Join us as we kick up our heels, fire up the still, and raise funds for the Herbalista Free Clinic.✨?✨ November 9th at the Chosewood Ballroom in ATL✨?✨ Stay tuned for all the details! ✨?✨
Dear Friends and Lovers of Life,
After the intense struggles of 2017 and now facing what surely is a long road ahead, we must take the time to protect and sustain our core. I, for one, am worn the f**k out. While it’s been hard bearing witness to structural bigotry, it’s been even harder watching the left eat itself. I’m starting to think this liberal cannibalism is a symptom of deep exhaustion, that our wells have run dry. And I’m ready to refill.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to give you the whole “self-care for the activist” spiel, demanding you take more passionflower and load up on adaptogens. But rather, I would offer that instead of doing more, we might do less, and take our cue from winter’s rest.
May we revive ourselves with simple solitude, find contentment in the quiet, and cultivate some good old fashioned inner peace so we can share it with others.
lay down your sword, your pen,
your tongue, your hate.
This has been a brutal year,
savage fought and etched by fear.
Let the rush of day, slow and creep,
and the low hung light,
bring you sanctioned sleep.
In this hush taste the marrow red,
a molten life, despite winter dread.
This sacred source, just yours alone
found in the still and the break
of your salty bones.
For the rest of this month’s newsletter, please follow this link:
Herbalista Expedition 2017 is well underway! I’ve packed up my kits and hopped the pond to Europe. This first month has been filled with a series of incredible conferences and gatherings, and I am blessed to be able to share these days with lovely plants and lovely people!
My first stop was HerbFeast, an annual Irish gathering celebrating all things herbal. We feasted on the herbal knowledge of so many incredible teachers, including Kirsten Hale, Thomas Easley, and Fred Gillam (just to name a few.) I was honored to co-facilitate a Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshop with Rosemary Gladstar. We whipped up a couple batches of Fire Cider to be distributed in the Cork and Dublin communities.
Next stop was the Radical Herbal Gathering in the hills along the Welsh and English border. Now in its 5th year, this gathering has nurtured an incredible network of radical healthcare that has grown far beyond these Shropshire fields. Run entirely by volunteers, proceeds from the gathering go to support their Herbal Aid Fund, helping to seed out grassroots herbal and health related projects.
If you want to see a glimpse into the journey so far, here is a link to the Herbalista Expedition 2017 album I’ve started on Facebook.
Next week I will head to Ballinlough Castle for the Body & Soul Festival, about an hour from Dublin. There I will be leading a couple of Plant Rambles to raise funds for the newest addition to the mobile clinic scene. Which brings me to this very special announcement!
We are thrilled to announce that the Herb Bike will be hitting the streets of Dublin this summer! This mobile clinic will make stops around the Dublin area, providing herbal care and holistic support to those who need it most. This project will run hand-in-hand with Pay-it-Forward Medicine Making Workshops and with any luck will be a highly contagious way to spread the health! With talk of a sister Herb Bike project beginning out in Cork, Ireland, I’m thinking we may just have a mobile herb clinic epidemic on our hands!
Please consider a small donation and help us put a little air in her tires and some herbs in her basket! Please click here to make a contribution.
I want to thank everyone back in the ATL who is working so hard to keep the home fires burning. A big shoutout to the Health Fair Crew, the Harriet Tubman Footsters, and to the Herbalista Apprentices! The chance to travel, to study, to serve, and to teach stokes my own internal flame and I’m grateful for this opportunity.
For the rest of this issue of Herbalista Happenings, please follow this link:
After 4 decades of service, the Open Door Community, home to the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, is closing its Atlanta house and relocating to Baltimore, MD. We will greatly miss the community that grew up around the Open Door. We will miss their leadership on important issues. We will miss their strong opinions that spoke truth to power. We will miss their welcoming hearts that built a more loving Atlanta.
And so we found ourselves in search of a new home for our little clinic. We were fortunate to recently receive an invitation from Mercy Church, another community center dedicated to serving our friends on the street and in prison, to begin holding foot services in their Center. We are currently moving our supplies to their facility which is located just a couple of blocks away, and look forward to reopening the clinic in the next couple of weeks. More details to follow!
Thank you all for your support during our transition.
