While ‘wildcrafted’ has too often been code for ‘pillaged from the wild’, we view it as a relationship, a way of working together with nature to increase the vitality and abundance of medicine and food, of life itself! The heart of sustainable wildcrafting is in living a day to day connection with the land, across the seasons, learning how to increase abundance through immersion and careful observation of nature over the years, decades and generations. For many thousands of years, humans thrived through intimate connections with the web of life around us, tending and cultivating the wild plants by which we lived. In this way, modern concepts of ‘wilderness’ are often somewhat fantastical.
Throughout our planet, much of our wildlands were carefully managed by the tribes of each region, including all of our ancient ancestors, in such a way that promoted the health and vigor of wild plant communities. Through careful cultivation, the diversity & range of medicinal plants could flourish & prosper. The modern cut it all down & then ‘hands-off’ and wait, or, plant a single species tree monoculture approach to restoring wild spaces will not get us anywhere towards recovering our once great, damaged biological communities. Instead, we’ve created new wildlands with depleted resources & overly thick, scraggly botanical landscapes rife with numerous harmful invasive species. While invasive warfare cultures have damaged the practices of earth-based cultures around the world beyond full recovery, we can at least get started through simple measures including harvesting roots only after seed is set, re-planting root crowns or divisions of every root that’s harvested, by removing invasive brushy growth from the forest, broadcasting leaf mulch from ravines back up the hillsides, planting fruitful native plants that were supposed to be there, with root networks that connect to fungal-mycelial soil builders, proper seasonal site burn maintenance and countless other methods, to begin healing the land itself.
In this work, there is a great need to listen to the voices of traditional wisdom whenever offered, to dig deep and follow through on advice, to do what we can in mending the damage to earth-based culture worldwide. We must also reckon with the fact that much of our herbal knowledge was taken from the Native Tribal Cultures of this land, and that we’ve generally done nothing of benefit in exchange. Of course, quite the opposite. Appalachian herbs represent the majority of medicines used in modern western herbalism. Nobody owes us to save us from the depleted mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, but it’s now our time to show up and do what we can to reverse the damage of our created landscapes as a modern culture.
Our herbal product line comes from herbs carefully harvested on lands that are lived with and lovingly tended day in and out. From multiple generational family homesteads, these herbs come from decades of care and cultivation of the precious medicinal resources. By working with the forest and fields as though they are beloved gardens – wild and untamed gardens as they be – the experienced hands of human tenders can restore population diversity and proliferate population sizes such that there is more abundance after we harvest, rather than less. After new native plants are reintroduced to damaged ecosystems, we see new pollinators and other animal species returning. Centuries of pillaging by the industrial mindset has damaged the cultures of place, from humans through plants, microbes and beyond. Wildcrafting has too often been undertaken irresponsibly, greedily, injuring the web of life and decreasing abundance. By shifting away from the ‘taker’ mentality, acknowledging that healing our wild places requires commitment for generations, working together & listening, we can begin to move into a new paradigm of relating to nature, food and medicine.
This is the medicine and food that sustains us, friends and family. By doing our part, putting in the work to sustain the soil and healthy plant communities, we ensure that the healthiest ecosystems full of perennial sustenance continue across many generations to come.
Balanced relationship with wild places is a desperately needed balm for our health woes, and for the ails of modern relationships with Earth altogether. We need to dig deep as modern humans, to move into a time of healing.
We envision engaging with other plant people, farmers, gardeners and voices of wisdom in our region, to expand carefully tended and wildcrafted spaces through training for site development and planting. The entire community of life thrives and balance is restored through widespread propagation of food & medicinal native wildlands!
Much of the large-scale herbal supplement industry still sacrifices sustainability and quality for mass quantity. By supporting our work, or that of other hands-on community herbalists in your area, you ensure that the integrity of wild plant populations are supported, and that you’re getting the freshest, highest quality ingredients in your products!
Thank you and towards the green path!