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Meet the Herbalist

My name is Emily.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've felt a deep soul-connection to the natural world. This love manifested in many different ways over the years; from my "horse girl" era as a child and teen to wilderness guiding in my 20's. Herbalism to me is a returning home.

 

As I deepen my relationship with plants who have always been there throughout my life, it's as if I am gaining a new kind of vision. I can read the trees and see when they're thriving or struggling. My eyes are drawn to the medicinal weeds in a meadow. The green tapestry of the woods becomes a community of individuals. 

 

Herbalism is a lifelong learning journey and I am a humble traveler on its path.

calendula pattern
Emily Erickson-Mills
chamomile flowers

It all staRTED WITH the land.

Moonrise Meadows Farm is our home.

My husband, James, and I purchased these twenty acres in 2021. We were searching for land where we could build a house (that's James' area of expertise) and put down roots. We honed in on Whatcom county for its proximity to both the mountains and the ocean, its fertile farm land, its good-natured people, and a rural lifestyle that was still a reasonable drive from major metropolitan areas.

The farm wasn't quite a blank canvas. Some improvements by the previous owner were incredibly valuable, such as a large shop building. Unfortunately they also left a legacy of a huge amount of garbage that the blackberries and grasses were slowly engulfing; including semi-trucks, washer/dryers, remnants of a burned-down mobile home, and a piano amongst other things.

 

When I envisioned starting a farm, I didn't picture myself on my hands and knees meticulously pulling styrofoam out of the woods. Restoration is not glamourous but it is part of leaving the land better than we found it.

Why Moonrise Meadows?

Standing in what would soon be the garden on a crisp winter evening, James and I were discussing what we should name this place. The moon was shining brightly just above a mountain ridge, and the name came to us. 

Moonrise Meadows Farm is a dream in progress. Our vision is for a thriving ecosystem that supports plants, pollinators, animals, fungi, soil, and people. We operate at a human-powered scale for the most part, which means that creating garden beds is a long process of mowing, covering with silage tarps for a season, digging and shaping by hand, and amending with compost - all before plants get to go in the ground.

We are opting to grow slowly. This enables us to learn and adapt as we go. We also both work full-time jobs to pay for the startup costs of creating a farm. James runs a handyman business and I (Emily) work at an organic orchard. We might be a little bit crazy, but talk to most small-scale farmers and I think you'll find we're a uniquely motivated group.

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bigleaf lupine flowers with dew
Mugwort pattern

Farming as a radical act.

Why, in this day and age, would two reasonable adults voluntairily choose hard labor outdoors over comfort? Why go to such lengths to grow medicinal herbs, when you can buy them at the health food store?

To me, farming is a quiet act of rebellion against a broken system. The agro-industrial complex is an unsustainable model that favors big business over the small farmer, creates reliance on vulnerable supply chains, and takes more from the soil than it gives. The majority of herbs available on the market are grown in China, India, and Eastern Europe. There is a huge need for more medicinal plants grown organically here in the US. 

I believe that tending the land in a regenerative manner - rebuilding and enhancing rather than simply extracting - is the path towards a better future. With these plants grown in partnership with nature, I create honest products that showcase the botanicals with very few ingredients. 

Lavender pattern

Humans have made medicine with herbs since time immemorial. My goal is to create potent yet gentle formulas from herbs grown on my farm which will nourish my community. That being said, I am not a doctor, I am an herbalist. Please listen to your own body and know that what works for one person may not work for you. Your health is your own right and responsibility. Take caution ingesting herbs especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a known medical condition. Research, experiement, taste, smell, touch, and form your own unique relationship with the plants. 

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