I come from a family of farmers on both sides, and that heritage has always felt right to me deep in my bones. I right away took to gardening as a small child and it has remained a life-long infatuation. I thought plants were no different than myself as a person, and I accepted this as truth, as perhaps only a child would. These plants were people in their own right, with their own ways how they lived life, which had nothing to do with me, but, we could still be friends. It made perfect sense to me. And this thought extended to everything around me. I have ended up having respect for all other living beings on this planet, whether they are people, animals, plants, trees, stones or mother earth. It comes from my heart and has everything to do with how I move in this world.

I started poultry keeping in 1999, on a small 6-acre herb farm in Willis, MI. You may find me somewhat of a rebel. I donít always agree with conventional "wisdom", especially when it comes to poultry keeping. My opinion is, the current backyard chicken keeping style, is largely defined by poultry product corporations. These entities have and still do, work hand in hand with large commercial poultry operations. Which doesnít have much relevance to your backyard chicken keeping. If you like to follow a scientific-only path with all the "Tís" crossed and "Iís" dotted, what I do may not agree with you. Not that I donít respect science, it is just not in the driver seat for me. I am not one to play it safe and dutifully follow a well-worn path. I am a free thinker and like to understand things on my own terms. I do like to play it with a lot of common sense, utilizing my extensive herbal training, with my eyes wide open on nature and with a good communication with my birds.

As an herbalist, I want to support my poultryís health the same way I support mine. This is a holistic approach using a lot of different kinds of herbal methods, using herbs that I harvest and remedies I create. I am an ascribed nativist when it comes to herbs. I think mother earth provides us with wild native herbs (aka weeds) that gives us antidotes to a myriad of health issues we may encounter. Using native herbs this way is even more true and intuitive to animals, who live closer to the earth than people do now. Their natural relationship is still very close, while the gap with people has widened.

I started developing herbal remedies for my flock because, quite frankly there were none to be had. I had to either go with the flow and accept veterinary science (which is still not too well versed in treating backyard poultry health) or develop my own. It was a no brainer, except at that point I really had no blueprint in which to follow except for my training as an herbalist. I had to consult the only experts I knew. My birds and the herbs. I thought it would be an easy task to simply make some basic herbal medicine and I would be on my way. I was soon to learn how little I really knew. It soon dawned on me that I would have to see it from a birdís point of view and have to understand their relationship with not only herbs, but with nature. It took many years of intense observation, working with many types of herbs, and just immersing myself in nature. The products I ended up creating is from all that. It is defined by connection and relationship. It is not only the most effective herbal medicine I could have created for my poultry; it has also included me into my own place within nature. And, it has deepened my love for the earth which is really healing. I hope by using my products you can experience the same, and narrow that gap and feel the love from mother earth. It can be a good point to start the conversation. There is still more for me to learn and do, and I hope you join me on our journey.

~ Susan Burek, Herbalist, Author & Inventor

Moonlight Mile Herb Farm © 2020 Susan Burek