Having an herb farm is the dream of Madge Eggena. It became a reality twenty years ago when she and her husband Roger moved to Statesville and purchased land on Mills Garden Road. When asked about why she chose herbs, her answer is "I think they chose me. Herbs have taught me much about growing and using them.” The historical use of herbs and spices is fascinating on many levels. They are our link to literature, music, and nature, and yes, wars have been fought over them. Herbs have always been used in cooking and making medicine; they were even strewn on the floors of cottages for their healing aromas and pest repellant properties. Adding beauty to the landscape, their presence in the garden is healing for all life and the environment.
The journey continues and the learning too. Madge shares her wealth of knowledge each week as she sells her potted plants at various local farmers markets. She and her sister Jane Abe also hold monthly classes atthe farm ona wide variety of topics, including, gardening, cooking with herbs and making medicine from the garden.
This farm land and the herbs and plants Madge grows and sells are planted in organic soil, are 100% free of pesticides, fungicides & herbicides. This means no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides are ever used. Madge says, "This is how we care for our little spot of earth and promise to continue." I mulch with leaves, hay and kitchen scraps that in time become the soil that continuously feed the plants. The soil in the garden beds is fluffy with an abundance of very happy earthworms and other soil organisms we can't see but know they are there!
Mills Garden Herb Farm boasts a varied population
of plants and animals; even “pests” and “invasives” find their little niche in
the balanced ecosystem here. We plant for the bees, butterflies, birds, and
people. Cultivated garden beds are for growing vegetables and herbs, and a "side yard" is allowed to grow wild like a prairie filled with
seasonal wild flowers. A favorite area is the shady woodland garden. Growing
woodland plants requires patience, as they grow and multiply very slowly; many
of these are our most valued traditional medicinal plants. For a tour
of the farm, contact Madge to arrange an educational and magical
visit. When you drive in, proceed with caution, as our greeters, Poppy
and Betony, will herd you in. Come see the herb beds, the
greenhouse, the magical woodlands, a critter or two...and perhaps a
"fairy" if you are lucky.
They "herd" turtles too!
The barn at Mills Garden Herb Farm
Fairies in the Woods
Educational Opportunities: Festivals and Conferences
2020 Herb Festivals
SPRING HERB & PLANT FESTIVALCabarrus County Master Gardener Volunteer Association'sWhen: April 18, 2020Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.Place: Cabarrus Arena and Events Center 1751 NC Hwy 49North Concord, NC 28025This is definitely a great source of a large variety of herb plants and unusual herbal products. Note location change. PIEDMONT TRIAD FARMERS MARKET HERB FESTTime: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.mPiedmont Triad Farmers MarketGreensboro, NCWhen: April 25, 2020This herb festival is a great source for your spring herbplants and advice on how to grow them from experienced herb growers. ASHEVILLE HERB FESTIVALMay 1, 2,& 3, 2020Friday & Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.Sunday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.Where: WNC Farmers Market, Asheville, North CarolinaWho: If It's Herbs, It's Here! This is the largest herb festival with the best selection of herb plants in the southeast boasting of more than 25,000 attendees! A great reason to experience Asheville!
2020 Conferences ORGANIC GROWER'S SCHOOLWhen: March 6 - 8Where: Mars Hill University, Mars Hill NCwww.organicgrowersschool.orgThis is a wonderful conference for anyone interested in living an organic sustainable life. MEDICINES FROM THE EARTHWhen: May 29 - June 1, 2020Where: Blue Ridge Assembly Black Mountain, NC www.botanicalmedicine.orgThis is a national conference with many excellent speakers. WILD HERB WEEKEND 2020North Carolina Herb Association's Annual ConferenceWhen: TBAWhere: Valle Crucis, NCCost: Varies, please see websitewww.northcarolinaherbassociation.org