Make Your Farm or Garden Certified Sustainable

Find a sustainability certification that’s right for your plot to add transparency to your growing practices and connect with other proponents of organic agriculture.

By Rachael Dupree
August/September 2018

Photo by Terry Wild Stock.

 When people ask if I garden, they mean broccoli or roses,” says Martha Rabinowitz, owner of Sister Sanctuary, a farm in Guilford, Vermont.

But Rabinowitz isn’t that kind of gardener. While half of her land produces organically grown hay that feeds the cows in a neighbor’s dairy operation, her passion lies in the plants she cultivates on 40 acres of her property’s forestland. This is the Sister Sanctuary, and it houses a congregation of endangered and rare woodland medicinals, such as black cohosh, bloodroot, trillium, and ramps. It’s a place where she puts “rescued” plants — those she’s dug up from a construction site or roadside and then replanted in the sanctuary.

Letting the public know about her garden work can be challenging, so Rabinowitz decided to apply to make her wooded acreage part of United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network. United Plant Savers (UpS) is a nonprofit working to protect native medicinal plants, and its botanical sanctuaries serve as conservation centers, seed repositories, and educational hubs for endangered plant species. Getting the Botanical Sanctuary designation allowed Rabinowitz to connect with others and show that the work she’s doing is intentional and important.

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