Just one woman, sharing knowledge and a love for nature with others, through stories of my adventures in hand collecting and homemaking essential and infused oils. While growing along the coast of central California from Big Sur through Santa Cruz and up to Marin, I have become a passionate ethnobotany, ecology and herbology researcher, a wilderness explorer and a crafter of natural-materials.
When I am asked where I have learned about ethnobotany, ecology or herbology, I explain that I have grown my knowledge and understanding through many years of reading and actively connecting with nature outdoors. Following my passion and developing my talents through literature and practice. I have however, also been shaped by many other life experiences.
Through college, my studies to become an educator focused on social, environmental, and ecological justices. At a farm in the forests of Oregon I brought my studies to permaculture design: the creation of communities and agricultural systems that are designed for sustainability while being modeled after nature’s diverse and resilient ecosystems.
I had continued to deepen my education and experience with involvement in: leading farm-based education in elementary school programs, directing nonprofit programs designed to help strengthen communities through shared garden spaces, volunteering with native-plant restoration organizations, as well as both attending and leading ethnobotanical walks and apothecary workshops.
All of these experiences were stepping stones leading up to where I stand today. But during those times, unknown to me, there was to be a once in a life time experience that would give me the ability to create my very own Pinecone Botanicals.
It is difficult for me to explain here in short story form, an event that covers a lifetime and could fill up pages in a novel. I will keep it short and hopefully sweet.
In January of 2014 my life interacting with the outside world was put on pause after I went through an unexpected brain surgery procedure that saved my life.
In the months of healing after surgery I had to regain the abilities to walk, talk, read and write, leaving me house-bound as I healed, with much time to be thankful for my second chance at life and to ponder how I would like to move forward. Looking back at the moments of my past life, I chose to follow the path of my childhood dreams: to spend my time out in the forest climbing trees, and to collect nature and bring it home to share with others in hopes that they would come outside and play with me.
As I became a young adult, as a hobby I was collecting plants and making teas and oils to give to those I loved. I never considered that with all the time I was spending at school and work, that this hobby could ever become a career. But with these dreams reignited, by October of 2014, shorter than a year after my surgery, I was once again collecting plants and making products to share with my friends and family. 2015 has shown me many opportunities to keep regaining my physical strength and to collect and create the tools, materials, and recipes that continue the growth of my craft. And so became my Pinecone Botanicals.
As I walk forward I will continue seeking new opportunities to share my products with others, to become further involved in communities of botanists, herbalists and alchemists, to travel the world for the magic of viewing and interacting with plants unknown, and to continue to study my passions. Life is learning. Life is love.