On the Land at Gesundheit!


Hello! Welcome to our first ever post where we will hold space each month to discuss events and happenings on the land at Gesundheit! Institute here in the beautiful hills of Hillsboro, West Virginia.

Let’s start by introducing our little family:
Holly and Adam moved onto the land in February of 2016 just in time to give birth to their first baby, Elam. Upon settling in Adam was eager to start working the soil and prepping the gardens. With help from our loyal volunteers, they quickly started to transform overgrown, forgotten garden space into a beautiful fresh canvas in which we were all excited to see blossom into a vibrant growing space. This was the beginning of a new era for us, not only had we just been initiated into the Gesundheit family we were also new parents. Life was and still is pretty good.

Adam enjoys spending time outdoors; whether it’s walking through the woods foraging wild foods, working on projects around the land or tending to the garden—nature is his happy place.

Holly is a self-proclaimed kitchen witch who is passionate about whole foods and fermentation. She enjoys teaching others about healthy cooking and believes folks can truly heal themselves with the food they eat. She is a novice herbalist and would like to someday delve more into herbal and naturopathic medicine.

As fate would have it Ben and a very pregnant Aspen found their way to Gesundheit in July 2016 and never left. Just a few short months later baby Emrys was born on the land.  We all cozied up to spend the winter together.

Ben does his best to cultivate joyful living through music, health and overall wellbeing.  Being barefoot in the garden and spending quality time with family and friends are important staples of life for him.  He believes in facilitating healing within himself and others through intention of spirit and openhearted compassion.

Aspen loves being a mother and is a naturally nurturing person.  She has a passion for creating jewelry with various gems and minerals.  She is also a self-proclaimed witch of nature and she loves spending time collecting wild herbs and edibles from the woods.

Collectively we are the caretakers here at the Gesundheit! Institute. We’ve been living and growing together on the land and it’s been a very busy, exciting ride so far. Hosting workshops and alternative spring break groups has allowed us to meet many new friends from all over the world, which is truly a gift in this rural, not-so-culturally diverse town (but beautiful and wonderful just the same) in which we live. We had an amazing time with The School for Designing a Society and with our friends from Italy, Ginevra and Italo, who coordinate the Laughing Body. We feel grateful to be a part of such a vibrant community of movers, shakers and change makers.

The beautiful autumnal show of leaves has come and almost gone as we begin to prepare for winter. We are currently spending our days collecting firewood, planting garlic and processing and preserving our bountiful harvest. Among other things we’ve been fermenting krauts and kimchi, canning tomato sauce, pressing apples, freezing peppers and curing sweet potatoes to store for the winter. We are also taking time to be grateful for this beautiful, dynamic life and for the land that supports us.

As the days begin to get shorter and the gardens are less demanding of us we’ve had more timeto focus on creating programs we’d like to offer in the spring and summer of 2018. One of these programs, the Wellness Celebration, will be a 3 day workshop series where we will explore the many facets of wellness— in our mind, body, spirit, family, community and environment. We will delve into a variety of topics including nutrition, ancient food traditions, yoga, herbal medicine, reiki and community and environmental health.  Our other program, Nature Immersion, will focus on becoming a responsible steward of the land, building trails, and exploration of the surrounding landscapes. We will be posting thorough descriptions and dates for these programs very soon, so stay tuned and please feel free to reach out to us at gesundheitwv@gmail.com.

With love,

Holly, Adam, Ben and Aspen


Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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