Hi there! I’m Meredith, a clinical herbalist and farmer.
In February 2009, I was working as an in-house graphic designer for a multinational textile manufacturer, creating packaging and promotional materials for everything from sheet sets to soap dispensers. (If you were ever in a Bed, Bath, & Beyond around that time, you might have even seen some of my designs.)
Sounds cool, right? Unfortunately, it the opposite. It was the height of the Great Recession and the company I worked for was circling the drain after decades of outsourcing. I had a boss from hell and stewed in a toxic work environment day in and day out, waiting for the inevitable layoffs to reach our department. After work I numbed the pain with alcohol but I still couldn’t sleep through the night because of excruciating hip and leg pain. I’d had a chronic respiratory infection all winter long and suspected I had a peptic ulcer–outside of mealtimes, my stomach hurt so much I could barely sit upright.
When the VP of my department asked me to come to her office and instead ushered me into a small side room occupied by a man from HR, I knew my time was up. I cried while he walked me through the layoff process, but they were tears of relief. I was in bad shape when I walked out that building. But I’d been given the space and time to heal. I wasn’t going to squander that opportunity.
My path since then has been long and winding, but the central focus has remained unchanged: restoring my connection to nature.
I kept working as a designer and in the meantime I learned how to farm. I killed every houseplant my mom gifted me in college so it was a steep learning curve, but somewhere along the way I realized that that if you slow down and pay attention, the plants will tell you what they need. This understanding wasn’t a bolt from the sky. It crept in over time, the product of countless hours at the potting bench in the greenhouse, or kneeling to set thousands of seedlings into the red clay soil. And it has changed my life.
I’d only ever planned on being a farmer, but my growing relationship with the plants put me on the path to becoming a clinical herbalist. Since 2011 I’ve studied with Ceara Foley at the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism, with Rosemary Gladstar through her Science and Art of Herbalism correspondence course, with CoreyPine Shane at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, and with Phyllis Light at the Appalachian Center for Natural Health. I’ve also been fortunate to take classes with such herbal luminaries as Juliet Blankespoor, Mimi Hernandez, jim mcdonald, and Matthew Wood.
The more in tune I’ve become with the earth’s wisdom, the more I’ve healed in both body and mind. It’s not always fun or easy–I still get blisters, bug bites, bruises, and even had a herniated disk. But each setback is an opportunity to open my heart up a little wider, dig a little deeper, and keep doing this transformative work. I can say with absolute certainty that the benefits of co-creating with nature far outweigh the drawbacks.
I believe now more than ever that it’s crucial to be in touch with the land and the seasons that write their changes on its face as well as our bodies. This connection brings us more vibrant health and well being, a greater sense of purpose, and the knowledge that we are not alone in this world.
I know many other women my age are going through the same process I did.
Maybe you’re suffering from the effects of chronic stress and a deep-seated sense of disconnection.
Maybe you’re dealing with health issues that conventional medicine just can’t seem to address.
Maybe you’ve felt the pull of a particular flower or tree, or even a place, and you want to learn how to tap in to the currents of knowledge that you sense flowing under the surface.
Whatever brought you to this space, I’m here and ready to help however I can.
Are you ready?
It’s time see yourself as part of an infinite and endlessly interconnected ecosystem.
It’s time to put down some roots, to ground yourself in the certainty of seasonal cycles.
It’s time to cultivate your own personal connection to the earth’s wisdom.
If this call has your heart beating a little faster and your eyes a little brighter, head on over to my blog to read up on all the ways you can get started, or find me on Instagram for snapshots of my work with the plants and life on the farm.