The answers are in the forest…
We’ve heard it since childhood, the ancient and often mystical stories of forests that hold secrets and treasures from Snow White, to Robin Hood, Grimm Fairytales, Baba Yaga, and Gilgamesh. It was only as an adult that I learned that these fairy tales are more true than we were led to believe. I started to see the enchantment in the elusive ghost pipe and lady orchid when I would stumble across them in the wild. I felt the chilling magic at nightfall when an owl would hoot in the darkness. The trees felt as if they were reaching out to me as bejeweled flowers bloomed at their feet.
This hidden world before us started opening doors. I began to see how the forest could provide a sustainable restorative agriculture approach by growing food in the forest such as nuts, berries, mushrooms, and perennial vegetables. This in turn would help the fight against climate change through carbon sequestering that the forest does naturally. I saw how this could be an opportunity to cultivate common and at-risk woodland medicinal plants to heal the earth and the body. And yet this was just the beginning. The forest can also provide wood for eco-friendly building supplies, habitat for woodland wildlife whose habitats are quickly disappearing, and a vast tapestry of hobbies including plant dying, wildcrafting, birding, basket weaving, and bee keeping. The possibilities could be endless.
Thus, Woodspell was born. Out of a love for this land and a desire to delve deeper into the gifts of the forest, I began crafting herbal medicines that spoke to me as a way to share this magic with the world. The 12 acres my husband, dog, and two cats dwell on in northern Michigan sustain beautiful plant communities from pine and hardwood forest that is home to trillium, wintergreen, and violets to a wetland marsh that hosts gentians, boneset, and milkweeds.
My goal is to show the wondrous relationship in the forest between magic and productivity; healing and progression, and how we can tap into that to live a more sane and beautiful life.