Vitality flows through the land at Zack Woods Herb Farm, a 30-acre property Jeff Carpenter and his wife Melanie started in 1999. You experience it when you taste the plants grown there. Descended from generations of Vermont dairy farmers, Carpenter carries himself with the serene focus that comes from country living. He knows his herbs.
Carpenter has dedicated his career to the cultivation and propagation of beneficial herbs, through his work as a farmer, consultant, educator and researcher. He apprenticed under “The Godmother of American Herbalism” Rosemary Gladstar and co-owned Sage Mountain Herb Products.
In March 2011 he traveled to Africa to consult the non-profit organization WAYLA (Women and Youth Leadership Alliance) on selecting the site for a commercial herb farm in Liberia. This project assists women and girls in recovery from the Liberian civil war that ended in 2003. Carpenter recently entered into partnership to host the International Herb Symposium. Next year Zack Woods herb farm will be featured in a full-length documentary released by Tea Dragon Films. His passion for the green world is evident in all that he does as he spends his days working in the fields and in the community.
Tea Magazine visited Zack Woods to learn more about growing and creating great herbal teas.
TEA: What are some up-and-coming herbs that have good potential as teas, or in tea blends?
Carpenter: Tulsi, (Ocimum sanctum) or holy basil is one of the most popular up-and-coming herbs that we are growing more of and hearing great feedback, especially from those who are new to Tulsi. Tulsi is a classic adaptogen which means it helps the body adapt to physiological and psychological stress. It is also an incredible immune enhancing herb and best of all, it is incredibly tasty.