Pangaea Plants is the first farm in Western North Carolina to earn Biodynamic Certification by the Demeter Association. The Demeter Biodynamic trademark is recognized in more than 50 countries as the sign of holistic land stewardship and crops of the highest quality.
Pangaea Plants was further honored by a grant from WNC AG Options to build a medicinal herb dryer and processing facility. Construction and production are underway.
The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) provided additional support through its Appalachian Grown Cost Share Program, enabling Pangaea Plants to invest in outreach and marketing, working with Kudzu Brands, a locally owned and operated firm in Black Mountain, NC.
High quality dried, packaged herbs will be available at harvest to herbalists and herbal manufacturers locally and internationally. Owner Gabriel Noard strongly believes in sharing the goodness of the land and the fruits of his labor, and he hopes that the products of Pangaea Plants “will benefit the larger community of growers and processors in WNC.”
In addition to earning the Biodynamic trademark, the company holds Organic and G.A.P. Certifications. The farm will be open to the public on “field days” throughout the year to demonstrate herb growing, harvesting, and drying techniques.
“Our focus is on designing systems that are both profitable and sustainable,” Noard says. “To that end, we are expanding our establishment of perennial herbs and our annual herb production, and making substantial investments in our infrastructure.”
Gabriel Noard started the company in 2015, in order to provide for his family in a way that would contribute to the health and well-being of his loved ones, the planet, and its inhabitants. But the intention and understanding that became Pangaea Plants had been growing in his mind and heart for a long time.
Noard’s commitment to sustainable agriculture began over 20 years ago, as he traveled throughout Europe, working with organic and Biodynamic growers. That experience convinced him that Biodynamic farming is holistic land stewardship at its best. It was the origin of all the organic approaches that have followed, and it remains the highest paradigm of sustainable farming, leaving the smallest carbon footprint, since all by-products of the farm are turned to productive uses.
The Demeter trademark was first registered in Europe in 1928, but it has gained new attention with the growing realization that the health of the planet is one with the health of its people. A March 19, 2016 New York Times Business report on the latest trends in natural foods notes that “Biodynamics was a hot topic” around the floor of the recent Natural Foods Expo West event in California.
Noard is honored to have the Demeter trademark on his products, and he adds, “While we will always be the first in WNC to be Certified Biodynamic, I hope that we won’t always be the only ones and that in bringing this paradigm to the area, others will be encouraged to follow suit.”