I really love reading personal update posts from bloggers who I follow. I try to post a personal update on the blog at least once a year, but when I recently checked to see when I had last shared one, I realized that I haven’t written one since we first set out to move to the Pacific Northwest in February of 2017! (You can read that post here.) In light of that, I thought I’d share a more personal update with you today.
If personal posts aren’t your jam and you’re mainly here for educational content, I’ve linked to one of my posts from this time last year here so you can read that instead. It’s all about Herbal Aromatherapy™ care for the back-to-school season. =) I do have a surprise for you at the end of this post, though, so you may want to stick around until the end.
Who We Are
If you’re new around here and aren’t as familiar with who my husband and I are, Hi! I’m Erin and my husband Jon is the handsome guy on the left in this photo. We’re herbalists, organic gardeners and urban homesteaders based in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of our work here, Jon is also a talented woodworker (his main business) and I’m also an artist, professionally trained in aromatherapy.
In 2016, I started AromaCulture Magazine and began publishing educational content every week on my blog (which now lives here at Floranella, but there are dozens of old posts that are still available to read if you click here). Jon started working with me on AromaCulture in 2018 and we’ve also launched Floranella, our new school, this year.
What We've Been Up To
Our current garden is now in its second year. We were able to expand it a bit this year and it’s been really fun to see the plants flourish! We have a normal-sized urban backyard, but we’re blessed to be able to grow plenty of edibles in it, along with over 70 kinds of medicinal herbs and a wide variety of lavender species. You’ve been able to see a lot of our garden harvest photos over on my Instagram feed, but I’ll share a few with you below too, in case you don’t follow me on Instagram yet (I try to post every weekday there).
It’s been amazing to see how many pollinators have found us this year and to see how their presence has really balanced out a lot of the issues we had with pests last year. This year, we haven’t had any issues because all of the beneficial insects have really taken care of things for us (along with all of the care we put into building our soil last year to increase the resiliency of the plants)!
I’ve also been distilling hydrosols and essential oils with fresh plant material from the garden a lot this year. Distillation is something that I’m covering in every level of our Herbal Aromatherapy™ certification courses, and it’s been really wonderful to be able to capture the process for you.
I did a lot of writing early in January for our upcoming Herbal Aromatherapy™ courses and this summer has been filled with lots of filming so I can make sure to have plenty of videos to share with you in the courses. The Level One certification course will be launching this fall and I can hardly wait to share it with you! I’m finishing up some final edits on it and getting everything ready. I’ll let you know as soon as enrollment opens. =)
Here are some of the other things I’ve been working on in my personal life this year:
- transitioning to a more bio-regional focus in our approach to plant medicine
- slowly adjusting to more of a minimalistic, zero-waste lifestyle (a slow process, but we’re working on it!)
- taking more classes so I can continue to grow in my own experience with plants and be able to review courses for those of you who are interested in them
- continuing to hand-sew the grandmother’s flower garden quilt that my Gran started working on before she passed
- foraging with Jon (when it isn’t too smokey – this season has been wildfire-heavy) and spending lots of time practicing plant identification when we come across a plant we haven’t met before in the wild
- improving my botanical illustration skills as I build my personal materia medica and continue to practice painting plants
Some Really Exciting News
I think the thing I’m most excited about this year is that I’ve recently found out that I’ve been accepted into the clinical herbalism training program that I applied to this summer!
I’ve done a lot of self study and have studied under some fantastic teachers through the years, but as you probably know, finding really solid clinical training programs, especially online, can be really difficult. Most programs equip you to be a home herbalist or to work with clients on a pretty narrow surface level, but don’t go into depth about actual clinical applications.
I’ve had my eye on this particular program for a couple of years, but it only opens for enrollment once every two years, so when the school started accepting applications this year, I knew I had to go for it!
I actually thought there was no way I was going to be accepted.
I’m normally really organized and on top of things (I have to be with all of the things I’m constantly working on!), but I made all kinds of silly mistakes throughout the application process – including calling in for my applicant interview with the head of the school 10 minutes late! I remember thinking, “I have left the worst possible impression throughout this whole process and this is so unlike me. There is no way I am going to be accepted into this program.” There were so many things that happened that normally wouldn’t have that I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t supposed to get in this year for some reason!
When I found out that I had been accepted into the program, I almost cried! I was so happy and excited and relieved to hear the news!
My coursework starts two weeks from today (with a bit of an orientation this afternoon) and the class lasts two years. I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to study under one of the best clinical herbalism teachers in our country through a rigorous, in-depth training program and I can hardly wait to see how much my work with plants is going to grow and expand and change throughout the two years.
This is such a big deal for me – a huge step in my own journey – and I just can’t help but celebrate it!
Two Surprises for You
I know that many of you can completely relate to the excitement that comes with taking a step forward like this and that you understand the feeling of wanting to share that excitement with everyone.
So to share mine with all of you, I’ve just placed all of our past issues of AromaCulture Magazine on sale in the shop. They’re all 30% off right now (our biggest sale ever) so that you can stock up on some of the issues you’ve had on your wish-list for awhile. =)
I really love being able to share the magazine with people because it’s such an affordable way to learn more about herbalism and aromatherapy from a wide variety of professionals. I often get emails from people asking about when we’re going to have another sale so people can stock up on a bunch of issues all at once and, to be honest, we don’t have sales very often. But this week, I really wanted to be able to pay it forward and share some extra savings with you all. You can shop the sale by clicking here – there’s no coupon code necessary. The sale will run for one week.
*giveaway closed* I'm also giving away two one-year subscriptions to the magazine!
The recipients of the complimentary subscriptions will be chosen from our Insiders Group, so if you don’t already receive emails from me every Tuesday, you can sign up for the Insiders Group (it’s free) via the form at the bottom of this post.
*Giveaway Closed* To enter to win one of the complimentary subscriptions, leave a comment on this blog post to let me know what you really love about AromaCulture and/or Floranella. I’ll announce the winners here next week after notifying them via email. *Congratulations Lise and Amanda!*
I hope you all have a lovely week!