Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Crops include: rocks, botanicals, ginseng, habitat companions for ginseng, and trees.
Most definitely. Rocks are the mainstay here, lol. I use them for making handmade paints. The rocks (and clay, and other natural sources here) are the source for pigments I use in my paintings. I sell the paints themselves and also the paintings. You can see most of what I have available in my online shop, and see it in person at the various venues in northwest Arkansas if you’re local.
I collect little bits and pieces of things like moss, ferns, lichens, seed heads, etc. Various things that look great for decorating my product packaging.
My husband creates fine woodworks, so there’s a need for lumber and we have plenty of trees. We don’t go cutting them whilly-nilly, though. To maintain a healthy forest sometimes we need to selectively remove trees for the good of the others.
I am also looking into using the gums from wild cherry, wild plum, and sweet gum for my paints. Then they will truly be a completely “made in Arkansas” product. At the moment I’m using the traditional binder, gum Arabic, which is an imported product.
There’s also the shagbark hickory syrup that we make using the bark of the shagbark hickory trees.
While the ginseng is no longer the main focus of Wild Ozark, we’re still the only nursery in Arkansas for ginseng. We grow it wild-simulated in the forests in its natural habitat. I sell the potted seedlings from the farm here in spring, and bare-root seedlings ship out in fall once the temperatures drop.
Putting the wild in Wild Ozark
It takes us thirty minutes to reach pavement from where we live in the wild Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, where we work at scratching out a sustainable living off the hamster wheel of debt. Together we plan and act on ideas to make products, grow ginseng, and work on projects to help others enjoy and reconnect with Nature.
Our past projects include:
- Wild Ozark installed an American Ginseng Habitat at the Peel-Compton Gardens in Bentonville. We were awarded a grant from United Plant Savers to cover a portion of the expenses for this. This installation provides a teaching/learning resource for ginseng enthusiasts. The garden has an excellent conference room for classes. We’re looking forward to doing this work. There are other places this sort of installation would do well and we hope to get ginseng habitats growing in all of the public gardens where the lay of the land and tree cover invites such plants.
- We’re finished building Rob’s woodworking shop.
- Wrote the first novel of my rural fantasy series called Bounty Hunter. It’s a post-collapse fantasy set in the Ozarks. Treya applies for a position with ARSA (Apprehension, Retribution, and Silencing Agency) of northwest Arkansas, a government agency that specializes in a certain type of silencing. The targets must be killed three times (to grub stage) because they reincarnate to lower forms with each life.
- Fairy Garden Terrariums – currently sold out and not in production any longer
- As soon as I find out about a show or appearance, I’ll post to my schedule calendar (click here to go to schedule).
- Jan 13, 2018 – Speaking at the Carroll County Master Gardener’s meeting on Ginseng Habitat
- By Jan 30, 2018- Article with drawings about Green Dragon for the North American Native Plants Society
- I’d like to do more presentations and workshops going forward. If you or anyone you know is interested in creating nature art, nature journaling, or making or painting with handmade watercolors, let me know by emailing me at [email protected]
Our Goal: to bridge the gap between people and the natural world, to remind readers that we are part of a larger whole, and to celebrate that all we see is not always all there is. We do this through art, stories, photography, books and crafts inspired by the Ozarks, and with our nursery we offer plants to help re-establish American ginseng habitats.
The Duo Behind the Brand
I’m the voice behind our social media and website. Read more here.
Robert B. Riedel
My life’s motto is a line from a Rush song: “It’s all about choices. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
I’m driven to get our household sustainable and off-grid so we can thrive in any circumstance. My 22 years of USAF service gives me a varied skillset for this purpose. I’m interested in solar power and look forward to a time when I can work on our solar array. I’m a woodworker and enjoy making decorative boxes with gemstone inlay (great for jewelry, tarot cards, etc.).
I have a lot of ideas for furniture, as well. I also love bonsai and plan to make bonsai planters. My role with Wild Ozark at this point is homestead infrastructure engineer. We have a lot of critical things that need to be taken care of with the homestead (like leveling the house) before I can focus on my own creative ideas for our online shop.
In the meantime I do some editing for Madison’s writing projects and come up with ideas, which we are writing down to draw upon later. All of the projects around here give Madison some photo ops and blog post topics, though. As soon as we get caught up with the house foundation and leveling I’ll be able to begin building my workshop. Then I’ll get to bring of my creative ideas to fruition.
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