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2020 Update: Joe Hollis of Mountain Gardens

July 8, 2020
Acequia Institute

Mountain Gardens in 2009, Photo by Anne Hamersky for Farm Together Now

We are pleased to share this update from Joe Hollis of Mountain Gardens:

“Mountain Gardens carries on along the course indicated in the book.  The gardens have expanded, the plant collection enlarged, we now have a considerable you-tube channel of plant and garden videos, I recently resigned from teaching herbal preparations and medical botany at Daoist Traditions with the intention of starting a herb / permaculture school here (see video on my website  I am 78 and, since a car wreck a few years ago, not as speedy.  My efforts to develop a small, consensus-based community to carry on my work have been frustrated (managed to accumulate a core group of three, and they started a feud with each other  – is there an emoji for throwing up your hands in despair?).  

     In response to Covid, we are primarily interested in serving our local community (South Toe Valley).  We are offering a range of immune boosting and anti-viral tinctures and plants based on the latest research from China & US. (sorry, we do not ship tinctures) Emerging viral and bacterial diseases will be the story going forward and pharmaceuticals will not work (viruses quickly develop resistance) – herbs are our main (I think only, but maybe I’m missing something?) hope.  Therefore Mountain Gardens finds itself on the frontline but, to reiterate, we are only trying to save our valley (and be an example of how others might save their valley).  I think Mtn Gdns includes the largest collection of medicinal herbs in E. N. America but not sure for how long – the rising line of the complexity of the project has long since crossed the declining line of my ability to keep track of it.

      Here is a video of Mountain Gardens prepared this spring for the Medicines from the Earth (herbal) Symposium, which was online this year:

See the full blogpost with plant names here:

      Fifty years ago I thought I was creating an example of how people could live on earth without screwing it up, causing war or making themselves unhealthy; now I realize that actually I have been building an ark.”


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