As we've been trumpeting from the rooftops: Haven Herbs has moved to West Virginia! It has been a long time coming and the fulfillment of a dream for quite some time.
Many of you do not know the name Haven Herbs signifies that dream: to have a home that grows a lot of the medicine used in formulas- for it to be a sanctuary for flora and fauna and a refuge for Haven worker owners.
And we are thrilled to tell you that we have started on that path!
The property we inhabit houses 5 humans, half of which are worker owners of Haven Herbs. We also have two dogs, a cat, 5 indoor birds, and 25 chickens- so quite the menagerie!
We have collectivized to make affording and running a farm more manageable in these times. As those of you who follow Haven know- we are big fans of worker ownership and cooperative working- and now we also live cooperatively, too. (This does not mean future worker owners will have to live here, by the way- it just means some of the current ones do!)
The house has two kitchens- and one of them will be for production for Haven and the farm (called re:Source). We are unpacking it all now, in the hopes of starting to fulfill our pending wholesale orders this weekend. And we are on track to fulfill individual orders from the website on January 2, as promised!
We now have 12 acres, mostly forested. We'll be busy working with this land to create a pollinator-friendly thriving habitat. We plan on forest farming, along with using closed-loop permaculture principles in the non-forested part, too.
On the plan for year one:
1.Create a master plan for where all things will ultimately go- we plan on a greenhouse, events barn, intern and guest housing, and more livestock enclosures beyond 2023 (geese, goats, bees).
2. Fell sick and broken trees. Start inoculating logs with mycelium for medicinal and culinary mushrooms.
3. Get trees and shrubs for the forest farm: Elder, Aronia, Blueberry, Raspberry, Rugosa Rose, Chickpea, Apple, Pecan, Paw Paw, Hickory.
4. Plant a kitchen garden in berms and swales in the back area, and protect it from the plentiful deer. This garden will feed us, but we also plan on joining the local farmer's market and sell value-added products and surplus (including eggs!). On the menu for year one: hot sauces, salsas, kimchi, and gourmet ketchups.
5. Plant fields of botanicals for Haven that we cannot get commercially or use a lot of: Stinging Nettle, Jewelweed, Spilanthes, Tulsi, Hops, Milky Oat, St. John's Wort, Bidens, Thyme.
6. Create a culinary herb garden and grow medicinal wildflowers in the front of the house.
7. Increase chickens on the land. We have 25 laying hens and two roosters- we will be creating three separate small flocks with three coops and runs in 2023. In addition to eggs, they provide excellent land clearing (we pasture them and they clear out land we want to garden in), fertilizer, and amusement. We will have Easter Eggers, Americaunas, Green Queens, Welsummer, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Jersey Giants, Black Copper Marans, and Silkies. The Silkies are excellent broody hens for when we decide to hatch out more babies. So their coop will also double as a nursery.
We are so excited to share some of this journey with you!
a. Can you find Tyler, amongst all the Haven boxes we need to unpack?
b. A shot from the house of the chickens in the coop. We will be building permanent runs for all the coops that protect against aerial predators soon!
c. Lily, after checking on chickens during the polar vortex.