Over the summer Liz Trumper, Apothecary Team Member at KWF at Kimberton, had the opportunity to travel south to visit the Gaia Herbs farm. She returned with so much to share with us, and we were eager to talk with her about her trip! Check out our one-on-one interview with Liz to find out more about her experience on the farm and what she learned during her stay there.
1. What was your experience like at the Gaia Herbs Farm? What did you see and do while you were there?
From the moment of arrival I was struck by the natural beauty of the farm and could feel the special qualities, where both the science and art of herbal plant wisdom joined together. The care and nurturing of the farm by Owner, Ric Scalzo, and his staff was most apparent. I could easily recognize the integrity of Gaia’s mission. The Owner was involved the whole time – from leading farm tours, to giving educational lectures about the herbs and sharing all aspects of the production. He was a heart and soul kind of person, along with interest in the science and integrity of achieving the best supplements he can. I really resonate with that; it wasn’t just some big business interested in sales and profit – he was really attached to what he does there. That really struck me. I admire his hands on involvement in achieving the best standards of quality herbal supplements.
The farm tour included seeing individual herbs, which are grown organically for supplement production, along with discussions of how each herb is used therapeutically. We also ate really well. It was food therapy along with plant therapy, so I felt very lucky that way.
2. What are some of the things you learned at the farm?
Seeing the plants and part of the plant knowledge of the owner. For example, seeing Gingko, if you look at the leaf and the shape it’s bilateral and Gingko is good for the heart and the mind so seeing the two together made sense. Gingko trees take 40 years to mature!
Most special was the sharing of herbal plant wisdom by a Naturopath Doctor who has practiced for several decades, and now shares her expertise in Gaia’s formulas. I spoke with her about her experience working with women and children. It was nice to discuss things that couldn’t be found in a text that she would use or recommend. We got some great educational materials on the trip, and I enjoyed her lectures very much.
I also had the opportunity to see their facility, where everything is made and processed. I got learn about all stages of production, from how they produce liquid extracts to the finished product. There are about 20 chemists that are involved, so seeing that process was really amazing. It was incredible to see how each plant is utilized to enhance the full spectrum of plant constituents.
“The purity, potency and integrity aspect of Gaia is amazingly for real. Not only plant production wise, but all the way through from start to finish, they use the best methods possible.”
They have the liquid extracts that contain more plant constituents, as opposed to what you typically find out there with dried herbs only. Every batch is looked at for any kind of impurities. Rather than just looking at one chemical isolate, Gaia takes it a step further and assures the potency for that extract. They look at the whole plant to ensure that the wisdom of the whole is there. They make sure the batches are consistent and meet those higher standards for the whole spectrum of the plant. Truly impressive!
4. What happens on the farm in addition to the growing and harvesting of herbs?
There is a production area, they do research there—everything from growing to production. The owner lives there, and you could tell that it was home to him. The farm has a vegetable garden that is maintained all summer long for employees. They pick up twice a week and supply an organically grown garden variety to their employees. A lot of the foods that I ate there were seasonally from their garden.
5. What was your favorite part of the trip?
Just that combination of the heart and soul aspect, along with a business, which is so much what our store is about. Really striving to bring together the two and connecting people and plant wisdom to heal – I just think that’s a great combination.