Heartbeat is located on the southern cusp of Springfield, just north of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and from here we serve our “Yellow Springsfield” community. We tend these 4 acres with fruit trees, nut trees, vegetable gardens, pollinator gardens, and herbal medicine gardens, honeybees, chickens, protected wildlife habitat zones, a creek, and rich soil. The property is home to some of our staff and it’s where we host our events and workshops.
We have been growing vegetables for our community for 15 years. We have remained small-scale, tending our soils mostly by hand, maintaining biodiverse ecologies in our gardens. We have about 1.8 acres of land in annual vegetable production each year. We rotate our crops and intersperse the beds with perennial strips that include pollinator plants, fruit and nut trees, and vital wild “weeds”.
We designate a section of our gardens to diverse pollinator plants. Because of development and mono-crop agriculture, our pollinators have been losing vital habitat. We take care to provide an abundant feast for our pollinating friends, so their populations grow strong. We are a Monarch Waystation, and we host 3 honeybee colonies. We are learning to tend our colonies with chemical free, bee-centric methods.
Herbal Medicine Gardens
In addition to localizing food, we seek to localize our medicine. Remembering what our ancestors knew about how to empower health and healing with the use of plants. Herbal Medicine is still the most widely used form of healthcare across the world. We teach hands-on herb-crafting in the gardens, and support community members in maintaining their own herbal kitchen gardens and seasonal stocking their apothecaries.
We have 4 honeybee colonies: Soleil, Penelope Pearl, Mare Aurea, and Rosa Mia . Their mother hive was a wild hive living in a hollow tree for 20 years in Springfield. We continue to learn about and practice chemical free, bee-centric methods.
There are 28 girls in our flock. They all have names. . Our chicken flock has a rotating paddock system through the use of a electric fence, so that they can maintain as much fresh forage as possible. They are an important part of our farm family.
As we seek to get our food and medicine needs met from this habitat, we understand that it must be within the context of healthy wildness. At Heartbeat you will see these signs marking the preserved spaces for wildlife to create homes, forage for food, and raise their young.