Great Spirit Farm's mission is to
educate the public on the health benefits of local flora.
by LISA MACNEIL
Hernando Sun Reporter
Nestled just west of the Croom wildlife area is an airy, modern home converted from horse stables. Growing everywhere on the 20-acre property called Great Spirit Farms are dozens of edible and otherwise beneficial plants, harvested to create tinctures and salad greens by Travis Morehead and Shannon Hernandez.
“We believe that nature is an incredible healer,” Hernandez said. “Pharmaceutical companies are sending people all over the world to find new plants to make new medicines, and we have plants that are medicinal that are right under our feet.” The mission of the couple is to educate the public on the health benefits of such flora.
Morehead’s interest began when he started a network of community gardens in New Port Richey and created Pasco County’s Food Policy Council. He found that many people involved in community gardening were already knowledgeable about food in its natural state, and he wanted to spread this knowledge to the uninitiated. Hernandez is a former nurse.
“We work with master power plants for true healing, then we work with common everyday weeds to bring physical and emotional balance. We go to farmer’s markets, special events, and we’ll sometimes hold local classes.
A large and beautifully tangled root that grows wild in the area, Hernandez and Morehead turn Sida into a tincture that has a myriad of health benefits. Hernandez uses it to ease her asthma symptoms. A complete guide is available on their website, and they also educate anyone visiting them.
“Food is also thy medicine,” Morehead says, paraphrasing a quote from Hippocrates, as he shows a lush mini-garden of daikon radish and red cabbage sprouts, roughly two inches high. “These are microgreens … between 7-14 days old. They are shown in studies to contain up to 40% more nutrients than the adult counterpart.”
Morehead also said, “Red cabbage in studies has shown to lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) … this is a microgreen red cabbage, so (the benefit) is multiplied due to it being a microgreen.”
Touring the landscape by way of several trails on the property, we were accompanied by three curious Guineafowl, which is known to control ticks. One of the first plants along the way was “shampoo ginger”, which Morehead said was an actual shampoo ingredient. They really do seem to have it all.
You can visit Great Spirit Farms at area Farmers Markets, and also see more information on their website at: https://greatspiritfarm.org/