In the life of an herb farm, it may seem from the outside that we would be hibernating and relaxing in the first part of the year. The ground is frozen and we aren’t out all day working, it’s true, but there is so much more to be done when we have a break from physical labor.
The early months of every year are packed with writing and researching for articles and books to come. We file paperwork and order seeds, clean equipment, and sharpen tools. There is a lot of preparation to be done before we prepare our soil for the growing season.
One of the biggest tasks we have is applying to all the herb festivals and gatherings that we would like to attend. It is now April and we are still filing paperwork, though now we are working on conferences that take place from October on.
Have you been to an herbal conference? Ever wondered what it would be like? Have you been undecided about the investment and what you might truly gain from going?
Why Attend an Herbal Conference?
An herbal education
There are a number of herbal conferences around the country. They are often started by a specific herbalist or community. This means that they are not all the same. They each mirror the personality or intention from which they sprang. Not every one will be the perfect fit for you, but you will always be guaranteed to walk away with your money’s worth in education and experience.
Fellowship with like-minded individuals
In every case you have the opportunity to fellowship with people who are trying to live healthier lives. Some may be brand new to the idea of changing their food habits and some may have known nothing different than to get their medicine from the land because of a family member who passed on his or her knowledge. You do not need to feel intimidated – all levels are welcomed.
Variety of experienced teachers
In every case you will have the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of experienced herbalists who have been selected to teach workshops. As you expand your knowledge, it is always helpful to encounter other people who experience the plants from a different perspective. You may study with a shaman from the rainforest or a naturopath from Michigan, all in the same day. Usually you have the chance to study with some of our most treasured herbalists.
Upcoming Herbal Conferences to Attend
Take a look at my list of conferences below. This is by no means comprehensive. Follow the links and check them out – almost all of them are currently taking registrations. Many of these are conferences we plan to attend. If you see our booth (Mockingbird Meadows), please stop and say hi!
International Herb Symposium (June 12-14, 2015) – A chance to learn from herbalists and ethnobotanists from around the world. This conference highlights plant conservation as it was originally started by Rosemary Gladstar and The United Plant Savers. http://www.internationalherbsymposium.com
New England Women’s Herbal Conference (August 28-30, 2015) – Folkloric and botanical-based, this women’s conference was started by Rosemary Gladstar. http://www.womensherbalconference.com
Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference (September 17-20, 2015) – This one is put on by Plant Healer Magazine and is a blend of clinical and folkloric practice in a holistic, earth-centered framework. http://planthealer.org/intro.html
Southeast Wise Woman Conference (October 2-4, 2015) – Based in the Wise Woman tradition, this conference was started by Corinna Wood. http://www.sewisewomen.com
American Herbalist Guild Annual Conference (October 15-18, 2015) – The professional side of botanical medicine is featured in this conference, showcasing clinical practice and recent phytochemical research. http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/symposium/introduction-to-symposium
Florida Herbal Conference (February 2016) – Started by the Florida School of Holistic Living and Emily Ruff, this conference focuses on the biodiversity found in the plants and the herbal community in Florida. http://floridaherbalconference.org