This is about as close to “wilderness” living as it gets in this part of the country.
Because of where we live, Nature is a constant presence. Sometimes we’re at odds, but some of the time we submit and just try to work within the constraints She sets.
But because of where we live we do¬†get to interact daily with lots of Nature’s different faces.
This life offers a wealth of learning opportunities. One of my favorite aspects of this life is that I get to see and use so many different useful plants. And there are always lots of situations that give me opportunity to learn how to use them.
Like dogs getting bitten by rattlesnakes.
The Useful Plants
Plants are a big part of my life. I spend a lot of time looking for certain ones (the ones I consider useful plants), photographing them and learning how to use the ones that lend themselves to such pursuits. Some of the ones most useful are those called “weeds” by people who keep pristine lawns.
I value some plants just because they’re picky about where they live and need humans to be more aware of how their actions impact life around them. American ginseng falls into this category.
I also value plants that provide food to us and the animals, both wild and domestic. Lots of plants fall into that category, from everything we grow in the garden to the wildflowers that feed the bees and hummingbirds.
Useful plants give us food, shelter, tools, medicines, bring comfort and joy. Yes, I consider aesthetics to be a useful quality.
A plant can be useful to other life-forms even if I don’t find it all that useful myself. I have a hard time thinking of one to fit this category, but I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere. I pretty much find all plants useful in some way.
Admittedly, I feel more enthusiastic about some more than others. Herbalism has always been a passion, so those plants that are useful for remedies are the ones that catch my eye most often.
Wild Ozark is where I share what I know about my¬†friends and allies, the useful¬†plants. My husband and I¬†homestead and grow wild-simulated American ginseng and other native plants for the Wild Ozark Nursery. ¬†We’re not fanatical preppers, but we do keep in mind the uncertain future.
Are you a prepper?
Our¬†latest title is 10 Common Plants Worth Knowing in a Long-term Survival Situation.
You can read the first chapter here.
We practice sustainability & make practical improvements to our home & land knowing these things will help us weather any unforeseen events on the horizon. I write about and photograph medicinal and edible Ozark plants, including American ginseng. This site is a good place to start if you want to build your own herbal armory and make allies of the plants around you.
Way out here off the beaten path, I soak up nature and wilderness experiences to use for my urban fantasy fiction stories.
We operate a small¬†ginseng and woodland plant nursery in northwest Arkansas. Our specialty is helping people learn and grow ginseng and the other wild Ozark plants that can keep them fed and healthy if all else fails one day.
Ordinarily, I bring¬†our plants, books, posters and information about the wild Ozark¬†plants¬†to the Huntsville, Arkansas Farmer’s Market from April through October. We had a very destructive flood on June 16, 2015 that destroyed our driveway and washed the nursery downstream. I’m still not able to return to the market yet, but when I do, I’ll update this page.
I’m the voice behind this blog and website. My name is Madison Woods. I write about what we do, take photographs of the incredible plants that live in these hills, spin fantastic tales¬†influenced by our life here, and create beautiful books featuring the plants I’m glad to call my allies. All of it to help you reconnect to nature. Welcome to our website!
Our¬†Ginseng Sanctuary at Compton Gardens in Bentonville
Wild Ozark is honored and excited to be embarking on a project in conjunction with Compton Gardens in Bentonville, Arkansas. This American Ginseng Sanctuary¬†project¬†is made possible, in part, by a grant from the United Plant Savers. You can watch our progress at this post, where I’ll update with pictures and journal entries.
What we’re doing is recreating a ginseng habitat, complete with American ginseng plants and the companion plants. It will be a work in progress for a couple of years, and is intended to serve as an outdoor educational exhibit for those interested in learning more about the endangered plants of the woodland habitat, like American ginseng, blue cohosh, goldenseal, etc. I’m planning to lead workshops and presentations when we’re done with the installation, but it’s open to the public, free of charge, and anyone can use the facilities for their own ideas.
If you want to make sure you’re on the invitation list for our first Unfurling Party in 2016, be sure to sign up for Wild Ozark’s¬†monthly newsletter before then!
Our Latest Release: 10 Common Plants worth Knowing in a Long-term Survival Situation
This book is a good start to getting to know your own plant allies and building your herbal armory. It covers All-heal, Beebalm, Echinacea, Elderberry, Persimmon, Red Clover, Red Raspberry, Red Mulberry, Spicebush, and Witch Hazel. It’s a book meant to be written in. I’ve left places in it for you to record the locations of your favorite wildcrafting spots, notes about each of the different plants. You can keep this book safe for generations to come who may need to know how to pick up where you left off. It’s an heirloom treasure for the sustainability or survival-minded person.
Wild Ozark, LLC is located in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks. It’s part of an area called the Highlands found between Fayetteville and Harrison in Madison county, Arkansas (USA). Very remote, rugged and beautiful land. We’re not open to the public, but you can easily get in touch through email or the various social media. Our contact information and a contact form is¬†on this page.
In spring we’ll be at the Huntsville, AR Farmer’s market beginning in April 2015. The operating days are usually Tuesdays 7-12 and possibly on Saturdays.
Local visitors: keep an eye on our Google Local Business Page ( Google+¬†) for updates on dates/hours/offerings at the market.
Nature Writing by Madison Woods
Many of my blog posts are observations on nature, and oftentimes the focus is on plants. My specialty is American ginseng and the companion plants that live in the same habitat as ginseng. I have a new series of photo-essay books featuring these plants called “Into the Ginseng Wood”. They’re filled with beautiful images of the plants and nature of the deep woods of the Ozarks and serve as virtual herb or nature walks. The first one is called “Before the Unfurling” and it takes the reader into the woods just before ginseng begins to unfurl. I post a lot of photos of our beautiful surroundings on the blog and write about life on our homestead. But I also write fantasy stories and these are influenced or inspired by the things I see and experience out here in the wild Ozarks. Things that cause my imagination to stir. To learn more about how these hills and my life in the wilds influence my fiction writing, you can read this post called “My Ideas Come from the Gaps“. If you like fantasy/scifantasy fiction you might enjoy my fiction website.