July 23 Open Farm Day listings

Eat your weeds: it's an Herbal Revolution

By Kim Lincoln | Jul 16, 2017
Photo by: Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary Herbal Revolution Farm and Apothecary will be giving tours and explaining medicinal uses of a variety of plants during Maine Open Farm Day, Sunday, July 24.

Union — In 2015, Kathi Langelier moved approximately 400 plants from her Lincolnville garden to her new farm on North Union Road.

With those plants, she produces medicinal tonics, shrubs, elixirs and teas under the name Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary, which are distributed to about 180 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and Mom's Organics, as well as co-ops and natural food stores.

Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for guided tours during Maine's 28th annual Open Farm Day, Sunday, July 23. The farm is at 410 North Union Road. Product samples also will be available to try and buy.

These Midcoast farms also are open for Maine Open Farm Day on Sunday, July 23:

 

Appleton Creamery


11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 780 Gurneytown Road, Appleton. Appleton Creamery is a small-scale goat dairy, handcrafting award-winning fresh and aged goat cheeses daily. Meet the goats, sample some cheese, and view the cheese room. Learn about these entertaining and useful animals. The farm stand will be open with farm products for sale and the pizza oven will be going!

Brae Maple Farm

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 233 North Union Road, Union. Walk through the MOFGA-certified market gardens and visit the donkeys. Wander through the Master Gardener Volunteer demonstration raised-bed vegetable gardens, lasagna garden, dyeing and drying garden, medicine wheel and heritage gardens. Demonstrations include woodturning, spinning, and building twig fences. Informational beekeeping display by the Knox-Lincoln Beekeeper Association. Special children's activities include searching for hidden fairy houses and cutout photo boards. Herbal refreshments and recipes.

ME Water Buffalo Co.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 232 Old County Road, Appleton. Maine's only water buffalo farm invites you to meet the herd of buffalo and learn about what they do. Pasture hayrides throughout the day to get up close to the water buffalo. Buffalo calves to cuddle, Nigerian dwarf goat babies to pet and chickens to feed! Water buffalo dairy products to sample. Farm products available for purchase at the farm store.

Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 174 Barrett Hill Road, Union. Talks and tours of the vineyard and blueberry fields. Belted Galloways on display.

Seacolors Yarnery at Meadowcroft Farm

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 45 Hopkins Road, Washington. Tour of yarnery and hands-on show and tell of superfine genetics. Border collie demonstrations. Big sale on old stock and odd-lot blankets.

Beau Chemin Preservation Farm

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1749 Finntown Road, Waldoboro. MOFGA-certified organic you-pick raspberries are for sale, and possibly other small fruit. Heirloom and endangered breeds of livestock include soay, Leicester longwool and California Variegated Mutant sheep, part-Icelandic goats, a Suffolk Punch draft horse, and five breeds of ducks. Antique spinning wheels and other fiber-processing tools are on display and products for sale.

East Forty Farm and Dairy

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2361 Friendship Road, Waldoboro. Learn how milk is transformed into cheese and sample a variety of styles of cow's milk cheese. Meet the cow, horses, and chickens. Watch a demonstration of a sawmill.

Maine Alpaca Experience – Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 141 Crosby Brook Road, Unity. Learn about the joy of raising alpacas. Take a selfie with your favorite alpaca and enjoy shopping in the farm store filled with incredibly soft alpaca clothing, yarn and toys. Hike the Hill to Sea trail located on the property.

Royer Valley Farm 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 124 Valley Road, Brooks. A diversified livestock farm growing meat rabbit, poultry and hogs. Livestock is the foundation of the farm business, all grown with a high level of sustainability and natural farming practices. They plan to establish gardens, a farm store, honeybees, maple syrup, commercial kitchen, and petting zoo.

Wild Miller Farm

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1165 Turner Ridge Road, Palermo. A family-friendly garlic harvest party as visitors help pull half an acre of garlic and bring it into the barn with many hands. Horse-drawn wagon rides to and from the barn as the garlic harvest comes in. Visit with the horses, gardens, chickens and pigs. Snacks and water will be available.

"I've been studying and working with plants for over 20 years," Langelier said. "I always knew I wanted a farm."

While operating a large garden in Lincolnville, she began looking for property, and after a 12-year search, came across the 22-acre Union location. Since hers is a relatively young farm, many of the plants are in still their infancy.

After high school, she taught outdoor education with children and began apprenticing on farms in Maine, Vermont and California — while living outdoors without water or electricity.

"When you are living a self-sufficient life and you are living without, you are all of a sudden like, 'What else is out there?'" Langelier said.

That's when she became interested in varieties of wild edibles in Maine, which led to learning more about wild medicinals. While working on various farms, she asked lots of questions about various plants and their uses and read a book by herbalist Deb Soule, owner of Avena Botanicals in Rockport.

At the farm, Langelier grows large plots of onions, garlic and horseradish, which are used to produce Fire Tonic, a warming and spicy blend of vegetables and herbs infused in organic raw apple cider vinegar.

"It's great for the upper respiratory system, great for the sinuses and head. It's invigorating, warming and stimulating — it will wake you up," she said of the Fire Tonic.

The product can be used medicinally, taken straight or mixed with water. It is great for salad dressing, added to soups, Bloody Marys or to add flavor to many recipes.

With the tonic and shrub line, the products are made using an apple cider vinegar base. The shrub varieties are a drinking vinegar line and can be used for flavoring water, making natural sodas or in cocktails.

Langelier works to create products that are beneficial and approachable and said she uses apple cider vinegar in many of her products because people are familiar and comfortable using it.

"It's not a trend that is going to die; apple cider vinegar is here to stay," she said.

Herbal medicine is the foundation of medicine, where it all started, she said, and a lot of medical preparations were once made using either wine or vinegar.

"With vinegar being high in nutrients and minerals all on its own, it pairs well with extracting certain herbs," Langelier said.

T-shirts for her business say "Eat Your Weeds" because she uses so many plants that grow wild, such as horseradish, dandelion, burdock root, and beach roses, to name a few.

"These things you just go outside and find. They are so incredible for us," Langelier said.

This year, she planted 60 roses that will eventually be used for wild rose elixir. For years, Langelier has traveled up and down the coast and hand-harvested beach rose petals, which are then infused with alcohol and honey.

"It's rose in a bottle, but I also look at it like putting Maine in a bottle," she said. "There are a lot of beneficial properties of rose, but one thing rose is so well known for is its affinity for the heart."

She said when people ask about what the rose elixir is for, she asks them what they think of when they think about roses and finds people usually stop and smile.

"Now you are putting that in you," Langelier said. "Rose is a nervous system herb, it works on lifting the spirit and bringing a sense of calm."

In other gardens at the farm, beets, tulsi, ashwaghanda and lemongrass are grown.

Future plans for the farm include a garden specifically designed for tours to bring visitors through to discuss the different plants and their medicinal uses. Another wooded area of the farm will eventually be transformed into an herbal botanical sanctuary for endangered plants.

Last fall, Langelier also began raising cashmere goats, which she got as a creative way to tackle an invasive rose problem, but she also combs them for fiber. She eventually plans to process fiber and sell it at the Common Ground Fair.

For a complete list of Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary products, go to herbalrev.com. Products can be purchased locally at Fresh off the Farm, Good Tern Co-op, Market on Main, Rising Tide Coop, Sheepscot General, Belfast Co-op, Treats, Portland Food Co-op, Lois's Natural and Whole Foods in Portland.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com.

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