Gesundheit Hemp Project

What is Gesundheit Institute?
The Gesundheit Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit healthcare organization whose mission is to reframe and reclaim the concept of ‘hospital’. We are a model of holistic medical care based on the belief that the health of the individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, the community, the society and the world.

Art of Care  2017 Volunteer Week!

Gesundheit Institute started as twenty friends, three of whom were doctors, opening up their six-bedroom home to the public for free healthcare in 1971. From 1971-1983 they treated over 15,000 patients. These years affirmed the concept that those suffering physical and mental illness benefit tremendously from being in a supportive, loving community.  This is where the dream of a rural hospital began. A couple years later the land in West Virginia was purchased and in 1998 the movie, Patch Adams was released. Since then Gesundheit Institute has been able to expand their global outreach by forming Gesundheit Global Outreach (GGO) and its scope of care; sponsoring clown missions (including healthcare, community development, and building projects) to more than 50 countries. Patch and members of the Gesundheit Institute have provided lectures, conferences and workshops for caregivers in medical and nursing schools, hospitals and businesses in over 65 countries and on five continents. 

The Gesundheit Institute land is located in Hillsboro, West Virginia and is the future hospital site. On the land we host a variety of events ranging from medical humanism electives, health care system design intensives and health justice gatherings to volunteer programs, alternative spring breaks and wellness events. We are also a working organic farm complete with chickens, goats and large vegetable gardens. We strive to grow enough produce to feed our volunteers and workshop participants throughout the year.  

Our chickens browsing the covercrop

The Project 
Gesundheit has been home to many beautiful and bountiful gardens over the past thirty years but none have been able to support the organization monetarily. In order for the Gesundheit Institute land to become more sustainable and to help financially support our mission worldwide we have decided to grow hemp which will be processed into medical grade hemp-derived CBD oil.  One of the land managers, Adam, has become a member of the West Virginia Farmer's Cooperative and has secured our permit to grow hemp through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture under the Researching and Marketing Cultivation of Industrial Hemp License. 

Blessed with this amazing soil! 

Why Hemp?
Hemp is an extremely versatile agricultural product. It is an important product in industry, manufacturing and medicine. From health foods to biofuel and plastic composites to body care and clothing and even hempcrete homes! The uses are endless. Hemp is also being researched for its use in bioremediation. Bioremediation is the use of living things to heal the soil. This is helpful for common problems such as erosion but also for more serious pollutants such as oil spills, heavy metals, and pesticides. Hemp is actively being grown in Chernobyl to clean up radioactive pollution. 

Here at Gesundheit we will focus on the medicinal values of hemp. CBD oil is proving to be a promising natural medicine that can be used synergistically with most conventional medicine. Hemp CBD oil is being used to help naturally relieve chronic pain and inflammation without the risk of addiction or severe side effects that pharmaceuticals tend to have. It has also been found to have anti-seizure properties, helping to treat epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. CBD oil has been researched for its use as an anti-cancer agent due to its ability to suppress the growth of cancer cells while also promoting the death of these cells. There are also studies on CBD's use in relieving anxiety in disorders such as PTSD, general anxiety disorder, OCD, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. Those with Type 1 diabetes can benefit from CBD oil as it has been found to relieve inflammation of the pancreas. Research published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease shows that CBD can help prevent those in the early stages of Alzheimer's from forgetting the faces of the people they know. 

Who will grow it?
Gesundheit Institute has four full-time employees living and working on the land. Adam Craten is an experienced organic farmer, hemp advocate and member of the West Virginia Farmers Cooperative. Ben Hunt is a talented percussionist and experienced organic farmer. Holly Bradley and Aspen Prather are whole food enthusiasts that grow and cook the food we serve our volunteers and workshop participants. Gesundheit has strong volunteer support throughout the growing season and we will be looking for volunteers to help us with this project. If this sounds like something you're interested in please send us an email at the address provided. Just like our vegetables we plan to grow the highest quality organic hemp so we can provide safe and potent medicine. Since we are employees of Gesundheit Institute we will be working directly with this organization on the project. 

The Costs

Before we can grow this beneficial plant we must raise money for our remaining start-up costs, which are broken down below. We have been extremely mindful when selecting supplies to make sure they are sustainable and reusable for years to come.  These are permanent improvements for Gesundheit's farming future. We have successfully paid the costs for licensing, membership for the WVFC, secured high CBD clones and a full-size tractor but in order to move forward this growing season we must crowdfund the remaining costs.

Plowing the hemp plot!

Startup Costs
8000' of compostable mulch film: $350.00
Irrigation system: $1,304.00
Two 300 Gallon IBC Tote (for nutrients):$150.00
Xtreme Gardening mycorrhizal powder 6lbs: $68.97 
Beneficial Insect Mix cover crop 12lbs: $106.00 
1320' 8Foot reusable 10-15yrs Deer Fence: $759.80
100 count T-Post 10': $1,149.00 
Munzo Water Pump: $1,500.00
Lime for the soil: $200.00 
Organic nutrients for all stages of growth : $1,500.00 
Harvesting Supplies: $700.00
Integrated Pest Managment: $800.00
Marketing: $300.00 
Greenhouse parts and supply: $500 .00
Dosatron nutrient injector system 40 Gallon: $800.00
Total $10,187.77
Goal $11,000 .00

Extra monies collected will help offset the percentage paid to Go Fund Me as well as increase marketing and provide upgrades to surrounding plots for current and future development.
In order for us to be properly prepared to plant the first week of June we would need the funds no later than May.

We will post frequent updates to show when and exactly how we will be spending donations. 

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Find out more about Gesundheit Institute and our work on

Thanks for taking the time to read our campaign. Please share it with your friends, colleagues, family, strangers and anyone else that is able to support the growth of hemp and Gesundheit Institute. 

Infinite love and gratitude! Gesundheit!

  • Jennifer Gutierrez 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Dieter Gerhardt 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
  • John Graham-Pole 
    • $100 
    • 50 mos
  • Lisa Moondrop 
    • $25 
    • 50 mos
  • Sue Haberkorn 
    • $10 
    • 50 mos
See all


Adam Craten 
Hillsboro, WV
Gesundheit Hospital Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.