I spent the past week planning out my 2019 bookshelf (aka my personal book nook). Every January, I make a list of books and herbal courses I want to take, and it helps keep me on track to actually finish one before starting another. This year my mind and soul have been really drawn to more sensory, tactile, and hands-in-the-dirt learning. In years past I’ve kind of buried myself in the clinical work and research aspect of herbs and nutrition and I’m feeling a shift away from that over the past few months. My brain and body shifted a lot last year, and my spirit is craving new things and new directions in learning and experiencing. My mind feels like a sponge right now, and I literally can’t stop listening to new podcasts and getting my hands on new books, new ideas, new teachers and resurrecting old parts of my education that have been dormant for years. Namely – my botany skills.
Fun fact: I got my undergrad degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design and used to be a plant ID rockstar. My botany skills were legit on point, and for one of my former jobs at a botanical garden I was the one writing the dichotomous keys. (My brain short circuits when I even look at them now.) Then I went to grad school for herbal medicine (on the super clinical end of the spectrum) and didn’t practice my plant ID for YEARS. Thus, top of my list to resurrect that part of my expertise this year.
What’s in my book nook coming up this year (so far):
New herbal courses I’m taking this year (SO excited for these!)
Herbal Medicine Making Course (150 hours) from The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t wait to start this course around March. I make tea formulas and some salves pretty regularly, but getting back into making tinctures, compresses, herbal honeys, infused vinegars, shrubs, facial serums, flower essences, compound butters, mushroom concoctions, fire ciders, infused oils…GAH!. I won’t want to leave my kitchen for days at a time.
Medicine’s from the Earth Conference (Black Mountain, NC). This will be my 7th year attending this conference. I always love the lectures and speakers that come here every single year. Also, GORGEOUS venue.
Botany and Wildcrafting Course with The Herbal Academy to REALLY get my plant ID skills up to snuff. I’m super pumped to learn more about plant ecology, pollinator attraction, and sustainable/responsible plant collection in the course too.
Every month, I’ll choose one book to read or listen to while working through one of the courses. It’s my goal this year to continually self-study and keep a balance between teaching and also learning. Over the past six years I drifted way too far away from the learning part and heavily focused on my clinical work and teaching, and hit a burnout point faster than I expected. This year, I’m honoring that shift and stepping back a little from the clinical side of things and being more of a student again. I’m so excited to start these courses and attend the Medicines from the Earth Conference this year. My excitement lets me know it’s absolutely the right direction for me this right now.
Also! The Herbal Academy course registration freeze has finally lifted and they have revamped so many of their courses to now include hard copy print materials! Both the Introductory and Intermediate Herbal Courses have been expanded to include dozens of new videos, brand new recipe and monograph books, and materia medica charts for each body system + new downloadable booklets! I’ve taken several of their courses in the past and can’t recommend them enough if you’re wanting to learn more about herbal medicine or how to start your herbal career. Their herbal courses are curated by an impressive staff of professional clinical and folk herbalists as well as medical professionals offering well-rounded curriculums representing all walks of life. For an online learning platform, the community-centered spirit of teaching is one of the reasons I enjoy them so much.
Now through February 20th is their early bird registration and you can receive $25 off courses (and a $70 Herbal Academy goodie bag – including a set of 25 Recipe Cards, 4 Botanical Bookmark Set, 72 Apothecary labels, and other fun herby gifts). If you’re signing up for any of these this year, let me know! I’d love to go through them with you!