This story appeared in the 2021 summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener in response to the theme “Neighbors.”
It was a sunny day last July when I was contacted by Kathi from Herbal Revolution, an apothecary and farm in Union, to see if I had any extra blue vervain on hand. I look after Meeting House Farm, a certified-organic herb farm in Scarborough. We grow about 80 different historic and medicinal plant varieties, so it was no surprise that we did have extra blue vervain, just not enough. Fortunately, in 2019, we had expanded the farm into an herb growers’ collaborative, which now includes nine different farm partners across the state, all growing organic herbs. So I harvested the blue vervain that I had here, and then I drove to Patch Farm in Denmark and on to Milkweed Farm in Brunswick, picking up fresh, organic blue vervain at each stop before delivering to Herbal Revolution. This single day exemplified how our farming community of neighbors works; there was a need for herbs and not one of us could have filled the demand alone. By coming together, we bridged an accessibility gap that has been a barrier for too many and for too long. We are blessed to live stories like this every day so more Mainers can make and grow local medicine for our communities.