Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, our 350-acre Certified Organic farm in Brevard, North Carolina represents the heart of our company and is where many of our herbs begin their soil to shelf journey. Our farm is a true living laboratory for the latest organic planting and cultivation methods. Each year, we grow approximately three million individual plants and 20-25 different species of herbs in our fertile fields. We nurture and observe each plant, allowing it to flourish in the sun, and let Nature dictate the precise moment to harvest when its phytochemicals are at their peak. This practice of honoring Nature's timelines sets our company apart from many commercial growers who harvest their plants based on a set production schedule.
While there is an abundance of natural beauty to behold throughout our farm, including the long rows of majestic Ginkgo trees that greet you along the main entrance, we asked our team members to share some of their favorite spots during the Spring and Summer months.
Six Favorite Spots on the Gaia Farm
The Bubbling Beauty of Cathey's Creek
Our farm is nestled at the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, and Cathey's Creek bridges the connection to this stunning national forest. Aside from offering a relaxing spot during the Spring and Summer months, Cathey's Creek also plays an important role in our herbs' success. If we experience a dry period during the growing season, we use the water from Cathey's Creek to keep our plants healthy and thriving. In order to help preserve the integrity of Cathey's Creek, our farm team works hard to maintain it by creating natural erosion barriers, so that debris does not enter the waterway. We also recently completed restoration work to repair the creek's natural buffers. According to Thomas Leonard, Farm Operations Manager, "It was neat to uncover the natural beaches that were hidden by vines, thorns, and invasive species. Opening all these new sections helped to give more space for the native species to thrive and also created new habitats for wildlife."
Blooming Echinacea Fields
During the Summer, our Echinacea flowers put on a vibrant display, showing their bright and beautiful colors. These pink and purple coneflowers are a favorite sight on our farm for both visitors and our employees.“These fields hold a truly special and blissful energy. The vibrant sea of pinkish-purple hues coupled with the gentle buzz of busy pollinators, and melodic bird songs instantly transport me to my place of peace. There is nothing quite like it,” shared Robert Malden, Social Media Coordinator.
Gaia-grown® Echinacea is used in many of our customer favorite products, including our Quick Defense® formula and Echinacea Supreme. Quick Defense is our best-selling formula that combines Echinacea with Black Elderberry, Andrographis, and Ginger to help support a healthy immune response at the first sign of an immune challenge.* Echinacea Supreme combines both species of Echinacea that grow on our farm to create an immune-supporting formula to help you stay feeling well all year long.*
Rainbows are a common sight on our farm. In our region of Western North Carolina, late afternoon showers are a frequent occurrence, especially in the Summer months. Leonard says, "The morning sunrises are extremely beautiful, and I'm convinced that I see more rainbows on this farm than anywhere else I've ever been. Just about every time it rains in the Summer, a rainbow will stretch over the fields and it's a breathtaking sight to see. Truly, every place on this farm is a magical place to be!"
Towering Valerian Flowers
Kate Renner, Assistant Farm Operations Manager, shared "When our Valerian flowers are at their peak, they can reach almost six feet in height, creating the perfect natural maze on our farm. These delicate and beautiful white flowers are a spectacular sight when they are in full bloom. When the flowers first start to open, it has been said that their scent alone can make a passerby feel sleepy.*"
Grown on our farm, these single herbs are used in our Valerian Root Liquid Phyto-Caps® and Valerian Root, Certified Organic liquid extract. Valerian can also be found in several of our sleep support formulas including Sound Sleep®, which combines Valerian with California Poppy, American Skullcap, Passionflower, and Kava to help you sleep soundly all night long.*
Happiness-Inducing Hawthorn Trees
Our Hawthorn trees grow across from our Ginkgo trees along the main entrance to our farm. These two tree species represent the "Heart" and the "Mind" of our company. During late Spring (around the beginning of May), the Hawthorn trees begin to bud. Once this happens, the branches will become so heavy at times that they bend over and almost reach the ground. This creates an enchanting Hawthorn canopy that you can walk under.
Hawthorn is a plant that has been traditionally used to maintain a healthy and happy heart.* On our farm, we use the Hawthorn aerial parts (the berries, leaves, and flowers) in both our Hawthorn Supreme Liquid Phyto-Caps® and our Hawthorn Supreme, Certified Organic liquid extract, so you can choose which format works best for your lifestyle.
Breezy Bamboo Forest
Although it is an invasive species in North Carolina, there is a majestic bamboo forest on the edge of our farm that acts as a great escape during the hot and muggy Summer months. The towering stalks of the bamboo make you feel like you are in a different world, and it's mesmerizing to see them reach up to the sky. A fun fact about bamboo is that it is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world and has been measured to grow 35 inches in a 24-hour period. However, the growth rate is dependent on the local soil and climate conditions, as well as the particular species. A more typical growth rate for the most common types of bamboo is in the range of one to four inches per day. "The bamboo forest is a magical and unexpected spot on our farm," says Renner. "It's always cool in there, and during the hot Summer, it's a nice place to escape the heat. Although we love our bamboo forest, our team works hard to keep it under control and to prevent it from spreading to other areas."
Embrace the Change of Seasons
We will soon be saying goodbye to the hot days of Summer as the crisp days of Autumn will be upon us once again. Here's a thought to contemplate: Without cooler days, would any of us appreciate the warm Summer days as much as we do now? Probably not. Celebrating the beauty of each season can lend us perspective and put us in greater touch with the natural world and its rhythms.
"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own" - Charles Dickens