The theme of the first Kootenay Herb Conference was “Herbs: The Medicine of the People.” A weekend of celebrating the centuries-old tradition of using ‘herbs in food and herbs as medicine'; connecting to our past and the healing power of plants.
The Kootenay Herb Conference was held just outside of Creston, BC in early July -situated close to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area a nature reserve with many trails. This world-renowned bird sanctuary is located on 17,000 acres of protected wetlands and boasts more than 265 species of nesting and migrating birds.- the location in a valley between mountains and beside a river and we were infused with warm summer weather.
The was a HUGE success – bringing attendees from all around BC, Alberta and the United States- It was an amazing opportunity to both infuse oneself in nature and learn about plant medicine – with insight from amazing herbalists residing throughout North America. Presenters ranged from numerous clinical herbalists, wildcrafters, doctors and naturopaths travelling from Seattle, McCall, Idaho, the Kootenays, Vancouver and Vancouver Island and Grande Prairie, Alberta who presented an assortment of health topics through the weekend- from phytochemicals used in salve making and favonoids in foods, to medicinal mushrooms, bach flower therapy, ayurvedic constitutions, herbal discussions for various ailments (menopause, respiratory health, herbals for babies and children) and edible herbals- there were topics for every area of interest and level of learning (from advanced practitioners to those attending their very first herb lecture)- everyone took home gems from the weekend.
Medicinal plants are growing in abundance around the area making it an idelic space for herb walks and visual identification of plants growing in their natural habitat.
The conference offered delicious food, greens and berries grown specially for the weekend and generously donated by local markets and farms, the meals were amazing. A thank you to all the volunteers and organizers to make this event a success- Rachel Beck and others who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend- looking at ways to enhance the experience throughout the entire weekend.
Look for this conference to be held again in 2016 and spread the word – what a great opportunity to expand ones knowledge of plant medicine while being submersed in nature. An idellic setting for learning more about nature’s healers.