Dec 1, 2021
Episode #64 is a conversation with Mary Morgaine Plantwalker of Herb Mountain Farm in Weaverville, NC.
This episode was recorded in person in the gardens of Herb Mountain Farm August 2021.
Mary Morgaine Plantwalker is one of the main caretakers of Herb Mountain Farm alongside her partner, Hart Squire.
Located in the oldest mountains on earth, Herb Mountain Farm was established in 1970, originally as an organic vegetable and flower farm, by Hart Squire and his family, in Weaverville, North Carolina.
Herb Mountain Farm was a piece of land that had been overgrazed, logged and farmed unsustainably for over a century and needed a lot of conscious stewarding to build up the soil that had been washed away to the Mississippi Delta. Hart, with the help of many hands over the decades, brought in organic matter and plant diversity.
For decades, Hart sold vegetable and flowers from the farm to local markets, restaurants and grocers, then built an earth-bermed warehouse on the property for the organic farmers in the area, called Hart Distributing, which eventually grew into a distribution center for organic ale and wine – long before Asheville was beer city! Hart spent several years in California, opening one of the first farm to table restaurants called ‘The Seasons’ in the 1970’s.
In 2005, Mary Morgaine (aka Mary Plantwalker) came to work on Herb Mountain Farm’s garlic production crew and first met Hart. She worked there for a few years before starting her own business, Earth Dancers, where she taught an array of “Plants as Allies” classes and workshops. In 2010, Buchi Kombucha took over the warehouse and began what grew into a very successful fermented health drink business. Buchi remained on the farm until they outgrew the space in 2016.
In 2011, Hart and Mary Morgaine reconnected and fell in love. They married in 2012, and their union birthed the vision to transition the farm into a Learning Center and Botanical Sanctuary. In 2013, their daughter, Nadia, was born and has been absorbing the gardening and plant knowledge of her parents since day one and gives Hart and Mary Morgaine the inspiration to keep sailing on for the future generations.