Written by Danielle Taylor | Header photo courtesy of Quiet Creek

Wildflowers thrive at Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, nestled in the hills of western Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Quiet Creek.

The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region has long been a haven of rest and relaxation, and many people come here to connect with nature and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. At Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, located just off Route 36 between Brookville and Cook Forest, stewards Claire and Rusty Orner offer plenty of opportunities to do just that. With a wide range of classes, products, and events, they teach, equip, and encourage their visitors to develop sustainable living skills and cultivate a genuine connection with the earth.

Drawing on their professional backgrounds in sustainable agriculture and environmental education, the Orners first opened Quiet Creek in 1996, and since then, they have transformed the 30-acre herb farm into a hands-on school of life dedicated to educating students of all ages about conservation, ecological thinking, and healthful living. More than the sum of its parts, however, Quiet Creek is a ministry for the Orners, who take their role as stewards of God’s creation deeply to heart.

Here, you can learn an endless variety of sustainable living skills, including how to build an organic garden, combine herbs for medicinal healing, forage for wild edibles, make soap and cheese from scratch, develop your own solar or wind power system, and grow all manner of herbs, mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, and flowers using organic methods and techniques. In addition to their classes, the Orners host around 1,000 school kids each year on educational field trips. They also welcome the public at events ranging from foraging walks to community dances to seasonal festivals.

An eager youngster learns how to plug mushroom spawn into logs. Photo by Danielle Taylor.

At the center of the farm, Quiet Creek features a well-stocked shop offering bulk dried herbs and herbal mixes cultivated at the farm, healing ointments and salves, handmade soaps, and a wide array of books. Visitors are also welcome to explore Quiet Creek’s nature trails, organic gardens, and verdant grounds at their leisure.

The unofficial mantra of the farm is “There are no secrets at Quiet Creek,” as the stewards, instructors, apprentices, and volunteers there openly and generously share their knowledge and wisdom. Check it out yourself this Saturday at FallFest, a celebration of the autumn harvest that’s free and open to the public.

Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living is open every Friday and Saturday from 9-5 p.m. as well as for classes and by appointment. Scheduled classes at the farm for the remainder of 2018 include:

Whole-Grain Bread Making: September 22
Hi Tunnel Growing: October 3
Soap Making: November 2
Evergreen Wreath Making: November 23, November 24, December 1, December 8

Learn more and find other interesting places to visit and things to do in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region by going to VisitPAGO.com or calling (814) 849-5197.

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