and sodium, and has a savory flavor that is described as nutty or cheesy. It is used as a healthy condiment
on many natural foods. Non organic.To order click here.
|Indian Sarsaparilla Hemidesmus indicus
It is one of the Rasayana (rejuvenation) plants of Ayurveda, as it is anabolic (building tissues and organs)
in its effect. It stimulates the flow of bile and removes toxins from the body. It is also a good diuretic. When
used with Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi), a liver protector, the herb’s effect is enhanced. To order click here.
One Man’s Weed is another Man’s Miracle
The Amazing Healer: St. John’s Wort
s so many of you know, SJW is an amazing plant. It is sometimes referred
to as the “happy” plant. It has been long recognized to support a sense of
well being. And, most recently scientists have found that it is just as effective as
Prozac in treating depression.
German scientist, Dr. Klaus Linde, from the Centre for Complementary Medicine
in Munich, pooled data from twenty nine studies involving 5,489 patients
with mild to moderately severe depression. ‘Overall, the St. John’s Wort extracts tested in
the trials were superior to placebo, similarly effective as standard anti-depressants, and had fewer
side effects than the pharmaceuticals’, he said. Product constituencies may vary, so for the best product sources it is always best to get advice from
a qualified practitioner.
On the other hand...many have considered SJW, also known as Klamath weed, a noxious weed. Its eradication from Northern California
cattle country became the most celebrated biological control success story in American history. Introduced to Pennsylvania in 1793,
the yellow-flowering plant had both medicinal and religious meaning for the Europeans who brought it here. By the 1940’s, the plant, toxic
to livestock, had spread across the continent, rendering more than five million acres of cattle grazing rangeland useless. Scientists recruited
natural predators to control the weed, and Chrysolina, a group of Eurasian beetle species, were released in the western United States in
1945 and 1946. As soon as the insects established themselves in their new home, St. John’s Wort populations crashed in California, freeing
up hundreds of thousands of acres and saving an estimated $3.5 million per year throughout the 1950’s. The Directors of the Humboldt
County Wool Grower’s Association and the Humboldt County Cattlemen’s Association in northern California were so thrilled with the
results, they erected a statue of Chrysolina in the town of Arcata, California. But...of course...we are glad they did not eradicate it all.
At Pacific Botanicals our SJW is ethically and sustainably harvested in the wild. The timing and health of the plant is crucial to its
potency. We only use trusted, experienced wildcrafters that we have built relationships with over time. Each wildcrafter must meet our strict
To order click here.
| e have all had tough days where we are dealing with
parents or children, coworkers, traffic, the bills, the
future or the past. It is human nature to be anxious or tense
given the amount of stress we deal with everyday. The older we
get the more we realize that peace of mind is one of the most
precious personal assets we can have. Whatever we can do to
improve our serenity helps us in our daily lives.
Here are three calming herbs that offer us a little help from
our friends so to speak. Whether in tinctures or tea blends these
herbs can support peace of mind. To order click here.
Hops (Humulus lupulus,top) Used for over 500 years in
the making of beer, hops contain lupulin, bitters, resin, volatile
oil, and tannin. The plant has sedative, hypnotic, and astringent
properties as well as mild estrogenic properties. For some the
scent alone has a sedative effect. Hence, “hops flower pillows,”
for supporting a good nights sleep.
To order click here.
Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata, middle) Its name
comes from the striking crimson and black petals which resemble
the crown of thorns in the passion of Christ. It supports
relief for anxiety, stage fright, muscle pain and insomnia.
Combine it with chamomile, hops, catnip and spearmint for a
To order click here.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, bottom) First cultivated in
America by the Shaker religious community in the mid 1800’s
Valerian played a key role in the medicinal herb industry of the
time. It still does today. It is useful in supporting the nervous
system and does not cause the hangover, or morning after feeling,
associated with chemical sedatives of today.
To order click here.
As with all medicinal botanicals we recommend consulting a
qualified physician when using them in conjunction with pharmaceutical
Sometimes I Wonder
What It Must Be Like... by D.E.
ometimes, when I’m staring out the window of my office, or walking down
the path past the rows of crops, I wonder what it must be like to be a plant.
Maybe you have too from time to time. What must it be like to be rooted so firmly
in the ground? Strong in wind and rain, wound and woven close to a whole field of
friends who are so much like you but not exactly. Do they sense their closeness to
each other? Do they always get along?
What would it be like to spread your petals in the sun? Face turned up to the
endless sky. Stretching upward faithfully surrendered to the warming light. Fully open
all the day following the sun from east to west. Drinking in the penetrating rays.
Patient over days and days to observe the simple coming and passing of the changing shades of sky. Humbly closing without worry for the night.
And what about when you and I pass by? By tractor or by feet. Do they sense us? Making a riffle in the air. A brightly charged cloud of
chatter or thought as we stroll by. Do they silently acknowledge “the breathing ones?-- Our colorful hair and hats--Our fragrance and gait--Our
bright faces in the sun. Can they feel our turmoil or our joy as we pound our boots along the dusty track? Do they feel affection for the beauty
of our kind? Each of us so different and unique. As we do them?
Do they sleep peacefully at night and dream of earthworms lightly brushing their dangling roots? Do they worship the falling rain that
cleanses in a thrill and sinks down to stir the dark mineral stew for those who do not toil and do not spin? And the
bees. Called to the spinning honey glow, and the nectar, and the seductive color refined over centuries. Are the flowers
excited at their approach? Do they feel the whisper of the vibrating air from beating wings, the rubbing of moving legs
that catch the furry pollen and the delicate touch of tiny feet dancing on their sensitive leaves? Do they cherish their
being freely blooming even if only for a season? A few glorious months in the sun? I wonder sometimes, don’t you,
what it must be like.—DE.
Thoughts for the Spirit
At the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life that you don’t understand, you are closer to understanding it all than at any other time. –Jane Wagner
If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’ve already been in. –Anne Lamott
The best work is done with the heart breaking, or overflowing. –Mignon McLaughlin
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. –Samuel Johnson
We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. –Henry L. Mencken
Some people are always grumbling that roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. –Alphonse Karr
Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time. –Victor Frankl
There is a fifth dimension beyond those known to man. It is a dimension vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between the pit of his fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area called the Twilight Zone. –Rod Serling
I intend to live forever. So far so good.–Steven Wright