Rosemary Gladstar and planting the future.....

March 07, 2010

Rosemary Gladstar's talk yesterday around the future of plants was such an incredible eye-opener..I want to share....her talk, and a delicious dinner at Asiana Noodle House, made for a stellar evening! In a nutshell, Rosemary talked about the herbal healing industry...how it has grown from a small tribe of followers in the late sixities/early seventies, when she ran an herb store selling "twigs" as she says, to the 720 billion dollar industry that we know it to be to-day. Of course, plant healing is the first, most ancient healing system of all, but in  industrialized Western societies in particular, it kind of went 'underground'....
The incredible thing, is that  this resurgence of interest and use, has brought an awareness to the world of the powerful relationship we have with plants...the bad news is that we are over harvesting medicinal plants at such an alarming rate, we are poised to wipe out some of the varieties that many of us now depend on for vibrant health...
For some of us, seeing the words 'wildcrafted' on an herbal supplement label might give us assurance that the herb is grown, free of pesticides and other things...but what that also means is that the plant used to make you supplement has been taken from the wild...perhaps from one of the very last stands exisiting in a given locale...some plants take 40 years to reach the maturity needed for medical efficacy...and new plants are not being re-introduced in their stead...basically, we are over-harvesting our herbs as we have over harvested our oceans...
The US is one of the largest exporters of goldenseal ( pictured) and ginseng to Europe...we ship it there by the ton....in the process we are very quickly depleting our own resources
 Rosemary, and her group, United Plant Savers is advocating that you use herbs that are organically farm grown, and that we work to protect native species, or we will loose them and their medicinal properties forever....if a product you use doesn't indicate the source, she asks that you CALL the company and inquire...and if herbs are not farm grown, insist they move towards that for sourcing! Send a message!...the American consumer can be a force to be reckoned with!
She also advocated planting a patch in your garden for native species, and letting it be 'wild' and uncultivated to attract more birds,bees and butterflies who need these native plants that are becoming more and more difficult for them to find for survival....she says this will enable creatures to sort of float and fly from patch to patch, getting more of what they really need...so in turn you are helping them survive too....United plant saver will actually SEND you plants if you join to plant in your little sustainability patch!...I am officially dedicating an area around my home for this this Spring  ( not that I am much of a 'cultivator' anyhoo!) She has written a guidebook if you are interested...
Heady stuff, and very important food for thought...I am so glad I went to this talk....it was unbelievable eye-opener...
hoping you are having a beautiful week-end!


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