“Before 100 years ago, plant medicine is all there was”, muses Paul Cardillo, Medicine Wheel garden designer and volunteer. “Lucky for us, the plants never forgot and we can still learn to remember.”
The Medicine Wheel Council is busily preparing for the 6th Annual Medicine Wheel Community Garden Celebration & Festival May 17 and 18th. This event is presented by the Heritage and Agriculture Association in cooperation with NJDEP/ Div. of Parks & Forestry. The event is held each year at the historic and scenic Lusscroft Farm in Wantage.
“Our purpose was to establish a botanical destination within the State Park system, and to bring agriculture and education back to the farm”, according to Cardillo. Lusscroft has past been operated as an agricultural research facility by Rutgers University and an outdoor education center for the 4-H youth program, and is now part of High Point State Park, open daily to the public.
“The Garden Without Fences and Classroom Without Walls” initiative began in the Spring of 2009, as volunteers planted The Medicine Wheel Community Garden, a 48 foot circle comprised of twelve unique, slice of pie-shaped gardens, each dedicated to one moon cycle. The gardens are planted with native medicinal herbs associated with the compass direction that each garden faces.
In our second year, the “ Friends of the Medicine Wheel “ group added the crescent shaped, “Sister Moon” garden.” This garden contains plants with silver foliage that flouresced by moonlight and “cool” colored flowers in pinks, whites, and blues. Many scented, native, and medicinal plants are featured in this garden as well.
The community of volunteers and admirers continues to grow, drawing gardeners, farmers, educators, artists and nature lovers to celebrate this Sussex County hidden treasure. The annual spring celebration has grown beyond a celebration of the original herb gardens into a locally based festival with two days of activities in and around the gardens and also celebrating the unique art and culture of Northwest New Jersey.
The two day event features live local music, nature walks, garden tours, workshops, demonstrations, seminars, craft and food vendors, a “pop up” art gallery and kids activities. The Plant Sale will feature native, home grown and deer resistant plants, medicinal plants and herbs, heirloom and organic vegetables, fruits, berries and more. Crafters, artists and local vendors will be on hand offering clothing, herbal products, body care and much more. Krave Cafe and Caterers will be offering their new american cuisine on site along with other food and beverage vendors.
Workshops and seminars will be offered on herbs and plant medicine, plant foraging, edible wild plant walks, bird and nature hikes, gardening, garden water dousing, composting, growing mushrooms, health benefits of garlic and honey, organic orchard care, growing fruits at home, plant medicine for plants, and tours of the gardens.
Saturday starts with a kids concert at 10:30 with Bobby Beetcut and guests, followed by Whirled Revolution Guide Hoopers. Local musicians will perform throughout the day till dusk including Fifty Hippies, Non-Stop Denny, A Bit Of Finger featuring Ben Bailey, Brian Fitzpatrick and the Band of Brothers, Black Bear Bluegrass Band, Subcommittee and Fish House Road Band. Sunday entertainment starts with Bobby Beetcut be the Band Workshop for kids, Whirled Revolution Spirit Hoopers, Alex Phillips, Matty Carl Project, Mike Lawlor Banned, Reno, Maribyrd, Marifanyi Percussion, the Hawk Owls and a Mountain Jam to end the festivities.
Proceeds from the event will support the ongoing projects and restoration at Lusscroft Farm. The suggested donation is $5 per person, kids free.
For more info, including updates, directions, music and workshop schedules and presenters please go to http://medicinewheelgarden.wordpress.com/ , at www.lusscroftfarm.com or call 862-268-1557. You can also find Friends of the Medicine Wheel on Facebook or us hashtag #medicinewheelfestival on twitter and instagram.