It took four flights and almost 3,000 miles, but the adventure was well worth it when I walked up the path beneath a canopy of fall-colored trees in Black Mountain, North Carolina for the 10th annual Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference. I was eager to get checked in, pick up my updated program booklet, and plot my classes for the next few days—not to mention, get a lay of the land and find all the booths, vendors, and activities!
This was our first venture to this growing conference, so we’ve been super excited to experience it! As a sponsor, Mountain Rose has been looking forward to sharing in this wonderfully diverse community of women herbalists on the East Coast. I was determined to try to cover as much ground as possible during the gathering, by attending classes and activities, sampling the freshly-prepared meals, visiting the vendor booths, and chatting with folks at our own Mountain Rose Herbs table (we brought along tinctures to try, and samples of our organic lavender, hops and Peace Tea blend!) While I couldn’t possibly be in all the places I wanted to all the time, I certainly tried to pack it in!
The Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference is held at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, North Carolina—just outside of Asheville. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a conference that took the time to provide “Bear Safety!” tips in the welcome information, but I can report that while I saw no bears, I did get to connect with more than 1200 women, along with many girls and young women at the three-day conference. The grounds were constantly awash with their smiling, exuberant energy!
It was hard to choose between all of the amazing classes taking place that weekend, but I made my way to some fantastic ones. I learned so much in Juliet Blankespoor’s “Herbs for the Immune System” class that I’m still studying my notes to absorb all of the information! Between the information, recipes, and herbal knowledge, I came away feeling ready for the coming season!
I thoroughly enjoyed and felt inspired by “Indigenous Wisdom and the Future of Indigenous Ways” presented by Olatokunboh Obasi. I loved how she talked about “being awake to the cycles of energy in the space you are in” as a means for observing how we all fit into this big and evolving universe of ours. The diversity and depth of conversation in that workshop made the time fly by and I couldn’t believe when it was time to move on to the next learning adventure.
With a focus on embracing diversity and making space for women from all backgrounds, ages, and at various stages in their herbal learning, this conference was going strong from the early morning yoga to the late night fire circles and drum parties. There were herb walks all day long offering attendees the chance to learn about edible and medicinal plants, trees, natural first aid, and more. As I prepared to leave on Sunday evening, my brain swimming with new inspired teachings, I was already wondering what next year's conference might be like! Truly looking forward to the magic that awaits...