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Wellness retreat farm blends healing arts, medicinal herbs

by Summer Zalesky Daily Inter Lake
| June 5, 2022 12:00 AM

A secret oasis near Whitefish is creating a space for visitors to slow down and reconnect with nature.

Lindy (Carolyn) Dewey is the visionary behind SpiritWorks Trilogy and has recently rebranded to incorporate her three businesses: a wellness retreat, a healing arts practice, and a medicinal herb farm.

When Dewey first opened the retreat in 2016, it received primarily vacation rental guests that had no interest in the wellness programs or the farm.

“I felt like that was tragic,” she said. “Part of the stay is that people get a free tour of the farm and people weren’t taking advantage of that. So I rebranded to help people realize that they are staying in a unique venue that has the ability to expose them to something that could impact their life in a positive manner.”

The wellness retreat, on Hideaway Trail south of Whitefish, is set up as a group retreat featuring nine rooms that sleep up to 16 people. There are also three tent sites. The center has a full kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a gathering room that is set up for yoga and meditation and has a tea bar stocked with herbs from the farm. Other than a few windows and a door, the buildings and furniture were all made with recycled and repurposed materials.

“People give me stuff because they know I'll figure out what to do with it,” Dewey said. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” is a motto she lives by.

So far, the retreat has hosted family reunions, yoga and writer retreats, bachelor and bachelorette parties, luncheons and corporate gatherings.

“I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make this work well and many hands have helped make this place,” Dewey said.

During their stay, guests can use the holistic clinic’s self-treatment rooms for a flat fee per person.

“Holistic health refers to looking at the organism’s needs to build health rather than to remove symptoms of health,” Dewey said.

A UNIQUE SPACE SpiritWorks Trilogy blends a resort experience with elements of horticulture and improving health.

The clinic offers whole body massage chairs, foot and hand massagers, infrared biomats, chi machines, and pulsed magnetic resonance. Guests can immerse themselves in a hydrotherapy experience which includes a wood-fired hot tub, sauna, and cold plunge.

“Hydrotherapy is detoxing and helps boost the immune system by causing circulation,” Dewey said.

Pricing for the retreat ranges from $800 to $2,000 per night depending on the time of year.

Dewey has been a lifelong gardener and has continued to expand her knowledge by learning about herbs. Her son, who is a medicinal herbalist and naturopathic physician, introduced her to herbs.

“Most plants are medicine,” she said.

Spirit Works Trilogy’s apothecary stocks almost 200 different certified organic herbs all of which grow or bloom wildly on the 10-acre property. Other health foods are also sold such as herb-infused honey, elderberry syrup, and fire cider, all of which are made and processed on the farm.

Herbs have a variety of uses and can be put in a salve or tincture, used topically, in teas, to flavor food or infused into oils. The fire cider, for example, is a mixture of vinegar, garlic, onion, horseradish and ginger.

“It’s a major immune booster,” Dewey said. “You can take a shot of fire cider and refill the jar about two to three times with vinegar. When it's gone, you can then blend the ingredients to make a mustard, marinade or dressing.”

Though Dewey is not an herbalist, she owns several resource books that visitors can use.

“I tell people to do their research. Figure out what herbs you want to try and pay attention to the contraindications,” she said. “People know their body and their condition better than anybody else.”

BEFORE STARTING SpiritWorks Trilogy, Dewey worked in integrative clinics and private practices. She also worked closely with people undergoing chemo and radiation in a cancer center.

On the property, the herbs are grown in beds made from recycled wood, as well as planted in a 63-foot triskelion which is a motif that consists of three spirals in an interlocking design.

“The triskelion holds the energetics of the farm which include learning, farming, and building health,” Dewey said. “Different herbs are placed in specific directions of the triskelion to hold and carry those energies.”

Dewey explains the areas where the plants are placed in the triskelion — the east holds the energetics of learning. The herbs planted here are thyme which makes the mental body alert and sage to represent wisdom. The herbs planted in the south represent the principles of farming.

“Lady’s Mantle honors the feminine principles of working with the earth and Rosaragosa is an herb that requires maintenance and annual pruning,” she said.

The spiral of building health is in the northwest and one of the herbs that grows in this section is chamomile to represent calmness.

“The basic principle of building health that I work with as a healthcare practitioner is the parasympathetic nervous system. When we are in a state of deep relaxation and rest our bodies can restore and nourish themselves.”

The herb that connects the principles of learning and building health is lavender.

“Lavender is usually the first herb that people learn about to build their health,” Dewey said.

The farm is also home to 110 feet of raspberries, seven beehives, peach, plum, cherry, apple and apricot trees and other vegetables. Plants typically thought of as weeds, such as dandelion, are also harvested as Dewey does not let anything go to waste.

This year, Dewey joined the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce and an initiative called Explore Whitefish which encourages tourism to local businesses. Starting this season, she will offer botanical herb garden tours for groups of four to 12 people.

“This is a local resource,” said Dewey. “If people can’t get into the park, they can get a tour and learn about herbs.”

Next year, Dewey plans to create an onsite resource to label and explain the use of each herb.

To book a stay or find out more information visit spiritworkstrilogy.com.

Reporter Summer Zalesky may be reached at szalesky@dailyinterlake.com.

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A jar of bergamot among other medicinal and culinary organic herbs at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Lettuce growing inside one of the greenhouses at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Aerial view over SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish. (Justin Kauffman photo)

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A newly-constructed greenhouse space at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Onions push through the soil inside one of the greenhouses at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Plum trees flower in the medicinal herb farm at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Jars of fire cider inside the apothecary at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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An assortment of salves inside the apothecary at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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The wood-fired sauna at SpiritWorks Trilogy, a holistic healing sanctuary immersed in nature, near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Jake trots around the retreat and farm at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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A view over a portion of the medicinal herb farm and a building that houses an office and massage treatment rooms at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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A view over a portion of the medicinal herb farm and a building that houses an office and massage treatment rooms at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Lindy Dewey walks through her medicinal herb farm and garden area past blooming plum trees at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Lindy Dewey talks about the different types of fire cider inside the apothecary at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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The retreat space, which can sleep 16 people in 9 rooms, at SpiritWorks Trilogy near Whitefish on Thursday, May 26. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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