Letter from our Director: Acknowledging the Land its People

From March ’79

Tired of all who come with words, words but no language,

I went to the snow-covered island.

The wild does not have words.

The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!

I come across the marks of roe-deer’s hooves in the snow.

Language but no words.

by Tomas Transtromer, translated by John F. Deane

A Letter from Our Director

Dear  FirstName,

Fox Haven serves as a sacred space in nature where one can learn the language of the wild, as well as the more cultivated land, and find rest and inspiration.

While children and adults do hear words in the classes and experiences that we share…

It is the language of the bluebird babies calling to their parents as our young citizen scientists do a headcount of the bird box residents…

It is the language of the Tulsi plant that puts out its soothing scent as it is harvested by our interns…

It is the language of the honeybees speaking to one another as they care for their queen and grow their hives with quiet observers from our beekeeping cohort watching with wonder…

It is the language of the wild turkeys that show up in the orchard just as the ripe chestnuts are falling to the ground, who share with the foragers that come to gather sweet nuts…

It is the language of the water penny discovered by 3rd-grade students who squeal the “aha! Found one!” as they learn of aquatic beetles and stream restoration…

It is the language of the sunset painting the sky orange and red while a retreat goer meditates on the porch of the farmhouse…

This is the language that transcends words, that builds the spirit and minds of all who sojourn at Fox Haven.  The connection to the land we steward, to the watershed we protect, to the plants we grow, and to the wildlife that call Fox Haven home is made through this language.

The learning, the knowing and connection that is formed when people come to Fox Haven leads to a sense of peace, inspires folks to share their experiences with family, friends, and community.

Interns become teachers, both at Fox Haven and in their home communities. Students who come for field trips excitedly share what they learn with their parents, and their teachers then build on what they learned with meaningful projects in their classrooms. People return to help steward the land by clearing trails, braving thorns to pull tires and trash from the creeks, and planting pollinator strips. BIPOC groups experience a safe place to learn and to gather where reparations are made.  Retreat goers return with new groups, Hospice of Frederick County clients experience the healing the land offers, and the Scott Key Center clients learn new job skills while on the land. The birds that migrate and the animals that use this corridor do so with safe places of plenty to nurture them on their journeys.

If you have been looking for a place to connect your resources and talents with regenerative land and community stewardship, Fox Haven welcomes you to join us in this critical work and play. Becoming a monthly member donor, making an individual donation, making a donation that creates opportunities with us for BIPOC reparations, volunteering, even bringing a group of work friends or family friends to the farm for a class and a retreat are all ways to contribute.

On this #GivingTuesday, we ask you to join us in supporting our work in the community by donating to support our land conservation work and reparations programs.

With gratitude and peace,

JoAnn Coates-Hunter

Director, Fox Haven Farm, Retreat & Learning Center

Help Make A Difference

BIPOC scholarships are now available

Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Discounts & Scholarships
Fox Haven will continue to offer BIPOC discounts and scholarships in 2023. This offering is a way for Fox Haven to acknowledge the structures of privilege that undermine the wellness of black and brown-skinned people, and to create opportunities for people to heal and thrive.

If you identify as BIPOC and are interested in receiving discounts on classes, rentals, or our herb CSA, please fill out our interest form below. Please note, funding is currently very limited, scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

I’m interested
This is a basic form to collect interest. We respect your privacy and will not ask questions regarding why you are seeking sponsorship

Decolonizing Herbalism on YouTube

Earlier this year, Fox Haven Farm Intern, Qubilah Huddleston led a critical discussion on how systemic racism has impacted black and indigenous lives throughout history, and how oppressive crimes have bled into our current health and wellness culture. Essential questions will be raised as we work to define ways to mend the disproportionate levels of land equity and access to herbal knowledge.  If you are inspired by this resource, please consider donating to our BIPOC scholarship fund. The more money raised, the more people we can support!

Building community resilience through herbal education and experience  

Ezi shares how her experience in the garden watching seeds grow into the plants we harvest for the CSA has deepened her relationship with the natural world. Having studied herbs in medical school, she shares gratitude for her ability to access whole plants in order to build a more holistic approach to her practice. Since interning at Fox Haven, Ezi has launched an herbal products line aimed to bridge her science background and knowledge of herbal remedies.
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