WellSprings offers the quintessential ingredients for building strong and healthy bodies – rich soil, clean air, and healing water. Situated in the floodplain of Bear Creek, the property’s river bottom loam has been enriched over time with minerals from the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, thereby facilitating the cultivation of nutritious vegetables and medicines. The US Geological Survey has registered WellSprings soil as “Class I,” a category that exemplifies quality mineral content and tilth. Three of eight Wellsprings’ acres that have been awarded “organic certification” by Oregon Tilth and are intensely cultivated, furnishing most of the restaurant’s food and culinary herb requirements.
Sculptured in the shape of the Kabalistic Tree of Life, the specimen herb garden – or hortus medicus – symbolizes the interrelation and interdependence of all forces within Nature and within the human body. Medicinal herbs have been systematic placed within the garden in the region that corresponds to the bio-energetic qualities of the plant, of the human energy system, and of Nature. By studying the location of the plant in relation to the eleven spherot grid, the Tree of Life garden becomes a classroom where students are able to study botany, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacognosy, and the ancient Kabalah. The hortus medicus features the botanical specimens that have served mankind in health over the last several thousand years. To demonstrably impart the valuable role plants play in restoring health and vitality, WellSprings plans to prepare tinctures and fluid extracts, tonics and syrups, creams and lotions, aromatics and soaps, that will be incorporated into botanical and water therapies.
The unique geographical and climactic features of the Siskiyou-Kalmiopsis bioregion – a collection of fertile valleys and microclimates protected between two North-Southerly mountain ranges – invite botanical diversity that is unprecedented in the Northern temperate hemisphere. At the turn of the Twentieth Century the City of Ashland captured its abundant botanical heritage in its motto, “Where the palm trees meet the pines.” Only thirteen other regions on the planet offer greater species diversity than found in the Southern Oregon location. It is WellSprings’ intention for its entire 35 acres to flourish into a botanical garden and seed bank that demonstrates, and protects, the biodiversity of the world’s 14th most prolific region. WellSprings’ warm water springs increase its ability of grow subtropical varieties, making the property ideal for establishing aesthetic botanical and water garden features, a valuable addition to any healing center.
The “Tree of Life” garden and vegetable gardens, along with the other Tilth Certified acres, reside under the auspices and protection of the Health Research Institute (HRI). HRI is a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable trust that is dedicated to the principles of imparting personal responsibility towards the restoration of human and planetary health. The viability of the gardens depends largely upon support from our local community. Volunteer programs, along with internship and apprenticeship programs, have contributed significantly to the development and success of the WellSprings environmental restoration and educational projects.