The second annual Herbstalk convention was held this year in Somerville, Massachusetts on June 8th & 9th. The gathering was produced in conjunction with Somerville’s local The Arts at the Armory, and was sponsored by an assortment of local businesses. The two day event brought together a community of veteran, beginner, and non-herbalist alike, connecting everyone together through informative workshops, enriched discussions, and fun activities.
This year’s Herbstalk hosted 32 herbal workshops spread over two days and provided a lot of variety. Topics ranged from entry level “healing plants for the home gardener” to in-depth lectures “herbal alternatives to commonly prescribed medications” and all in between, including herbal medicine classes and herbal apprenticeship programs Not all workshops were lecture based – a handful were craft-based and showed how to create tinctures, pot plants, and properly brew tea. Other instructors laced up their boots and ventured around Somerville on walking tours.
The walking tours taught through a hands-on approach, allowing each participant to search, find, and pick local (to Somerville) growing herbs. While one walking tour was in session, a homeowner admitted to pulling-out what she thought was a weed, shortly to find out to be the powerful herb purslane. The classes were just the beginning.
In-between each class session was a 30 minute block which gave enough time to shop around the main hall. The main hall quickly became the hang out place to escape the heat. In the hall was where the lights were dim, music was playing, and community was built. Discussions grew to an uproar as information was passed from human-to-human. The main hall also became home for the local vendors to show what they had to offer. Products such as vegan food, dried tea leaves, and recipe books, seemed to be attendee favorites.
As the final hours came closing in, you couldn’t help but notice the smiles on all the faces. Herbstalk 2013 may have ended on June 9, but this perennial community will continue to bloom year round . You can check out news and discussions about Herbstalk over at www.herbstalk.org.