~ Honor Thine Own Green Spirit ~
Knowing the Healing Herbs through
Communication - Education - Conservation
Earth honoring, eco-wildcrafting herbalist, trained in the WiseWoman
North East Herbal Association
United Plant Savers
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Seed Savers Exchange
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Cats Tail Farm Herbal Center and Botanical Sanctuary, a small teaching facility and botanical preserve, is situated in a rural area outside of Buffalo, New York, near the village of East Aurora, on eight plus acres of farmland that formerly provided forage for dairy cattle. The property passed thru the family for several generations, and a small section was finally purchased by my husband and I who are the only descendants to hold part of the original family farm. We built our house, raised a barn, and began our efforts to reclaim the land both as a habitat for wildlife as well as to ensure a sustainable living for ourselves. In addition to cultivating medicine and food by establishing new plantings of herbs, wildflowers, garden perennials, fruiting trees and shrubs, and vegetables, we believe that it is our responsibility and calling to restore the terrain to offer diverse habitat for many native species of flora and fauna. With this goal in mind, we are establishing "mini-medicine trails" of the less common and endangered medicinal plants that are threatened by over-harvesting or loss of natural habitat. Among these rare treasures we are establishing stands of solomon's seal, spikenard, stoneroot, ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, and bloodroot. In addition, we are planting and maintaining many varieties of trees and shrubs that bear fruit and seeds to provide forage for the many resident and transient winged, furred. finned, scaled and feathered that choose to pass through. With the number of medicinal plants that are grown here, we can honestly state that wildlife has many plants to choose from for browsing, no matter what need they may have .... food, or self medication.
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
Cats Tail Farm offers many opportunities for those who wish to begin or further their herbal education. Botanical gardens are designed to enable the cultivation, gathering and communing with the many wise wild, cultivated, and rare medicinal plants that exist on Mother Earth. Whether you visit the Farm on a garden and weed walk, or as a participant in one of the varied workshops, or even as a student in the Cats Tail Farm Herbal Studies Course, you will find that the Green Nations freely share their wisdom with those who seek to learn how our ancestors used plants for healing and well being. From crafting a healing salve or magical elixir, creating a flower or plant essence, finding your Plant or Animal Totem, or just sitting and communing with nature in the gardens, you will empower yourself find greater self-sufficiency in your life path by offering to yourself and your loved ones a low cost alternative to health care that is sustainable and renewable. With the Earth in the state of chaos that we are now experiencing you will be able to assist yourself and those you care for to facilitate their own healing processes. Please be aware that we do not sell any botanical medicines, as it is our belief and our mission to teach you to make your own herbal preparations. Depending on the volume in individual seed packaging, the germination of each variety, and the whims of Mother Nature, we have a selection of herbal plants for sale. Check with us to see what is available as the selection varies each season.
Grow your own plants. Preserve your own food. Harvest your own herbs.
Make your own medicine.
Since we began our stewardship of the land, our efforts have shown results beyond expectation. The marked increase in the diversity of wildlife and the frequency of appearances has been, well, astounding. Flocks of bluebirds flutter over the horse pasture; Great Blue and the less common Little Green herons search about the headwaters of Little Buffalo Creek for sustenance. Our barn and fields shelter many a fox,mature and kits; the nesting pair of Pileated woodpeckers show themselves on an almost daily schedule! Dragonflies dart over the stone labyrinth, then settle gracefully on a rock for rest and warmth.
Pairs of hummingbirds and flutters of butterflies sparkle like crystalline jewels among the beds of coneflower, anise hyssop, white sage and foxglove. Frogs seek cover among the foliage of the Nymphaea odorata, the fragrant white water lily which blooms in the old iron cauldron. This massive kettle, used by generations past, is the focal point of the cultivated medicinal garden. The surrounding fieldstone wall is lined with catnip, lychnis, cranesbill, centaurea, pulmonaria, alchemilla, and beloved old roses. The Apothecary’s Rose, the most vibrant and abundant of the antique roses which inhabit the gardens, freely offers its luscious petals for many sleep balms, fragrant oils, and delicious elixirs. Stands of wild yarrow, pokeroot, elecampane, boneset, St.John’s Wort and other old wise weeds share their wisdom, their spirits, and their physical selves for healing. Bloodroot, Canada mayflower, goldenseal and black cohosh shyly peek from the sheltered forest floor. The Mother Elder and her many offspring act as sentinels at the edge of the stream bank, laden with umbels of deep purple black berries. An old hawthorn tree resides on the edge of the field, who along with the cultivated English Oak bring a sense of peaceful magic to the gardens.
PLEASE ~ We keep no "open" hours as such; this is our home and please respect our request for our own privacy. If you wish to arrange a visit to tour the gardens or to arrange or attend a workshop, please contact me.
NOTE: Please be VERY VERY CAREFUL if you wish to plant any of the rarer, endangered or at-risk wildflowers, usually natives, medicinal or not, in your own garden. There are a few sources of nursery stock that are United Plant Savers (www.unitedplantsavers.org) approved - Companion Plants in Athens, Ohio www.companionplants.com is a favorite of Cats Tail Farm for planting stock ... but we (or I should say, Dennis) starts almost everything from seed. Whatever you do, if you find them at a local garden center, find out FROM THE MANAGER if they were "nursery CULTIVATED" (which means they were DUG up to be sold) or were they "nursery PROPAGATED" which means that no plant was dug up and potentially lost, as they started the plants by seed or by vegetative means. It is not uncommon for nurseries to think that since they may know of "such a large patch in the wild" it will not "hurt" to dig some for sale to the public. Be INFORMED and be RESPONSIBLE. We can only demand the same of our nursery suppliers..
This website is COTTON MATHER
R.I.P. Rosebud 1995 - November 30, 2011
R.I.P. Cotton Mather 2001 - January 19, 2015
www.catstailfarm.com Marian V. Prezyna. © March 2010. All rights reserved. All photos and content on this website are not to be used or published in print, on the web or in any other form. This web site may not be reproduced in any form, except as occurs in normal browser caching, without express written permission from the Owner. Misuse of private property will result in legal action.