The Beginnings

Blue Ridge Botanicals was birthed in 1983 with the grass roots infrastructure of a 30×30’ greenhouse traded down among several friend-growers since the 1970’s.  We have now evolved to 4000 SF of a greenhouse growing range with 5000 SF of cold frame area.

Our nursery is located at the base of Bessie Bell Mountain in Castleton in beautiful Rappahannock County, Virginia.  The watershed of Mill Run and numerous springs offers much for the flora and fauna that surrounds us.

Our “commute” to the greenhouse from our home above is a 3 minute walk with all the sensations of mist coming off of our pond, guinea fowl muttering “good morning!”, Mill Run’s water song, and a hawk’s call in flight.  All of this reminds us of our connection to the natural world and our commitment to preservation.  We grow plants to assist in that preservation! We invite you to join us in that endeavor.

About Us

Judith Claire aka JC Ackerman is proprietor of Blue Ridge Botanicals.  With a formal degree in Psychology and an innate propensity towards the plant world, she gravitated towards growing plants in the late 1970’s.  Her first communion with hands-on growing was with two great mentors of the “The Rocks” community in West Virginia.  She learned the direct connection of healing and working with the plant world through her mentor, Carol Sweetwater.  We grew hundreds of herbs in the greenhouse for potted plant sales to the National Cathedral Greenhouse in Washington DC and other niche Garden Centers.  Her second mentor, Charlie Coiner at the community, taught her not only growing field herbs for medicine and cooking, but also the business sense of efficiency, quality control, and steadfastness.  Her experience with these great mentors helped launch her own passionate enterprise Blue Ridge Botanicals in 1983.