31 May 2017
Nature Farm = Co-Creating with Nature
Have you ever heard of a nature farm?
It means that I am co-creating with Nature. I’m serving up Nature, with a side of Art. I’m producing nourishing food for the soul by harnessing nature in the wild Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas.
Read on to see more about what that means and why Nature matters here at Wild Ozark.
Who’s Behind the Scenes?
My name is Madison Woods, and I’m the voice behind this website. Do you love nature? If so, I hope you take a few minutes to browse around my site. Fill your soul with our common passions for nature, art, and the wild Ozarks.
Serving Up Nature with a Side of Nature Art
Wild Ozark *is* a farm, but the crops pretty much grow here by themselves. It’s a “Nature Farm”.
All I really do is take advantage of what is already here – the right habitats for the ginseng and other woodland plants. Because I use these habitats and collect the bounties that live here for my nature arts and crafts, I say that I am “Nature Farming”.
I am co-creating with nature to provide myself with the things I need for my nursery business, the arts and crafts I create using natural botanicals, and taking inspiration from all of the elements of Nature that surrounds me here at Wild Ozark.
I’m co-creating with nature so you can bring a little of the wild Ozark wilderness home with you.
Even my photography is an aspect of Nature Farming and co-creating with Nature by this definition.
Does Wild Ozark have any crops?
I grow more than one:
- Earth pigment stones and herbs (for handmade watercolor paints)
- American ginseng (seedlings & rootlets)
- Woodland plants (nursery plants & fairy gardens)
- Shagbark Hickory Trees (for the bark)
- Natural Botanicals (for Forest Folk)
I cycle through creative arts, but right now I’m focused on earth and herb pigments for handmade watercolor paints. I think I may stay stuck in this rut for a long time. Here’s a painting of a kestrel that I made with my first set of earth and herb pigment paints.
Wild Ozark is …
A Homestead working toward self-reliance. We live so far from town that we’re preppers out of necessity, because flooded bridges and icy roads or frozen water keep us stranded here. It’s good practice for the bigger “what if” scenarios! I blog about the things we do here to this effect. What used to be common practice for my grandparents is becoming “lost arts” to the urban and younger generations.
Wild Ozark is also:
About our life with Nature. I love sharing my love of nature through my work. I’m an artist and photographer. The blog here is a nature blog, but I also write posts about whatever it is we’re doing – what kinds of new products we’re making, any arts I’m working on, what kinds of things I see when I’m out in these beautiful wild Ozark hills.
A farm and nursery. We grow hickory trees for the bark. The bark is used in Burnt Kettle’s shagbark hickory syrup. We also grow wild-simulated and true wild American ginseng and the other plants that enjoy the same habitat. Goldenseal, bloodroot, ferns, and cohosh come to mind.
The ferns are used in Wild Ozark’s Fairy Gardens, too.
A Publisher. I write nonfiction about plants, nature, and American ginseng. I also write fiction under the pen name Erthwitch. Most of my work is available through Amazon, but I sell some of it as downloadable files here at our online shop and at Etsy.
Art. My husband Rob is an amazing woodworker and he is the chief syrup-maker for our other business, Burnt Kettle. I make all sorts of nature crafts. I’m working on building our Etsy store.
An Information Resource for learning about American ginseng habitat, the medicinal plants we grow and use, the native clay I’m using for artworks. I teach workshops on nature journaling and making Forest Folk. If I learn that feels important to share, I write a blog post about it.
These are all examples of how I’ve used the land in co-creating with Nature.
Reconnect to Nature through Wild Ozark
We live in a very remote area of northwest Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains on 160 acres of mostly wild land. Predators and prey are plentiful.
This natural balance of life, along with the rest of nature’s beauty and fury that we get to witness on a very personal level, is responsible for the most incredible creative energy that’s always coursing through my veins.
Inspired by Nature, Precious Resources
One of our goals, our main goal, actually, is to become self-reliant using the land as our home and resource. Some of the ways we practice self-reliance includes trying to make a living from this land.
Nature in the Ozarks provides almost all of my resources to this end, and there are plans to create even more new things as inspiration strikes. Everything I do keeps me continuously reconnecting to nature. I’d like to share that connection with others.
Click here to go to my Etsy Shop to see the Wild Ozark fairy gardens, nature crafts, books, art and other gifts to help you reconnect to nature.
Growing and working, or decorating with plants or crafts using natural botanicals will help you to reconnect to nature.
Some of the items the Wild Ozark Nature Farm produces uses plants that grow here naturally and I’m careful to make sure I never over-harvest anything. Every time I gather flowers, medicinals, or other botanical materials I’m consciously leaving behind enough for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. It’s important to leave maturing growth behind to seed future growth, too.
Here’s the part that is more realistically considered Nature Farming.
Some of the plants that grow here are endangered. These are propagated carefully to ensure future generations survive. Wild American ginseng, goldenseal, and blue cohosh are a few that come to mind. We sell these plants, propagated by root division, layering, cuttings, or seed in our woodland nursery and educate others about how to grow them.
I craft art, make jams and sweets from the bounty of fruit and herbs here, and Rob creates fine woodworking items. I write, photograph, and draw, and create products for our market booth from these things.
We’re the only certified American ginseng nursery in Arkansas (that I know of). Visit us at our market booth in Huntsville on Tuesdays or Rogers on Saturdays.
Or come out to see our Ozark ginseng habitat demonstration garden, buy seedlings, and learn how to grow it. You can find all that and more by browsing the menu at the top.
Reconnect to Nature by visiting our Virtual Homestead at the Nature Farm
I try to post regularly to my blog, and almost all of the posts will offer some way for you to reconnect with nature.
My creativity is so inspired by nature in the Ozarks, I have a hard time doing anything besides my art. That art includes writing fiction and nonfiction, drawing, sculpting miniatures, and creating mixed media art using the materials all around me.
It’s a good thing that all this creating is part of what I mean when I say I’m Nature Farming!
Stay a While, Dig into Nature Farming
Browse around. Ask questions and leave comments, or share your own experiences. I’m happy you’re here and hope you find what you’re seeking! If you don’t, let me know and I’ll try to point you to it.
You can reconnect to nature by reading fiction! I’m also “Ima Erthwitch“, rural fantasy writer. If you’re a reader of things somewhat off-track of the norm, you might like my stories. My current long work is book two of the Bounty Hunter series. Book one, First Hunt, is available at Amazon now.
Reconnect to Nature and Be Inspired by the Ozarks, too – Become a Wild Ozarkian!
Keep up with the things going on around here, workshops and herb walks, new product releases, etc. by following at our Facebook page. Find out what it means to be Nature Farming.
Every other month, when I’m on schedule, we also put out a newsletter for those who don’t follow at the blog or get on FB. You’ll also find a link to my fiction newsletter in the menu above.
If you want to get regularly inspired by nature with me and follow the blog, put your email address in the form below.
Reconnect to Nature with Wild Ozark
- We’re at Etsy
- We’re online at our website
- Local pickup is available
- We ship!
Our ginseng habitat garden is a literal aspect of the Wild Ozark Nature Farm. It’s open to the public by appointment beginning in May, but closes on Oct. 1. I’m also in the planning phases for a Wild Ozark Fairy Garden trail! That will be a magical experience for young and old alike.
The online shop is open all the time. The link is in the menu above.
Forest Folk and Fairy Gardens are my most recent creative obsessions. Here’s one of the latest works of art inspired by nature out here in the Wild Ozark studio: