Weekend Getaway: Northwest Herb Fest

| 8/23/2010 5:16:36 PM

E.McIntoshErin is the Communications Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs and an apprenticing herbalist at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies, where she botanizes and wildcrafts medicinal plants in the magnificent Oregon Cascades. www.mountainroseherbs.com

This year’s Northwest Herb Fest was a lovely gathering of plant people from the Pacific States and beyond.  For two sunny days in July each year, Wise Acres Farm welcomes 200 excited attendees to explore their lush gardens, study with diverse teachers, browse handmade herbal goodies at the market, and make friends with other herbalists from the community. The festival offers a unique opportunity to learn different healing modalities and plant traditions from a plethora of botanical experience.

To prepare for the weekend’s festivities, I harvested and bundled towering mugwort, catnip, spirea, lavender, milk thistle and motherwort to decorate the Mountain Rose Herbs booth. As I hung the dazzling bouquets, our tent was instantly transformed with a bit of garden charm. So simple, yet so beautiful—assembling these herbal bundles quickly put me in the spirit for celebration.

Fragrant herb bundles drying in the sun.
Photo by Erin McIntosh

Classes began early Saturday morning as the sun perched on gently sloping green hills. Festival-goers wandered around the farm, happily drinking tea and reading their programs for the day’s events. From Medicinal Trees and Flower Essences, to The Solanaceae Family and Nutritious Seaweeds, every class sounded amazing and it was excruciating to choose between them.

One of my favorite classes of the weekend was a plant walk with Wren Davidson. Wren has been an herbalist in Eugene for nearly three decades. Her knowledge and wit kept us smiling as she told stories from her childhood and illuminated new things to love about old friends like yarrow, blackberry and nettles. She even brought tasty homemade roasted dandelion root from her garden to share with us.

12/15/2014 10:48:20 AM

Thank you for this piece. Sounds lovely to go to such an event.