spa diversifies through use of
continues to promote
natural, healthy living
Helen E. McKinney
PROSPECT, Ky. (July 2007) Mary Shands has
long been noted for her support of holistic health practices. The decision
to close Foxhollow Spa and Bed and Breakfast opened an opportunity for
Shands to convert her property into a farm based on biodynamic principles
and continue her legacy of healing.
has begun raising grass-fed
cattle on the farm that once housed
a day spa near Prospect, Ky.
After 13 years of business, Foxhollow closed its doors
on Jan. 15. Shands bought the 1,300-acre property from her aunt 35 years
ago and used it to establish a center that focused on wellness.
The farm will continue to be used to promote Shands mission of
treating the whole person-body, mind and spirit. Her children, Janie
Newton and Robert Dulaney, are revitalizing the farmland based on biodynamic
principles as a way of preserving it.
In the past, the 1,300 acres had been farmed conventionally,
said Newton. After 30 years of applying commercial fertilizers, all
chemicals and pesticides were eliminated from the land in 2005.
Desiring to eliminate these toxic products from the land permanently,
just as their mother had done for her clients health, Newton and
Dulaney sought ways to restore the soil. They explored ways to
heal the land, said Newton, 55.
In their search, they came across Austrian scientist and philosopher,
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Steiners teachings set forth rules
for farming based on biodynamic principles, which are similar to organic
Comparable to homeopathic medicine in that it eliminates toxins, biodynamic
principles bring vitamins back to the soil, said Newton.
It is a practice that prescribes medicine for the earth.
Based on their findings, the farmland was converted to a sustainable
agricultural practice using biodynamic principles. They began raising
grass-fed beef and initiated a vegetable Community Support Agriculture
program, delivering the first vegetable baskets on May 21.
The farm currently has 100 head of black Angus. They plan to continue
expanding the herd. Newton said she hopes to have 300 head within the
next three years.
The cattle are rotated from pasture to pasture to graze and fertilize
the land for us, said Newton. Future goals include direct marketing
of the Angus meat, which will be packaged and sold from freezers on
More than one acre is being used to produce vegetables that will be
sold through CSA shares. The yield is small now but the variety
will be better in the long run, said Newton.
In the CSA program, individuals may subscribe to a farmer, pay a fee
up front, and then receive vegetables once a week in season. The program
is a good way to involve the community, said George Seay, who is part
of the management team of Foxhollow Farms.
The team provides a collective management effort, and member Steve Rutledge
has been involved with the Foxhollow property since 1981 through his
company, Professional Land Management Inc. One of the teams main
goals is to use the cattle as a land management tool and income, said
Rutledge said the Shands family has always been community and service
oriented. He sees the new Foxhollow Farm Cooperative as a win-win
situation for the farmers involved.
The conversion of the farm began a little more than a year ago, said
Seay, and a vision developed to use organic farming methods. Other farmers
may join the co-op in the future providing such as foods as chicken
Always interested in preventive health and wellness methods, Shands
served on the boards of various health care organizations to learn about
different aspects of the medical field. She had medical problems when
young, and felt she had not been property taken care of, said Newton.
Shands medical interests propelled her to found Foxhollow, become
president of H.E.A.L., Inc. (Health Education Association of Louisville),
director of the Childrens Hospital Board, as well as serving on
many other boards for the Park Du Valle Neighborhood Health Center,
Rehabilitation Center Inc., Frontier Nursing Service in Hayden, Ky.,
Norton Hospital Inc., Falls Region Health Council, and the Cancer Center.
Shands grew up on her fathers dairy farm in Oldham County on property
now known as Norton Commons. It has been converted into a mixed-use
village off of KY Hwy.22. Her father, George W. Norton Jr., founded
WAVE-TV. Located north of I-71 between Chamberlain Lane and KY Hwy.
1694, the farm played host to farm-related shows that were aired on
WAVE-TV and radio.
Always involved in humanitarian efforts, Shands and Phyllis George Brown
in 1981 co-founded a foundation to run the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery
in Louisville. Her family has offered the site of the former Foxhollow
Spa (over 8,000 square feet on 3.5 acres) to allow for the expansion
of the Apple Patch Day Training Program and facility.
To learn more, contact Shands Enterprises
at (502) 589-7098. To order beef directly, call (502) 241-9674 or email:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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