BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - From a stuffy nose to trouble sleeping, depression, and help clearing out your lungs after years of smoking; you don’t need a pill. That’s the belief of a Bessemer couple who says Mother Nature gives us what we need to feel better.
Permaculture farmers Trevor and Joanna Mann own Walden Farms & Farmacy in Bessemer. The couple grows the plants and flowers on their farm, then processes them into syrups, teas, salves, and herbal teas.
The small-scale permaculture-style herb farm has not only pretty blooms, but they’re actually sustainable herbal medicines grown with families in mind. It’s all about the land being self-sufficient in the ecosystem, if you’ve never heard of permaculture. They grow several different species of plants together so there’s competition, creating what they call the most medicinal benefit.
When it comes to the apothecary portion, it’s really getting back to our roots. Before trained doctors were common, herbalists healed people with the natural elements around them. They brewed teas or took oils from the plants, blooms, or berries. Joanna Mann says the pendulum has swung and people are realizing there’s a lot of healing and care that can be done at home before a doctor is sought. Serious conditions certainly would still require medical personnel, but there are a lot of options growing wild. Most people might be surprised at how many things have multiple medical purposes.
While conventional farmers fight with weeds, the Walden Farms utilize them. Dandelion, ground ivy, and smart weed aren’t typically wanted in gardens and grass. However, dandelion is found in many detox and cleansing drinks. Violet is another grass invader with healing properties. The tiny bloom is good for coughs, colds, and flu.
"I believe the Creator made no mistakes. The plants we have here, we have here for a reason, whether it's food or medicine," says Joanna Mann. "It may just be a plant we haven't discovered the purpose for yet. But, it's all here for a reason."
It takes several weeks to go from plants, to tinctures, to the finished product.
Several local stores in the Birmingham metro area sell Walden Farms’ products. Here’s a link to locations where it’s sold.
Since the Walden Farmacy gives back to the earth, it also gives back to the community by donating a minimum of 1% of sales every quarter to a different non-profit.