Old Ways Herbal: Juliette Abigail Carr, RH (AHG)

Women & Children's Herbal Clinic, Vermont Herb School, & Ramblings on Family Herbal Wisdom


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Free Medicinal Plant Walk in April

Join the Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine for a Free Medicinal Plant Walk

Sunday, April 28, 1 to 1:30 PM in Brattleboro

Celebrate spring with a calm amble to meet the medicinal weeds of spring in Brattleboro.  We will discuss how to find them, medicinal uses, preparations, and safety concerns.  Children are welcome.

RSVP required:


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POC & Abenaki Scholarships

Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine gratefully acknowledges that modern herbalism rests squarely on the shoulders of many generations of black and brown herbalists.  It is a facet of institutionalized white supremacy that the public face of herbalism in this country is a white one, belying the absolutely essential tradition of herbalists from communities of color, especially Native American and slave communities.

Old Ways Herbal is pleased to offer two scholarships to our courses to students who identify as people of color (POC) originating from oppressed groups and/or groups that are underrepresented in the public face of herbalism.

POC Scholarships cover 50% of course tuition.  An additional 25% of tuition may be covered via work-trade; however, it is essential that POC students do not feel obligated to trade physical labor for their education.  Too much has been built on the backs of POC already.  If you are a scholarship recipient who would also like to perform work-trade, please consider what kind of work or barter appeals to you beyond garden labor (of course, if you’re dying to help in the garden, you totally can–just don’t feel that you have to).

Abenaki Scholarships cover 100% of course tuition, minus a small materials fee for take-home materials (depending on the course).  Our farm is located on stolen Abenaki land, and the majority of medicines grown in the Old Ways Herbal Botanical Sanctuary and used in our apothecary were taught to white colonists by Abenaki herbalists.  Charging Abenaki Tribe members for herbal education is unjust.

To apply, please write 1 page max answering the following:

  • What course do you want to take?
  • What community do you belong to?
  • What study in herbalism have you already done (if any)?
  • What do you hope to learn at OWH, or how will this course be useful to you?

Email it to Juliette using the Contact page on this website.  You can also ask questions through that page prior to registering for a course.

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Ethical Wildcrafting Principles

Ethical Wildcrafting Principles

Ethical wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants and trees conscientiously, to avoid damaging the health of the population or the overall ecological system. It’s especially important for trees because if you don’t harvest bark properly, you’ll kill the tree, which is like killing a chicken for the eggs (also true for most perennial plants). The basic principles are simple:

don’t kill something when taking part of it will do; don’t take more than you need; and don’t take more than the population can stand.

This issue is close to my heart, as I’ve watched plant populations decline as people violate the sanctity of the natural world in the name of greed. Ignoring the longevity of other creatures is buying into the mythos of man as supreme ruler over the birds and fishes—which solidly places us on the path toward unwitting acceptance of large-scale corporate rape and pillage of the natural world, violating the basic principles of land stewardship and of simply being a decent person. Harvest intentionally and teach the people around you, so our natural world stays awesome.

Don’t Kill It This is an issue with any wildcrafting or wild foods harvest, but it’s blatantly obvious when you harvest trees. Trees are keystone species, meaning they form the center of the complex ecological web that surrounds them, from plants that only grow in soil with the pH maintained by that tree’s leaves, to the lichen on its branches, to the birds that eat the bugs that eat the wood, to the foxes that eat the birds…you get the idea. Trees are important fellows among their woodland brethren, so it’s easy to imagine the impact of removing one for a stupid reason, like by accident. The most common way this happens in wildcrafting is by girdling, or removing a section of bark around the trunk of the tree. Girdling kills the tree because the leaves and roots can’t trade water and sugar, leaving the tree to starve to death. Girdling is one thing if you’re carving a homestead out of the wilderness—it’s a time-honored way of clearing forest—but it’s something entirely different if you’re just doing it because you don’t know any better.

Girdling is specific to trees, but the overall principle applies to any plant: don’t kill it if you can avoid it. Instead of taking the whole root of a perennial, cut off most of the root, then replant the root bud where the stem comes out so the plant will grow back. If you’re harvesting leaves, cut the stem above a leaf node so it will easily regrow, instead of cutting it off at the ground. This is an easy habit to get in to.

Take What You Need… There’s no reason for wildcrafted herbs to end up in your compost. It’s better to go back for more than it is to take too much the first time.

…But Not Too Much When harvesting wild plants, take about 1/5 of the population, max. I’ve heard this explained as “1 each for the animals, birds, fish, plants, and people,” and “1 left for each of the four directions,” but those are maybe a little out-there for me. I just don’t take more than 1/5. It’s easy—if you’re really not sure, count to 5 and take the 5th plant. It’s especially important not to take too much when you’re harvesting from a small population, a rare or threatened plant, or at a place that’s really popular for wildcrafting— in these situations, you might decide to harvest far less to avoid having a negative impact.

The United Plant Savers website has great resources to tell you if a plant is threatened or at-risk.

 

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School of Plant Medicine Registration Open

Sign up now for Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine Courses!

The Home Medicine Maker, Home Herbalist, and Medicinal Gardener Courses start in May.  As of today, there are 8 spots left in the Home Medicine Maker Course, and 9 in each of the others; these courses are open enrollment.

The Traditional Apprenticeship starts at the end of April, and the High Summer Apprenticeship starts in July.  These competitive programs are by application only.

More Information Here

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Plant a Bug Spray Garden

Check out my new article in Heirloom Gardener Magazine, a publication of Mother Earth News!

Plant a Bug Spray Garden: Plant herbal allies to defend your family from bites and your garden from pests

Here’s more information on Herbal Infused Oils

Here’s a bunch of things about Herbal Gardening

Let me know what you think!

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Good Medicine Confluence 2019

Join me in gorgeous Durango, CO, May 15-19 for one of the best, most unique herbal gatherings in the country!

I’m so excited to be teaching three classes:

Birth Trauma: Healing with Herbs

Essential Herbs for Toddlers and their Families

Botanical Sanctuary: Learning from the Land, Teaching from the Land

I’m so thrilled to be invited back to this vibrant event and I hope to see you there!

 

 

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Registered Herbalist!

Big news!  I’m honored to announce my acceptance into the American Herbalists Guild as a peer-reviewed Registered Herbalist, the highest level of credentialing available to herbalists in the US.  I look forward to participating in all the opportunities for professional development afforded by this honor, as well as expanding clinical hours for long-distance clients, and continuing to offer the usual courses and apprentice programs through the Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine.

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