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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Herbalismo! A Medicinal Plant Festival: Johnson City, Texas

Flat Creek Crossing
We didn't have to travel far to attend Herbalismo! A Medicinal Plant Festival held in Johnson City's Perdenales state park October 24th - 27th.  What fun this herbal conference was!  It was an honor to help sponsor and vend at this event.  Herbhusband and I manned our IVITA Botanicals booth and met so many vibrant and beautiful people from all parts of the US.  I think someone came as far as New Zealand!

Speakers included Rosemary Gladstar, Maria Elena Martinez, Matthew Wood, Paul Bergner, William Morris, Margi Flint, Nicole Telkes, Ginger Webb, and so many more.  It was a group of about 300 yet the feeling was intimate and cozy as we learned from one another over the course of four days. 
Rosemary Gladstar walking to the conference with her mother ~ beautiful ladies!
Another fascinating speaker at the conference was D'Coda.  She's an herbalist and forager who has a documentary on Netflix called The Naturalist and it features how she lived in the Ozarks using only primitive skills to survive.  She spent five years in the Ozarks, never leaving the land only living off the forest and her garden. I find that simply amazing and exciting - what a strong and balanced soul...she's incredible.  

Nicole Telkes, Director of the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine offered a plant walk and discussed native medicinal plants growing in Flat Creek Crossing. Plant walks are so informative; a wonderful way to connect with the bioregion through guidance.


Another notable speaker who presented at Herbalismo! is Marjory Wildcraft, whose mission is "homegrown food on every table", and has developed a very realistic approach to what it takes to be a self sustaining community and family of four on a homestead.  She's invested a lot of research in self sustainability and has been featured as an expert in sustainable living by National Geographic. At the conference she discussed organic gardening, composting, and raising farm animals such as goats, rabbits, chickens and ducks.  Her video "Grow Your Own Groceries" helps everyone understand organic foods and survival skills using resources in your own backyard.   You can learn more about her realistic and well researched approach to self sustaining homesteads at www.growyourowngroceries.org.

It wouldn't be a conference without the compassionate voice of Rosemary Galdstar reminding us all to love one another and love our dear plants.  Her work with United Plant Savers www.unitedplantsavers.org is so important.  As more of us are appreciating plant medicine for healing, it is important to know and be able to identify which wild medicinal herbs are currently at risk of extinction.  Yes, plants can leave us and face extinction just like our wildlife if we are not careful.  She reminds us all to appreciate alternatives to at risk herbs such as American Ginseng, Black Cohosh, Bloodroot and more.  If you haven't already, look into her work and help this very important mission. 

It warmed my heart to be around so many caring nature lovers.  It truly was a joyful experience.  I'm happy to have been a part of a fist time Texas herb conference and honored IVITA Botanicals helped sponsor.  Here is a picture of the booth - we had fun making friends!  Until next time my dear herb and plant loving friends...be botanically beautiful and stay warm..... Green blessings ~