When many of us think of the pharmacy this is what we think of. But the truth is the medicine here can actually make the earth, our plant and animal relatives, and us a lot sicker in the long run. Today, I am going to take you to a pharmacy that has a whole different take on health and wellness. Welcome to Walden FARMacy where they have a whole different take on health and wellness. It is located in a surprising place, just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Here they believe that healing ourselves comes as we heal the earth. Thanks for having me at the farmacy. Yeah thank you so much for being here,
That is really what belief we were
founded on, is that you can not heal the people if you are neglecting the land. That we really exist as one organism. So we grow food for our family on our farm as well as medicine for our community in a way that is regenerating the land that we are farming on. All right, let us meet the plants! Come on! So we have elderberry here, which is not quite ripe yet. I feel like we just have to start with
elderberry because elderberry syrup is some of my favorite medicine. Yeah we grow and wildcraft at least 50 medicinal herbs here on the property, including goldenrod, ella campaign, pleurisy root, passion flour, turmeric, ginger, nettle, violet, solomon's seal, hibiscus, elderberry, poke, wild lettuce, skull cap, blue vervain, yellow root, echinacea, plantain, peach, lemon balm,
Wow nature's pharmacy is truly alive here. So, back to the elderberry, this is something that I love and that is elderberry syrup. So I am gonna have a try of this medicine. Ooh that is good! So tell us a little bit about the medicine
behind elderberry . Yeah it is definitely one, as you can see, with good patient compliance, because it tastes pretty great. Even our kids love it. So that is why it is our go-to immune
booster when they head back to school. It really helps prepare the body to deal with any coughs, colds, and flus, and can lessen the duration of them.
And it sounds like the ducks are just about as excited as I am about it. So let us move on to the next medicine. All right, what plant friend do we have
here? This is Solomon's seal. It is definitely my go-to for any ligament, tendon, or joint complaints. You can use it internally as well as
topically. So we have it here topically as one of the ingredients in our muscle and joint salve. A salve is an oil extract of the herb that we have then added beeswax to and melted it down and let it solidify into a container, so you can carry it around with you easily.
Violet, here, is one of my personal
favorites. It is one of the ingredients in our sore throat spray. It is a gentle lymphatic. Safe enough for children. It can really help increase the drainage when you have stuffy ears, or congestion around the throat. So it is in there along with echinacea, which is growing right beside it. So I have been here for the last couple
days and I arrived with a bit of a sore throat. I have been working with the sore throat
spray. I have to say it has really worked
wonders. So thank you for sharing your medicine
with me. Happily. We are here with our turmeric in our
greenhouse and it is one of the medicines that, I think, has gained a lot of mainstream attention just because of its ability to reduce inflammation, which is the root cause of so many
So we use it for that in our joint relief
bitters. We also use it for stimulating digestion. It is great liver and gall bladder support
as well. So this is the joint relief bitters,
right? Yeah Okay, so I am gonna have a dropper of
that. Bitter. Yeah, it is. So I just have to say that turmeric is one of the most important medicines
to me. During my year of growing and foraging all of my food, this was such an important daily medicine. It is so great to be here connecting
with this plant. You can smell the medicine that we are in
right here. Yeah, this is our abundant patch of holy
basil. We love this medicine personally, because it is great at helping you cool off on a hot summer day, which we are very familiar with here in Alabama.
Basils are also known as heart exhilarant so they increase feelings of joy. I would say this is the easiest-to-grow
adaptogen. Those are plants that help you cope with feelings of stress and just help your body be a little more resilient. Well I can feel the stress just releasing and I can feel the joy. So here we have the medicine in a tea. Mmm! So, as you can see, our medicine can be growing freely and abundantly all around
It can be accessible. In fact, it looks like there are more like a hundred different plant medicines here,
than 50. Would not you say? Yeah, once I am walking around out here, I am just amazed at how surrounded I am. Every plant I see almost, has a use. Southern Folk Medicine, which I am
trained in, they believed that if you had an illness, the remedy was somewhere in your own yard. If you have an illness, the remedy is somewhere in your own yard. It can be as simple as a delicious tea. All right ducks, we might need you to quiet down a little bit. and you too chickens, just for a little
while. So often in today's culture there is this clear delineation between food and
medicine. We have our food and we have our medicine. But here at Walden Farmacy, there really is no separation. Our food is our medicine and it is intricately, at the same time, part of healing our earth. So tell us about where we are right now .
Yeah, this is our chicken composting
system, where we compost our food scraps and our garden weeds. We turn it into a beautiful compost with the help of the chickens. So we turn each pile down the hill each
week, and create this amazing, beautiful
compost. Of course, with beautiful compost, also chicken eggs at the same time. We are talking about… [rooster crowing] This rooster is quite excited. So we are talking about creating healthy
compost, turning food waste into compost, and at the same time getting a wonderful thing, chicken eggs. So we are out of the chicken composting
system. We are just below it. Tell us about where we are now, Trevor. Yeah, so we are in a big bio swale.
A swale is a ditch and a berm on the
contour. It catches water that is sheeting
downhill. So we are functionally, interconnected with the chicken composting system here because it is just above the swale, so water is rushing through the composting system, catches in the swale and then fertigates the system past it. So rather than the water being, you know, distributed and shipped off the
property you are trying to keep as much of that water on the property, as possible, to water your gardens, to grow food, and to soak it in. Yeah, the best place to store water is in
your soil. So this is an awesome way to do it. All right! Today, when a lot of people think of growing food, they think of mono crops, acres and acres of the exact same food being grown, such as corn, or soy, or
They see this behind us, and they just see a wall of green. They do not know what it is. This is food! Tell us a little bit about it. Yeah, this is a forest garden, which is an indigenous technique, adopted by permaculture, that mimics a healthy forest ecosystem. So we have all the layers of the forest ecosystem here. We are going to come in with the ducks to create disturbance on the ground level and utilize their fertility and collect their
eggs. So we are talking about dozens of foods and medicines coming out of one area all growing together, right? Yeah. So we have not talked about the
goats yet. Tell me a little bit about how the goats play into this entire holistic system. Yeah, they do some weed management for us. We have some invasive weed trees that we coppice, and they will be a regenerative forage for the goats.
So I used to battle this weed, but now it is like a regenerative food. So I am happy about it. And of course, you have delicious goat milk and goat cheese? Yeah. Poison ivy into goat milk. Yeah, actually, one of the most
interesting things he was sharing, is that he used to have poison ivy all the time. And once introducing goats, and the goats actually eating the poison
ivy, and then drinking that goat milk that has the poison ivy or actually sister ivy, I like to call it, then you actually seem to have adapted to the sister ivy. Yeah, I can roll around in it, I do not get it at all. So we are really of the belief that everything on this planet is here for a
reason. So every weed, or plant, or animal has a role to play here on the farm and as the land stewards, we are really just the conductor of the symphony of life around us. It is a beautiful way to look at the world that we live on.
So this right here, here at Walden Farmacy, is proof that our medicine can be growing freely and abundantly all around
us and that we can do this together as
community. Oh hey! And that we do not need the pharmaceutical industry to take care of ourselves and our community. So if you found this inspiring and you want to connect more with herbal medicine and food as medicine, The links to Walden Farmacy are in the description. And of course, if you want to continue learning more, make sure to subscribe to this channel where there will be many more videos to come. If you think this is a message that you would like the world to see, like it, and comment, share your thoughts to help spread this out into the world. We love you all very much and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Rob Greenfield Films.