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Ella Usdin and Ben Lavan Teach a Foraging Class

SUSQUEHANNA BOTANICALS

Mission, Facility
& Team

(SuSK-WI-HAN-UH)

Graphic map of the Susquehanna River

Susquehanna Botanicals was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is nestled comfortably on the Eastern riverbank of the Susquehanna River–named by either the Lenape or Susquehannock tribes who once cared for its surrounding land.

Our mission is threefold: to build resilient community by providing healthy food and medicine, nature-based education, and dignified, meaningful employment; to rehabilitate damaged wild ecosystems by integrating skilled and knowledgeable professionals into the landscape; to create a viable business model that transforms neglected wild spaces into sustainable agroforestry preserves.   

Gingko Leaf Graphic

Our People

Our team consists of trained herbalists, foragers, permaculturists, farmers, and outdoorspeople who approach their work with curiosity, humility, compassion, and respect for the earth. 

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Foraging Couple Walking Through The Woods
Foragers Explore a Field
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BEN LAVAN
+ ELLA USDIN

Are the owners of Susquehanna Botanicals; they are purpose-driven entrepreneurs, leaders in the Lancaster sustainability movement, and intentional land stewards. They bring nearly 25 years of collective professional experience in herbalism and industry-adjacent pursuits to our lean little team.

With a focus on seed-to-medicine ideology and a rigorous standard of quality, their ultimate objective is to maintain and grow a business model that adheres to a scrupulous ethical code whilst providing attentive, personal service and exceptional formulas for retail and wholesale clients alike.

Professional Herbalist Kitchen Setup

OUR PRODUCTION FACILITY

We are located in the heart of downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Our facility boasts uncompromising sanitation practices and a safe, efficiency-focused design.
 

  • Abides by CGMP Standards

  • Vegan + Gluten-Free Facility

  • FDA Registered

  • Designated Manufacturing Facility

  • Maintains All Necessary Local, State
    & Federal Permits & Licenses

OTHER PURSUITS

Amanita Cafe Logo
Rebel Garden Tools Logo

We are part-owners of Amanita Cafe, which is located at 401 W Walnut St. in Downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Its menu is Mediterranean inspired, nutritious, and ingredient-driven, with a focus on organic foods that are sourced from local farms and purveyors. Our fair-trade coffee and tea menu boasts seasonal specials; plus, we're vegan friendly!

Mon-Fri
Breakfast: 8:00am-11:00am 
Lunch: 11:00am-2:00pm

Sat-Sun
8:00am-2:00pm

Rebel Garden Tools was created by owner Ben Lavan and friend/colleague Wilson Alvarez, who each have extensive experience in regenerative farming practices and permaculture. Created with biomimicry in mind, these handmade, locally made tools are definitively the best available on the market. They're designed for lifetime use and favored among local landscapers, organic farmers, and foragers.

Buy and/or Pickup at Lancaster Central Market: Tues, Fri, Sat

7:00am-3:00pm
 

Visit Us Online!

Gingko Leaf Graphic

The Wolf, The Horse,
& The Gingko 

Wolf Horse and Gingko Leaf

Once upon a time,  there was a gentle wolf who was curious about the world. He loved his pack and their traditions, but often yearned for something more. While the other wolves were fighting, hunting, and lounging around, this wolf found himself roaming the woods. He'd pause in front of every plant, mushroom, tree, and creature. And he'd ask: "What do you have to teach me?"
 

These living things imparted him numerous valuable lessons. The rabbit taught him to be cautious, and the crow showed him the value of shadow. The lichen told him how to adapt, and the oak tree revealed the secrets of justice.

One day, the wolf laid down for a nap at the base of a Gingko tree and had a dream. In this dream, he was greeted by a line of his ancestors.
 

They bowed to the wolf one-by-one. Some were visionaries, some were warriors, some were healers. They explained to him that each of their kin are blessed with a gift when they are born. And through that gift, they would find great power. But it is up to them to discover their gift for themselves.

The wolf was deeply affected by this dream. For the next few years, he continued his search for knowledge among all of the forest's living things; but not one could tell him what his gift was.

He was wandering along the edge of the trees one afternoon when he decided to give up on his quest to discover his gift. It was here that he met the horse. The wolf asked the horse to share her knowledge, and she did; and in a way the wolf loved so much, he continued to return to her every day. The horse asked that he, too, share his knowledge.

The wolf told the horse about how trees spoke through the mushrooms. He told her of the ancient wisdom of the Gingko tree, and the significance of the citrus, the hyssop, the myrtle, and the willow. After weeks of listening to the wolf, it finally dawned on the horse.

"How could you have known, Wolf, that your gift was to teach,
without someone to be your student?"

The wolf beamed. He knew that she, too, just identified hers; to lead others to greatness through her great love.

And so the horse and the wolf roamed together, learning from all the wild things of the woods, watched by the Gingko and all of their ancestors, for the rest of their days.

Hands Harvesting Berries Into Straw Hat
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About Our Team
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