Help Preserve a Lasting Legacy
Hi there... We are friends of Michael, Nancy & Gracie Phillips.
The herbal and plant community has lost a beloved friend, teacher, author and brilliant plant wizard and orchardist, Michael Phillips. Author of The Holistic Orchard, Mycorrhizal Planet and co-author with his wife of the popular and beloved herb book, The Herbalist Way, Michael passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Michael and his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Gracie, founded Heartsong Farm and Wellness Center, a New Hampshire homestead that serves as a community resource and educational center. In the 35 years they’ve lived on their farm, Michael planted and tended over 300 heritage apple trees and was in the process of creating a cider house to serve as a gathering place for community members and farmers to share farming experiences, apples, and fresh-pressed cider.
Michael was an important and well-loved member of his community, always working to create a deeper sense of community with the world around him. He started one of the first CSA’s in the state of NH, helped found a local farmers market, and leased a water-powered cider press to serve the community with neighbors. He and Nancy organized many community and educational events on their farm and always welcomed visitors to their farm and gardens. Michael is considered a pioneer in the holistic orchardist movement, and his work has had an enormous influence on apple growers worldwide.
At the heart of all he did was this deep love of nature, family and community and his desire to share what he considered essential earth skills with others. He will be deeply missed by all of those he’s influenced far and wide through his teachings and his magnificent books on mycelial health, the soul of the soil, to the creation of organic, thriving apple orchards.
Thankfully, the Phillips’ wisely planted themselves amid a loving community of kindhearted people and then nourished and were nourished by these friends and neighbors over the past 35 years they’ve lived at Heartsong. Without even having to ask, neighbors were plowing their driveway the very next morning, helping with the furnace, bringing food, and pressing the last of the apples.
But there is always work to be done on a farm and some major projects that need to be completed in order for Nancy and Gracie to continue living and working on their beloved farm. Michael was in the midst of siding their farmhouse, had several rooms under renovation, and was halfway through building the addition to the barn, which houses the cider house and press and will also serve as a teaching center. We have volunteers ready to carry these projects out but hope that those of you who have been influenced and touched by Michael’s work will help contribute to these projects. Nancy and Gracie will also need to hire ongoing help for the extensive heritage orchards that Michael has worked to create for the past 3 decades and provide ongoing resources for future generations of apple lovers. Thank you so much for your donation, whether large or small; know that it will be put to good use and greatly appreciated!
“ The underlying spirit of the plant world awaits us on a much deeper level. We're intuiting a right direction as we open our hearts to the full circle of Creation. Our work with the healing plants themselves is what's greener than green.” ~ Michael Phillips
“All along, we have felt compelled to not only live an agrarian life but to share this peaceful place and to teach what we consider essential earth skills to others.” ~ Michael Phillips
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Fundraising team (5)
Friends Of Michael Nancy And Gracie Phillips
Raised $11,000 from 40 donations
Durham Township, PA
Amy Goodman Kiefer
Raised $2,846 from 15 donations
Donna Bryant Winston
Raised $1,610 from 10 donations
Raised $322 from 2 donations