Ben Hicks, was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Shortly after high school, Ben took the path to travel across country, and discovered different bio-regions, climates of plant life and agricultural practices. It is through his travels that Ben and Alex met, in New Orleans Louisiana. And from there, they worked on various farms including a blueberry farm in Maine, and a vineyard in northern California. Ben then continued his education at Michigan State University student organic farm program, graduating in 2012. Ben is the co-owner of Black Locust Gardens Herb Farm, and plant nursery that is growing over 30 different varieties of herbs with a small orchard. Ben has managed multiple diverse vegetable farms, and has been farming for 9 years. Ben shares his expertise in his community by also doing individual land consultations on transitioning conventional fields into organic and rich ecosystems they once were.
Alex Rea was born in the southern tier of NY, among rich farmlands and birch forests. She is a trained community/clinical herbalist and full spectrum doula who is passionate about accessible herbal care and supporting all pregnancy outcomes. Alex was raised around her Southern great grandmother who was a birthing assistant for her mother who worked as a midwife and herbalist with the Chestnut Ridge People. This may explain her admiration for the plant and reproductive world since childhood.
Alex is a queer cis woman. She is the founder of the Community Care Camper a free mobile herb clinic serving underserved populations in and around Ann Arbor Michigan. She is the co-owner of Black Locust Gardens, a coordinator for the Great Lakes Herb Faire, a herbal educator, mom, animist, pagan, writer. She works on a sliding fee scale weaving together a harm reduction and client centered lens. She works mostly with AFAB people health around postpartum, pregnancy loss, gut and hormonal health.
You can book a 1:1 session and check out her credentials here.
Matt Keating joined our Black Locust Gardens farm incubator program in 2020, starting our organic market garden and small CSA. Matt has a diverse background as a yoga and tango instructor as well as an organic farmer.
Our farm incubator program is designed to give land access to farmers who are looking to start their own business while also helping us out on our farm.
photo by Hannah weber from Landloom Farm