We were away from this space for decidedly too long.
We – or, I – didn’t mean to stay away for so much time, but after last June’s Somerville Herbstalk gathering, I needed a bit of a break to catch my breath again. Planning Herbstalk is truly one of the most fulfilling things I do, but I am still learning how to do it without collapsing in a (contented) exhaustion afterwards… every event organizer’s dilemma, I suppose.
Anyway, last year my co-planners and I learned so much about running an event of this size and nature, especially since we basically doubled in size. Things in general got a lot more interesting going from Year 1 to Year 2: this time we were able to offer a more rounded-out schedule of classes for both beginner and advanced herbal learners; we had plant walks going on throughout the whole weekend; we had more in-depth intensive classes on the schedule; we hosted a party for our amazing teachers, vendors and volunteers; and most importantly, we attracted a wonderfully dedicated and very diverse group of attendees whose enthusiasm for learning about herbs was palpable.
All in all, we were so thrilled at how nicely things came together, and we recognize that the challenges that we did face will only make us wiser in the long run. That said, in this coming third year of Herbstalk’s existence we intend to use this experience to our advantage in order to create THE most dynamic, inspirational, and accessible herb conference any city has seen!
I recently went through the hundreds of photos we took in June and I pulled out a few which capture the overall spirit of our gathering. I hope these bring back some good memories of the weekend, or inspire you to come next year if you haven’t yet been. We also had a lot of wonderful feedback from many of our attendees and participants, which they generously wished to share with everyone.
Now that we have revived the blog again, you’ll be seeing posts here on a more frequent basis touching on a variety of herbal topics such as seasonal DIY herbal recipes to plant identification to thoughts on being an urban herbalist. As always, we welcome your own comments and thoughts as this space grows. We have big plans for Herbstalk as an event AND as an online resource: let us know what you would like to see/share/experience here!
“I am so impressed with the care and attention that went into the organization and implementation of Herbstalk. The event was truly financially and logistically accessible, while also offering numerous beginner classes–there was a genuine feeling of outreach towards those in the community who are just starting to explore herbs. I felt truly inspired by meeting the folks who came to my classes and I look forward to supporting this excellent New England event in the years to come!”
– Larken Bunce, Co-Director, Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
“Every city should be so lucky as to have its own homegrown herbal conference, bringing together the talents and passions of a vibrant local community of teachers and healers. Herbstalk is an exemplar of the deep green movement towards self-sufficiency, ecological medicine, and reverent connection which is so needed today.”
– Ryn Midura, co-founder, CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine
“Herbstalk is an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by a loving community of herbalists and herbalism fans. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is to have an event focused just on the plants that we spend our lives learning about and loving. I feed off of this energy all year long.”
– Hannah Maguire, Wild Sage Herbals
“Seeing the massive community interest in Herbstalk inspired me to move into teaching and working as a community herbalist. It became clear to me how hungry people are for connection with plants, and for understanding how to holistically heal themselves and their communities. Herbstalk is an amazing offering of love and dedication to the spread of herbal wisdom.”
– Cathleen Miller, Community Herbalist
“Herbstalk was an extraordinary gathering of people who share a common interest in promoting the great value of herbs for health and wellness and food enhancement.”
– Michael Kanter, Owner of Cambridge Naturals
“Herbstalk was the best community herbal conference I have ever attended! It was a pleasure to be a part of such a heart-centered event. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and attending, and hope to do so again in the future.”
– Katie Stage, ND, RH (AHG)