Nilsa came to Round the Bend in 2015 as a workshare volunteer assisting Ashley Brister with produce farming. Nilsa completed the Sustainable Agriculture program at Bristol Community College and was looking for hands-on experience. A lifelong artist and gardener, she brings experience from a diversified career that includes perennial garden designer and gardener, art entrepreneur, gallery owner and arts administrator.
In 2016, Nilsa took on the restoration of the former herb garden at the farm, adding flowers for pollinators, perennial herbs and native plants that she grew from seed. Master stone wall builder Geoff Kinder built an impressive herb spiral in the garden that is now planted. Nilsa harvests and forages a wide variety of herbs that she dries and packages as teas. The herbs are dried on shaded screen drying racks in a small greenhouse on the farm. She makes single herb and seasonal tea blends, available as loose tea and in unbleached biodegradable paper teas bags.
Nilsa also makes botanical oils, salves, and tinctures that she creates from the herbs she grows on the farm. The herbs are infused in organic oils and the salves are made by adding local beeswax to the infused herbal blends. All of the plants she uses are grown naturally (without chemicals or pesticides) in organically fertilized soil.