When you plant a garden, sometimes you get more than you expect. Gardeners Paul Cardillo and Brian Hennessey had a vision “inherited from area youth” in the early 2000’s for a community garden at the historical Lusscroft Farm area of High Point State Park. Since installing the Medicine Wheel Garden in 2009, the community of volunteers and admirers continues to grow, drawing gardeners, farmers, educators, artists and nature lovers to celebrate this Sussex County gem each spring.
The Friends of the Medicine Wheel is a volunteer group who host an Annual Medicine Wheel Festival & Community Garden Celebration in May in conjunction with the Heritage and Agriculture Association, a friends group of Lusscroft Farm. The two day event features an array of local music, gardening workshops, tours, perennials and annuals plant sale, craft and food vendors, community discussions and more to support the continued growth and preservation of the gardens and historical buildings.
Hennessey always saw the gardens and celebration as “Living Art and Culture” in Northwest New Jersey. “The Medicine Wheel group has given Lusscroft Farm and New Jersey a healing and growing presence, a living example of people and nature together, which is the Sussex County motto.”
The Medicine Wheel Garden designed by Cardillo and a Compost System designed by Hennessey were installed at Lusscroft Farm in 2009. The Medicine Wheel is a circular garden divided into twelve sections, each featuring three medicinal and deer resistant companion perennials. The gardens use permaculture or permanent agriculture, a method of farming with natural cycles and interconnection. In 2010 a crescent shape moon garden “Sister Moon” was added. It’s silvery, white and fuzzy foliage and flowers, reflect the moonlight on summer evenings. In 2012, period plantings were installed at the the historical Manor house and Managers dwelling by the Medicine Wheel group.
The Medicine Wheel Garden Project at Lusscroft Farm is presented by the Heritage and Agriculture Association in cooperation with NJDEP/ Div. of Parks & Forestry. The Medicine Wheel Festival & Community Garden Celebration is held each year and the proceeds go to benefit Lusscroft Farms buildings, trails and year round events at this beautiful and historic farm.
Written By Kath Galvin