Cross-posted from Appalachian Voices
Story by Yuri Woodstock
Mountain Gardens is a botanical garden nestled in the Black Mountains of North Carolina that offers visitors a chance to work hands-on with Chinese and native herbal medicines.
Originally a paradise garden planted by owner Joe Hollis over twenty-five years ago, Mountain Gardens now boasts the widest variety of medicinal herbs on the East coast.
A constantly shifting community runs the nursery. The center offers an involved eleven-week apprenticeship program, and also hosts shorter term stays for participants willing to work in trade for their food. The environment at Mountain Gardens is radically holistic; apprentices live together in alternative housing ranging from antique cabins to yurts, cultivating wild food and cooking communal meals in an outdoor kitchen.
One unique feature at Mountain Gardens is the help-yourself library and tincture lab. Guests are invited to educate and diagnose themselves, if they wish, with a massive variety of dried ingredients ready to be mixed into medicinal remedies.
The concept of paradise gardening is a movement toward evolving the gardener into more of a caretaker than an owner. The ultimate goal is to alter the natural ecology slightly, so that it sustainably benefits while not depleting itself.
Mountain Gardens also offers workshops and tinctures, seeds and dried herbs for sale. For more info visit: mountaingardensherbs.com
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Mountain Garden Offers Herbal Learning