From press release
Located just outside of Rockford, Wind Ridge Herb Farm offers a unique opportunity to explore the many varieties of herbs available, and the many different ways to grow and use them.
The farm opened in 2000, and moved to its current location in 2005. Nestled in the western portion of Boone County, just outside of Caledonia, Wind Ridge Herb Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) farm, as are its greenhouses and gardens. CNG certification takes the USDA organic certification process, and also requires random soil testing to maintain certification.
With more than 400 varieties of culinary and medicinal herbs grown on the farm and in the greenhouses, along with the 100 varieties of heirloom vegetable plants available in the spring, Wind Ridge Herb Farm is a destination for anyone wishing to expand her current herb garden, or for the first-time gardeners.
All varieties of herbs are grown in the extensive display gardens, which are open during regular business hours, or available for catered lunches for groups of 10 or more.
Some events held in the gardens include bridal/baby showers, fund-raisers, and groups from garden clubs and retirement centers. Owner Liz Fiorenza said she would like to hold weddings in the gardens in the future.
Wandering through the gardens gives visitors an opportunity to see how many of the herbs grow, how large they become, how they flower, and what types of beneficial insects they attract. The herbs are planted in many different settings—shade, sun, as accent or specimen plants, and around water features. The options are limitless and with the wonderful fragrances that are emitted just from brushing against the herbs, or the wind moving them. It is no wonder herbs would be an asset to any landscape design.
Through the summer months, fresh-cut herbs are available in the herb shop, along with freshly-dried, packaged herbs, herbal vinegars, teas, dips, seasonings, dressings, potpourri, and bath and body products. Each item is made individually to ensure quality, flavor and freshness. The shop also carries organic insect repellents, garden/lawn fertilizers, weed-killer, pet products, aromatherapy and herbal tinctures. All the supplies needed for the “do-it-yourselfer” are also offered to help them make their own herbal products.
Don’t know where to start? Then browse through the many books available for sale.
Herbs can be planted all summer. They are heat tolerant, pest/disease resistant, and are great plants for landscaping or adding to your favorite dish. All offer tremendous health benefits, and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Also available are many items created by local artists and small, home-based businesses. Great gift ideas are to be found among the pottery, metal garden art, twig furniture, soaps and lotions. Wind Ridge Herb Farm also hosts many events during the season. Farm dinners are held monthly. The anniversary open house is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25. The open house features sales on all plants, garden items, cement statuary, samples of many products, free recipes, and a drawing for a gift basket. Hours for the remainder of the season are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Monday or by appointment through Nov. 1. Winter hours are by appointment only. The shop re-opens April 25, 2010, with daily hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, or to book a date for your event in the gardens, call (815) 885-1444 or visit www.windridgeherbfarm.com.
From the September 9-15, 2009 issue