Annie banannie, with the polka dotted fannie, how does your garden grow?
With yawning cats on comfrey plants, all in a little row.
This week I am saying goodbye to Central Florida and moving to the southern Appalachian Blue Ridge. My partner and I are escaping the city to play with a more remote lifestyle in the mountains with friends. Our transition involves building a little cabin and finding our flow without electricity or running water, something we’ve been craving for awhile.
I feel like my time in Orlando has been very full and adventurous, and I have thoroughly enjoyed practicing herbalism and emergency medicine in an urban situation. I have been surrounded by a community of delightful herbalists. On the other hand, I’ve also experienced a decrease in sanity from spending too much time surrounded by concrete and car exhaust. So my intention with this move is immerse myself in a wilder setting and see what comes.
With this transition, I am ending Take Root! Take Root has been a fun project through which I’ve experimented with what it means to be an herbalist. I feel the need to start fresh, especially with the recent addition of massage therapy to my practice. So, with that, I introduce a new name under which I will carry on my old and new projects: Bean’s Herbarium. Over this year, the website will transition to www.BeansHerbarium.com. Bean’s Herbarium will include both my herbal and massage practice.
“How will you spend your time?”
Over the summer, my time will be given to building a home before next winter. Until then, everything else is pretty much on the back-burner. After I have a roof over my head and a wood stove to keep me warm, I have a plethora of hopes…
My primary intention is to be present to the land where I am living on a daily basis. I am trying to somewhat escape the necessity of a job controlling my schedule, so I hope to spend less time working for money and more time at home, working directly for basic creature needs and comforts.
Beyond that, I plan to work as a massage therapist and continue my sliding scale herbal offerings. I hope to continue doing free foot care & first aid, and have a few ideas of how this might play out. I imagine I will teach, though I don’t plan to offer any classes in the next year. I would like to steward endangered woodland herbs and I suppose my small-scale apothecary will expand as more medicine surrounds me on the land. My future as an EMT is unclear to me. I would like to keep up with the skills and learn the particulars of wilderness first response, though I no longer want to spend time in an ambulance. I think I will be putting this knowledge to use in more autonomous settings (like herbal first aid stations). At the very least, I will be a long drive from an ER, so my first responder experience is slightly comforting.
“What will come of the foot care project?”
I feel very happy to report that my friend Mark will be continuing the Monday morning foot care alongside Orlando Food Not Bombs. He has been partnering with me for the past year and offers wonderful care. Please contact me if you would like to support him in any way.
“Will you still have email and a phone?”
Yes. However, I will have limited reception, and will not have internet where I live. So my reply time will be more delayed. Please have grace with this.
“Will you still be available for herbal consults?”
Yes, I really enjoy herbal consults! However, these will need to happen over the phone for the time being. I can be contacted by email or through the website to schedule a time.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people have wanted to talk about this! We do not have elaborate composting toilet plans or anything, rather we are keeping it simple. We will be digging holes in the woods and squatting like all the other critters. Perhaps when it gets colder, we will create a shelter to go around the hole, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
“So, are you just done with Florida forever?”
No! At the very least, I intend to return next February for the gatherings. Florida will always be my dreamland.
“Is it worth staying subscribed to the newsletter if you are no longer in Florida?”
No one has actually asked this, but I imagine it’s a question that might run through some minds, especially if you don’t know me personally or care about my run-away-to-the-woods journey. The answer is: I don’t know. I won’t be teaching as much in FL, so it may not be as enticing to stay up-to-date. I will continue writing zines and blogposts, so if those interest you, then it could be worth it. I will not be offended if you unsubscribe 🙂
“What is the next content we will be seeing from you?”
In the next few months, I have a few reflections I would like to share on the blog about my experience as an EMT and as a birth assistant. I am also currently updating my first two zines and adding information to them.
With that, I will pull out my roots from the muggy swamp of Central Florida; land of gators and lightning, strange birds and Spanish moss. And I’ll transplant them in a holler of the oldest mountains in the world; just in time for ephemerals and rapid growth, diverse canopies holding cold streams and animals awakening from winter slumber…
Now I will leave you to a song of inspiration, called “Sick Day”…