The Open Door
For the past 10 years, I have spent most Wednesday’s at the Open Door Community, be it an early morning Herb Bus Clinic in the back parking lot or staying late for the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, as we care for the feet of our friends on the street. These offerings were only a small part of what the Open Door has shared with Atlanta these many years. They also provide free women’s and conventional medical clinics. They host educational and radically inspirational events. They serve meals and facilitate showers. They stand up for our rights. They aren’t afraid to speak truth to power. They are willing to be arrested in defense the most vulnerable. They walk a path of loving devotion and I have been so blessed by their guidance and companionship all these years.
Now after 40 years of service, the community has made the difficult decision to close the Open Door. Please follow this link to read the letter they published in their most recent edition of Hospitality.
The Open Door hosted all three of Herbalista’s free clinics (the Herb Cart, the Herb Bus, and the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic) and so this is a great loss to not only Atlanta, but to the Herbalista Health Network.
While the Herb Bus and the Herb Cart will continue to service our other stations around town, the Foot Clinic will need to find a new home beginning in 2017. We will keep you posted as we adjust to these changes and rest assured, that as they say at the Open Door, “We gonna do the best we can ’til we can’t.”
Featured Image by Michael Alexander
This summer I will spend several weeks traveling through Ireland, England, and France. Each year I try to take extended tours so I can expand my understanding of the world and of the different trends in healthcare. This might be what you could call my version of continuing education.
27-29 May, HerbFeast (Cork, Ireland)
30 May, Herbalista Workshop (Cork, Ireland)
1 June, Herb Patch installation (Dublin, Ireland)
1 June, St. Anne’s Physic Garden (Dublin, Ireland)
2-5 June, Radical Herbalism Gathering (Shrewsbury, England)
6-10 June, Refugee Support Foot Care Clinic (Calais, France)
17-19 June, Body & Soul Festival (Ballinlough Castle, Ireland)
2-7 July, Refugee Support First Aid and Foot Care Clinic (Calais, France)
Update June 7th:
Just finished my 2nd day working at First Aid Station in the refugee camp in Calais, France. There is much need, and I am glad to be able to offer foot care and comfort here. I will try and prepare information to share with those who are interested in making this journey.
Update July 7th:
Today was my last day working at the refugee camp in Calais. My feelings are jumping all over the place and I imagine that my relatively easy bus ride back across the channel to England will only compound it. Many of the men whom I treated were from Afghanistan and knowing how much US policy has impacted their lives and the lives of their families weighs heavily on me. For what little difference it makes in the larger picture, I am glad to have had the chance to offer them at least some comfort and care.
Update July 11th:
I’m back in Dublin and preparing for tomorrow’s journey home to the ATL. It’s hard to describe the growing pains this journey has triggered and I imagine the lessons from this trip will continue to reveal themselves over time. I am so grateful for the many compassionate, thoughtful, and straight up incredible folks that I met along the way. When I feel disoriented by the events that crash upon us each day, by the violence and the injustices that can feel so senseless, it is a blessing to encounter these bright lights to walk alongside. Thank you. x
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we launched our Grow a Row program. What better way to share your love for community than to become involved in its health and wellbeing. The idea for the Grow a Row Program was born just a few months ago, over cups of tea at Herbalista Headquarters. Duane Marcus of the Funny Farm has always been an avid supporter of our work at the clinic AND the organic growing scene here in Atlanta. We realized that we could start a program that not only helped to provide more herbs to our free clinic, but gave farmers the resources they need to expand into medicinal herb growing. Atlanta region herbalists would have a source for local materials, the public would see more herbs at farmers markets, and our clinic will have more support in its mission of providing earth-based care to underserved communities. If we can grow a local market for medicinal herbs everybody wins!
On Saturday, February 14th, we gathered together local farmers and herb enthusiasts at the Funny Farm in St. Mountain (just east of Atlanta) for our first info session. We toured the Funny Farm, let folks meet the Bus, and review 9 herbs in depth that we use large quantities of and would appreciate folks growing for us. Here is a link to the info packet we handed out. We had a great turn-out of almost 30 participants! It is so inspiring to see this enthusiasm for herbs and service! While we are currently reaching out to local farmers with room to grow, we also need help from volunteers who want to be involved in the harvesting and processing of these herbs. If you are interested in getting involved, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Duane and Robin for your heartfelt support, for sharing your wisdom, and for your constant dedication to the earth and her inhabitants.