by Danielle August, Guest Contributor
Rachel Playe was on the path to becoming a journalist when she changed direction and became a farmer instead. In her time as a journalist, she found herself focusing mostly on climate change. At this point, Rachel said “I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to have the impact I wanted on preserving our land and killing our earth — that’s what drew me to farming; to do my part in having our organic farm.”
With her passion for farming and sustainability, Playe originally worked at farmers markets in Philadelphia, and she brought her inspiration with her when she relocated to Rhode Island. In Cranston, Playe was able to get a one-acre plot on Hurricane Farm, and that’s where Radia Herbs was founded!
Radia Herbs is a predominantly medicinal and culinary herb farm. Playe uses the freshly grown herbs to make tea that is available for sale year-round. Additionally, Radia Herbs has a variety of lip balms and salves produced with herbs grown on premises as well as grown at neighboring farms. Local doulas promote the use of Motherwort, which Radia provides as a fresh herb that people can tincture.
Some of the most popular herbs that can be found at Radia Herbs include lemon verbena, Tulsi (Holy Basil), St. John’s Wort, Angelica, Garlic, Motherwort, and Nettles. Playe believes that herbs can support body systems in a variety of ways. She and other herbalists believe these herbs provide an emotional and spiritual connection, and that healthy herbs can be beneficial to the human body.
THIS SEASON: You can find a selection of Radia Herbs products for sale on Farm Fresh RI’s Market Mobile service. In 2020, the farm is featuring garlic scapes and Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil. Playe noted that Holy Basil is said to support the nervous system. Additionally, Radia is growing sunflowers and donating profits to Sista Fire in Rhode Island, an organization that helps support women of color and aims to build a collective power for social, economic, and political transformation. For more information about Sista Fire, visit www.SistaFireRI.org