HEALTHY LIVING: In Contact with the Earth – The Tribune
Wild Ginger’s Homestead specializes in herbal products and plants
WATERLOO – Wild Ginger’s Homestead has been offering organically grown herbs and plants as well as animal feed since 2013.
Owner Chaille Shaw said when she withdrew from law enforcement, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and found herbal remedies to help her symptoms.
Shaw, who studied horticulture, plant taxonomy, and the arts, looked at her knowledge well.
“That was a great idea,” she said. “It has been my hobby and my passion since the 90s.”
Not wanting to take any medication, she decided to go a natural route.
“I knew there had to be a better way,” she said.
One of those she wanted to grow was the Ohio native passion flower and an edible fruit vine. It was used in folk medicine to treat stress and anxiety.
Another is valerian, a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia that is known for its calming effects. She started selling and giving away the surplus of what she had grown.
“And from then on it became a beautiful herb garden,” Shaw said of the store, which is on Forest Ridge Road in Waterloo.
While Wild Ginger doesn’t have a stationary location, she operates things via Facebook, which she regularly updates with posts on the homestead.
For example, recent ones have shown an abundant harvest of gooseberries and organic cherries.
Shaw said those who are interested in her products can message her on Facebook and she will travel there.
“I’ll meet you in every direction,” she said.
It follows the philosophy of permaculture, an ecologically harmonious cultivation approach that uses the existing topography of the country.
She said this promotes good land use, minimizes carbon footprint and is more sustainable.
“And it reduces the workload,” she says.
Shaw also specializes in foraging and, in addition to selling products from the wild, works to educate people about the issue.
“I come to every house to teach foraging,” she said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, Shaw plans to attend more events and sell her wares in local farmers markets, as well as moving her products to small and specialty stores.
She said one of them will be Wild Ramp, a year-round farmers and food market in Huntington’s west end.
In recent years Shaw has also organized community-wide treasure hunts and treasure hunts, activities with two goals: helping families during the pandemic and promoting businesses in the county. Participants followed clues and drove to various stations on the hunt, with the winner receiving a prize basket of items from local businesses.
The proceeds from these events went to charity, with donations to veteran groups and backpack buddies. Later that year, Shaw plans to host another event, with the donation going to a Collins Career Technical Center student who was attacked and injured in Huntington earlier this month.
From dealing with PTSD to finding cures, Shaw hopes that her experience, work, and research in the area can help others.
“It promotes healing and I hope to be able to inspire other women,” she said.
For more information on Wild Ginger’s Homestead, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oldforestridge.