Nestled along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Bearz Mountain is a special place to those who’ve walked the ridges for generations. Lush and rich with woodland medicinal plants, our area of the Appalachian Mountains is a unique place
More than a place you can pinpoint on a map, Bearz Mountain lives in the hearts of those who’ve tended the woods, toiled in its rocky soil, and cared for its native plants. We’re a small collective of diggers who are dedicated to building healthy plant populations, growing the very best medicinal herbs, and restoring personal connections with the plants.
Where history, science and oral tradition collide.
Not Your Typical Wildcrafters
True wildcraters are far and few in-between. All but an urban legend, wildcrafters more times than not are really diggers. Diggers are people live in the shadows and walk among the trees in search of any plant that can be sold to their local broker. Sadly, typically those who harvest the plants have little or no knowledge of their uses or worth.
We seek to change this. To restore the people to the plants.
Our collective is made up of past diggers who’ve heard the cry of the forest and who now have a steward’s heart. Focusing on propagation and sustainable harvesting, we’re preserving and building healthy plant populations in our area. Our passion is to share the bounty of our woods in it’s purest state without depleting woodland medicinals.
At our core, our ambition is to return the culture of wildcrafting to it’s roots and to enrich the herbal community through our work.
Help us save the plants of our region from wild harvest. You can get involved in a number of ways. Donating your time or expertise, sharing our message and vision with your friends, or donating to our Indigogo fundraising campaign
This brief fundraising campaign is a way you can contribute to the restoration of the southern Blue Ridge. Donate to help us acquire essential tools that are needed to get started on the right foot such as shovels, wheelbarrows, water hoses, and wire to protect plants from deer nibbles. You’ll also be helping us to purchase a used greenhouse to advance our propagation, along with starter soil and potting supplies.
Our path is much like climbing the ridge
Small steps will allow us to expand and grow, self generating funding to achieve our end goals. This year we’re planting a permaculture food farm to sell plants and produce at local farmer’s markets. We will also be accepting orders for crops grown by contract to herbalists and distributors along with planting perennial crops for future herbal use. It’s our goal for this income to support our propagation efforts in our forest farm
We’re working to acquire the land our family has tended and harvested from for over 25 years. With this land, we can create an education center, conservatory, forest farm and nursery. Restoring our historic connection to the land, a working educational farm will enrich many aspects of our community
Through education and outreach we can spread the word about the issues with current commercial harvesting and the work going on within the Appalachian region to restore the purity and sustainability of medicinal herbs. In the long term we hope to build an educational and herbal retreat. Along the way, an important part of our work is spreading the word and sharing the realities in a way that not only brings awareness but fosters a conversation of healing and finding alternative paths. From apothecaries to herbal schools, we will do our best to share the knowledge we have with others to continue the rich heritage of folk herbalism and the conservation of the plants we hold dear
Building a healthy population of local medicinal woodland botanicals is our lifetime commitment
Utilizing permaculture methods we propagate medicinal plants in their native environments unlike common monoculture-based agricultural methods. The spirit of our plants has dwelled among our hollers and ridges since the beginning of time
Stewardship drives everything we do. From our apothecary’s shelves to our live plants, we are dedicated to growing, handling and harvesting in way which provides the best possible medicine for those who take a piece of our mountain to their home
Our available plants are ever-changing depending on availability and the time of year. Please check back often to see what our mountain has to offer
During our workshops, we share the truths of commercial wild harvesting of roots
We seek to bring the message of our woods to others by sharing the history of wildcrafting, how connections were lost, and sparking conversations about the realities of wild harvested plants. We also discuss the importance of bioregional herbalism and how to use herbs and roots from your area
Bridging the gap between herbalist, consumer and harvester, the team at Bearz Mountain is shedding light into the elusive world of wildcrafting, bringing others along on our journey up the mountain and forging sustainable opportunities for everyone
We educate consumers, herbalists, and lovers of nature. Contact us about speaking at your next event, or come to one of ours to take a break and reconnect with the plants. You won’t regret coming to our mountain to see our work in action and experience the healing that only the mountains can bring
The untold History
After the Civil War, the art of wildcrafting and medicine-making all but fell to the wayside. Replaced by a market of commercial wild harvesting, it was only a few generations until our heritage and connection to the land was lost. No longer stewards of the mountain, we became poachers. Bearz Mountain desires to restore the days of old when diggers were connected to the plants they harvested
The world of wild harvesting medicinal botanicals in the Blue Ridge Mountains has many hidden failings. From over harvesting to improper harvest methods, and everything in between, the lush woods cries out of a different method
We’re creating a new path for bringing medicinal botanicals to market. We are developing a new broker model, educating other harvesters, and providing quality herbals, while building local economies
At our core, our ambition is to return the culture of wildcrafting to its roots. We strive to enrich the herbal community through our work and connect herbalists the the plants they use