from herb-curious to curious herbalist

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How I went from curious herbalist to bev-loving plant witch, Part I


I came to herbalism with the same love for tea and herbal curiosities that most people have:
 “What herb is good for [insert health condition]?” “What is [insert herbie] good for?”

These curiosities led to many an evening in college thumbing through herb books, searching for a new use for nettle or a remedy for my computer-induced eye strain. 

Life twisted and turned and I went from college student to veggie farmer to herb farmer; along the way I had done some formal herbal training, all with the same perspective of “How can I use herbs for my health conditions?”

And yet, I was a plant person.

I had spent years working closely with vegetable plants, getting to know their quirks and characteristics. I learned that tomatoes liked to mess with you, and that they were very much divas. I learned that leeks are valiant knights and that broccoli and I… didn’t get along. 

The more time I spent with the herbs, coaxing them to germinate, weeding around their tiny bodies, harvesting their fragrant leaves and sticky flowers, I got to know their personalities, too.

The herbs stepped out from the the pages of books: they were no longer facts listed on a Materia Medica page, but living, breathing creatures with quirks aplenty. 

The herbs pulled at the edges of my curiosity. 

How did the people who wrote the books know what they know? How did my teachers’ teachers’ know what they knew? How did our ancestors know what they knew

 

I wanted to move beyond herbal facts and human physiology.

I knew there was a bigger world of plant wisdom out there, and I was determined to find it.

... check out Part II “of rattles and ritual” for the rest of the story!

P.S. If you look closely at the photo, you'll notice that the honey is labelled "Death Drone Honey" and features a bee with its eyes x'ed out -- this is because the beekeeper, allergic to bees, nearly died while making it.