This past weekend I had the good fortune to attend the first annual Urban Moonshine Herbal Conference in Johnson, Vermont. It felt a bit like adult summer camp and even though it was just one day, it was just what this city girl needed. The conference was a fundraiser for the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism (VCIH) as well as a celebration dinner to honor the summer in its height of abundance.
We arrived to the top of Dreaming Mountain (nope, I'm not making that name up), a retreat center featuring incredible views of the green mountains, ponds, beautiful gardens, and yurts (which were our classrooms). The land smelled of pine needles, flowers, and sweet mountain air and we were all excited for the opening remarks from the inspiring Rosemary Gladstar.
Rosemary has been called the "godmother of American herbalism" and has been teaching and working in the world of herbs and plant medicine for 35 years. She spoke about the state of herbalism and healing today and what she sees for the future of this (literally) grassroots movement. She talked about how energized she was that herbalism is making its way into the mainstream, with herbalists teaching in hospitals, educating doctors about plants, and sharing the wisdom and benefits of herbs with practitioners of allopathic medicine. She ended by reminding us that while we've had a lot of success, there is still a ton of work to be done and that it is time for all of us to “get busy."
Photo by Jessa Blades