Category Archives: Iowa City

Desperately Seeking Work Trade Apprentice

Part of growing wiser is knowing when you are in over your head, right?

I have too much going on because I am trying to do all. the. things.  I have the clients, and the writing, and the teaching, and the garden.

Oh my gourd,  the garden.

As you can see, things are kind of out-of-control.

I have have been trying to get caught up around here, but I can’t quite manage.  I’ve tried to make some connections with local growers about growing more medicinal herbs, but its just not happening. So, instead of being able to cut back, I am going to have to move more in that direction myself and be my own supplier.

So  I need help in the form of a work-trade apprentice.  This would be a perfect for someone who wants to learn about herbs, but can’t afford classes.  This will be a hands on learning situation. We will be working with the plants daily and probably getting dirty and full of burrs.  You will learn identification, gardening, ethical harvesting, permaculture techniques, making preparations for clients and all the paperwork that requires. Yes, paperwork.

I also would like to find  an office assistant who is willing to barter some work on my book project and social media,  but that will  until fall.

I am not sure that you have to be local, we can probably figure something out for the right person who wants to trade more time for room-and-board.  You don’t have to know how to do any gardening, but it would be cool if you were handy with power tools and you have to be physically able.


Besides the free educational experience, you ill have access to many medicinal herbs I have growing and be able to harvest some for your own use. I will probably have some garden produce for you, too.

You will have access to my still room and equipment.

On occasion I travel for work and I can offer you  free tickets to some of the conferences I teach at in exchange for traveling with me and helping out with driving.

If everything works out over the summer, we can continue in the fall and I will enroll you in my practitioner’s intensive for work-trade.

If you have time to commit to the pursuit, let me know.

Natural Immunizations

So I would like to put this out there publicly to answer a question I’ve been receiving, a lot l lately.

I guess it all started because a  local chiropractor recommends homeopathic nosodes as “natural immunizations”.   I’ve heard that he is referring people to a homeopath in a town some hours away,  who is  charging people $100 for the nosodes and signing off on immunization cards,  saying that clients have been immunized.   Quite a few people have contacted me and asked me if I could do the same thing.

I am not a homeopath.   I do not use homeopathic nosodes and I certainly would never dream of signing an immunization card, or a medical exemption form.   I am not even sure that ethically  I would be comfortable  doing so, given my concern that research on the subject has shown that the nosodes do not result in production of specific antibodies.

Putting the question of efficacy aside, these nosodes do not meet immunization requirements.  I contacted the school district to confirm this.   They told me that not only do these “natural immunizations” not meet state requirements,    but that unless a practitioner signing off on the immunization card is a licensed medical practitioner in the state of Iowa, signing the medical exemption form, or an immunization card, can be considered fraud.    Herbalists and homeopaths, no matter how many letters we have behind our names are not licensed medical practitioners.   Chiropractors are also not able to sign off on the forms.

When the boys were little a local chiropractor filled out medical exemption forms for them.     It was a bit of a mess for me to extract myself from when I found out he wasn’t legally able to do this.   In that case, I think that it was simply his belief that no one ever looks at the cards, once they are turned in.

For those who don’t think that the district actually looks at those forms, let me assure you that our local district does.   When I turned in the aforementioned medical exemption card,  I was very   quickly contacted by the district letting me know that legally a chiropractor cannot sign off on immunizations.       Years later I was contacted because the date that the notary wrote on a form didn’t match the date that was written on the form.  So just from my own experience, I know that the school does a thorough audit of their health forms.

In the end, how you choose choose to handle the situation is  your decision.  I am not going to weigh in on either side of the debate.   There is a religious exemption available to parents in Iowa and it is against your first constitutional rights for a school to demand that you tell them what religion you are.

I just wanted to put this out here, to explain the legalities of the situation, because I think as  holistic healthcare practitioner, being aware of these legalities is part of our responsibility to our clients.   I would hate to ever put a client in an uncomfortable situation due to my own ignorance.

The First IC Herb Day.

Hopefully, I have some new readers today from the IC Herb Day event I organized.
I was so incredibly pleased (surprised would probably be a better word) at the turnout.   Thank you so much to everyone who came.   I was probably overly exuberant due to nervous energy, but that will calm down eventually.  It probably would have gone better if the rain hadn’t caused me to switch the topic of my presentation at the last minute.   It was truly inspirational to me, but more importantly it brought me a step closer to realizing my goals.

To understand my goals it is helpful to understand that  I belong to an amazing  herbal community.  We are supportive of one another because we share a common goal in bringing herbalism back to the people.  We aren’t competitive or egotistic.   We promote each others businesses and products. We want one another to do well because we care about one another.  We share our knowledge freely because we love to talk about herbalism.  It is in our blood which runs just a bit greener than other people’s.    I am truly blessed by being a part of that community.

They  live far away.  We are scattered and we get lonely for one another.We  get home from conferences and we struggle with the fact that it is much easier to blend into that established community than it is to build one where there is none.

But we have to do it, it is in our blood.   I am teary-eyed as I write this thinking of all of my teachers.  I think especially of  Kiva and Wolf,  who work so hard to build the Herbal Resurgence community and Tina and Maryanne who work so hard to build The Essential Herbal Community.   More importantly than sharing your knowledge of herbs with me,  you have taught me the importance of herbal community.  And then there is Sean who is teaching me the way of being in community with the plants.    I have had many wonderfully wise herb teachers but it is you all who have taught me so much  about herbalism as a way of life and being.    I kind of love you for that.

Today was important for me because I want so much to do the same for other people and maybe in the process  develop a circle of local herb friends who don’t think I am daft for needing to spend time with my ash tree.    I think it was a good start.