The herb pharm
Founded in 1979, the Herb Pharm grows a wide variety of herbs for tinctures. As the farm grew, they began planting new species allowing for more crop diversity. With the vast array of herbs and flowers, they are uniquely equipped to provide much needed habitat for native bees. By providing bee forage that blooms from spring to early winter, Herb Pharm is able to support a broad array of pollinator species.
Echinacea, lavender, rosemary and over 60 other various herbs
Various grocery stores nationwide, online direct sales
WHAT ARE THEY DOING FOR BEES?
With 68 varieties of herbs and over 500 species of flowering plants, The Herb Pharm provides a large and diverse array of forage for pollinators from early spring to mid fall. A little land goes a long way due to the potency of herbs. Herb Pharm’s fields consist mainly of small plots of less than one acre. This greatly increases field edges, which provides more buffers between field and native habitat for pollinators. Many bees nest on habitat located on field edges, so the smaller plots shorten the trips bees take from their nests to blooming plants in the fields.
The Herb Pharm does not use any pesticides. To combat pests, Matt and his crew do a wide range of things. They grow complimenting plants, select seed they find is more resilient, and they plant cover crops such as clover to improve soil health and reduce weed pressure. Clover flowers are an excellent source of pollen and nectar for long-tongued bee species such as bumble bees and leafcutting bees.
meet the farmers
The Herb Pharm is a collection of three farms located in Southern Oregon. Founded by Ed Smith and Sarah Katz, their farm has grown substantially over the past 40 years. Today they have over 250 certified organic acres over three locations where they grow their herbs.
Matt Dybala (pictured below) began his career with The Herb Pharm in 2007 after moving to Oregon. Since then he has been busy teaching people how to incorporate environmental stewardship into farming. He has also been working with pollinators in one form or another since 2007, even keeping bees for a number of years.
Originally from Japan, Sayaka Lean (pictured below) studied horticulture with a garden design emphasis in England. She continued her horticultural studies at Ohio State University, which eventually resulted in an apprenticeship opportunity in the United States. From there, Sayaka permanently moved to Oregon and accepted a position as a landscaper at Herb Pharm, where she has been working since 2003. She has recently joined the Oregon Bee Atlas, which is part of the Oregon Bee Project.