This year in community herbalism was a big one, and very transformative. I mean, for starters, I changed my name on a personal and project level! I also made more connections to other folks doing this work, and found more opportunities to share herbal resources with folks and support the building of community health networks. Here are a couple things I managed to do last year towards this effort:
- Taught 7 community workshops open to the public! 4 of these were online (recordings are available to subscribers to Herbal Magic Notes and members of the Autonomous Herbalism Learning Community) and three of them were in-person through Free Skool Santa Cruz! One of them was a fire-cider making workshop led by Santa Cruz Herbal Mutual Aid members, and we are still distributing the huge batch of fire cider we made that day.
- Helped host a garden tea party fundraiser along with all the other SCHMA members – we made our goal amount and have spent all the money on containers for herbal remedies to give out during our Food Not Bombs distribution pop-ups and as donations to other organizations. We also bought a new hot-liquid container for the tea that we give out. It’s super fancy and insulated!
- Did 8 or 9 (I lost count) herbal pop-ups with Santa Cruz Herbal Mutual Aid and Food Not Bombs, distributing hundreds of cups of herbal tea and many free remedies (salves, infused vinegars, tincture simples and blends, and fire ciders). Some of my favorite remedies that I made and distributed through SCHMA this year include anti-fungal foot powder and herbal mouth rinses, which were part of dental hygiene kits that we gave out.
- Provided free/low-cost herbal aid to a number of folks in my community
- Created a new mini-zine, Build Your Apothecary, Build Your Autonomy, which I distributed for free around town
- Not strictly herbal, but certainly community-health oriented, I also taught a workshop through Free Skool Santa Cruz called Community Building to Beat the Winter Blues which was a delight!
- Connected more with and helped direct plants and remedies to the Campesina Womb Justice project
I also did a few projects on my Patreon, the Autonomous Herbalism Learning Community, that I felt really excited about:
- I was able to offer free herbal mentorship or self-care consultations to all my patrons in August – it was so lovely to meet individually with all of you who signed up!
- In May I finished my handmade oracle deck themed around herbalism and anti-oppression praxis, and offered free oracle readings to folks who were/became members several times throughout the year!
- I ran the 2022 Bioregional Herbalism Immersion by centering all our content around bioregionalism and local plant observation during the months of the equinoxes and solstices.
- My number of supporters grew by 150%! I went from 22 supporters last January to 33 at the time of this writing.
My herbal practice also grew in some exciting ways. I am grateful for the fact that herbalism provides me with a way to share with my community and build the world I want to create, a livelihood, and a deep source of personal healing. In an effort to find sustainability with this work, I am continuing to find ways to garner financial support. This piece expanded for me a bit last year, and I am so grateful to everyone who supported me through any of these channels:
- I taught my first medicine making classes since 2020, and my first-ever in-person! Becoming a Medicine Maker happened in spring and fall and it was a joy and a privilege to teach medicine making skills to 14 lovely people and collaborate with 2 awesome guest teachers! This class will be offered again in spring 2023, look out for that!
- I also taught Cultivating Closeness as a series, which was a new way of offering it for me, since I had previously taught it as a 1-off workshop, but it was so darn meaty I decided to divvy it up. That group was also really beautiful to work with and I loved seeing folks bond with flower essences! Cultivating Closeness is my most-loved class and is being offered again both in-person and online in Feb ’23! Learn more and join the waitlist.
- I offered trainings and taught classes through a couple different organizations, notably Wild Ginger Herbal Center’s Bloom class series! I will be teaching two classes through their series in 2023, so check them out! I also hosted a tea and essence bar at Sapphire Yoga Collective’s Queer Mixer this summer, which was lotsa fun.
- For the first time in a while, I was able to offer a zine! I was part of the Spring 2022 Plant Witch Mentorship Circle with Corinna Rosella, whose business is fka Rise Up! Good Witch, and me and a couple other participants produced the Summer Solstice Plant Witch Zine!
That is a great segue to the ways I was able to gain more herbal knowledge this year! I am continuing my herbal studies and hoping to one day finish school to a clinical level. This year I:
- Participated in the aforementioned Spring 2022 Plant Witch Mentorship Circle and learned a lot about working with tarot, flower essences, as well as Corinna’s perspective on herbal mutual aid and harm reduction tactics
- Got re-certified in pediatric and adult first aid!
- Learned from Samwise Raridon of Self Heal Herbs how to create a COVID-safe respiratory steam station and set one up at our last pop up!
- Continued studying with the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism in their Community Herbalist Program
- Had a very sweet time harvesting and processing so many plants! Memorable moments with milky oats/oatstraw, tulsi, calendula, wild lettuce, skullcap, echinacea, sassafrass, reishi, and hawthorn mark this year.
Lastly, I got interviewed on some really sweet podcasts!
- Yarrow Magdalena of the Creative Devotion podcast interviewed me about plant magic, resilience, the beauty of community and becoming a village witch!
- My accountability partner and fellow appreciator of plant medicines Jessica Libere of the Becoming/Unstuck podcast interviewed me about unspelling isolation, decommodifying herbalism, and stepping into an animate worldview
Here are my intentions for 2023:
- Continue providing free/low-cost herbal aid and education to folks in my community. Teach 4 community workshops open to the public!
- Continue to participate in monthly herbal aid pop-ups with SCHMA and Food Not Bombs, and generally continue with my herb distribution practice
- Complete another level of herbal education with the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism
- Find pleasure, beauty, rest, and financial sustainability while continuing all my community work – this year is all about finding balance between pouring for others and filling my own cup.
I’m looking forward to another powerful year. If you’d like to support what I do, please consider joining us on Patreon in the Autonomous Herbalism Learning Community, where I’m currently offering annual memberships at a 10% discount through the end of January. Folks who support at the $20 or $45/month levels will receive a free 30-minute 1:1 herbal learning session with me! If memberships or subscriptions aren’t your thing, you can also support me on Ko-Fi with a one-time donation, or gift me a book/supplies from my Apothecary Wishlist.
My deepest gratitude to my wonderful patrons who supported me in every step this year:
Eva of The Charm of It
Want to stay in touch this year? Email is the best way!