Motherland is 160 acres of steep, rugged, beautiful land located in the hills northeast of Willits in Mendocino County, California.
After decades of absentee owners we purchased the land in the mid 1980's. It had been somewhat trashed and neglected for many years and the first several years taught us a lot about clean-up and restoration. The Land is now thriving including the people who are happily living here.
Because of the elevation changes of the steep terrain, a southern orientation and a creek running through the canyon, there are many ecosystems on the Land and surrounding it. The habitats include chaparral, mixed conifer forest, hardwood forest, oak woodlands, grassland, meadow, riparian and pond. This creates a wide variety of animal and bird life, plus edible and medicinal plants and trees.
There are two large cultivated gardens. The Food Garden is a mixture of food crops, fruit trees, flowers and herbs. The Herb Garden has over 250 species of herbs and trees.
We are off-grid at Motherland, with electricity generated by solar power. Some unique features are: a cobb bench in progress, a wood fired hot tub, shrines to the four directions and a living willow wall used for erosion along the creek.
Since 1989 classes, retreats, workshops and other events have been offered here, with a focus on herbology and sustainable rural living. For 20 years a 9 month Herbal Apprentice Class for women educated close to 400 students about local, sustainable, regenerative herbalism. That theme continues to be the central focus: What can we easily grow in our gardens or sustainably harvest in the wild, and how we can use these for most of our everyday medicinal needs.
Motherland Herbs, our small cottage business, sells medicinal and edible plant starts and some herbal products. We are also part of the United Plant Savers Botanical Network.
We hope you will join us for one of our classes or events as we celebrate together the herbal renaissance of Green Medicine and sustainable rural living.