Wholly Rooted, LLC, is Denise Cusack, Brice Ruth and our adult children Ammy and Gavin. We work together on projects on our farm, and we work together on our courses. Denise is the educator and presenter, Ammy is the creative support (visual graphics, proofreading), Gavin is video and web support (filming, editing).
I'm an Aromatic Herbalist with over 15 years of experience, holding certifications in herbalism, aromatherapy, permaculture design, hydrosols, flower essences, and many other areas. My expertise extends to mental health, trauma response, regenerative agriculture, first aid, disaster relief, and more. I'm passionate about using aromatic and medicinal plants in both products and gardens, as well as in food. Outside of my professional life, I enjoy baking, gardening, crafting, and spending time with my family. I'm also an artist, writer, educator, and mother. My family and I are committed to living sustainably, reducing waste, and staying connected to the land.
Owner, Wholly Rooted, LLC, Current
Wholly Rooted is a permaculture and regenerative living consulting business. I write and educate about herbal health and aromatherapy for many print and online magazines. We also grow medicinal herbs & work to develop educational programs for medicinal herb growing, plant walks, and plant sustainability. Wholly Rooted is the LLC under which I work, Lunar Hollow is our homestead/land. I am launching a Regenerative Education Platform soon!
I practiced as a clinical herbalist and clinical aromatherapist for many years via my own clinical practice and volunteering with Herbalists Without Borders and the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic, and am transitioning to education.
Owner, Lunar Hollow Farm/Wholly Rooted Farm
We grow almost 500 varieties of herbs, fruit, vegetables, natives, and trees. Lunar Hollow/Wholly Rooted is a UpS Botanical Sanctuary and Certified Wildlife Habitat. We work to preserve and restore endangered and at-risk medicinal plants. Lunar Hollow is a family homestead and an herbal education and plant education space.
Herbalists Without Borders Sepbember 2017 - October 2022
Manage all vision and day to day of an international nonprofit organization including membership, policy, website, volunteers, programs and projects, free clinics, disaster relief, donations and fundraising, grant writing, budgets, design, communications, and more. I served as ED for HWB from 2017-2022, growing HWB membership by over 600%, fundraising by 1300%, and expanded HWB social media reach from 0-53,900 Instagram followers, 7,000-27,000 Facebook followers, and more! I created and managed the US Seed Grant program, the US Donation Distribution Network, and continue to volunteer as HWB Coordinator for both programs. I have volunteered over 10,000 hours for HWB from 2017-2023 (see my Daily Point of Light Award to the right).
Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic November 2017-September 2022
I volunteered as a Clinical Herbalist and Aromatherapist working with vets who are suffering from the symptoms of PTSD in our all volunteer monthly clinic. Before COVID met on clinic day, and when COVID hit, continued to meet via Zoom at the veterans convenience, packing and shipping herbal packages out monthly directly to folks.
See my editing and writing experience here. I write content for businesses, including creating custom articles, recipes, product and retail content, press releases, social media, and more, in addition to copywriting and copyediting services. I love words, I love to write, and I love to take photos and develop recipes and formulations.
Creative Director, Marketing Director, Art Director 1999-2022
Creative Director, Art Director, Interactive Creative Director for direct marketing, print advertising & design, magazine design, website design, branding, identity, packaging and retail interior design, POP, billboards, and interactive marketing. I have over 30 years of experience in end to end production from concepts and storyboarding to final production and launch. My work has spanned from fortune 50 to small local businesses and I have worked as a solo freelancer as well as a team lead for large teams. I have worked for some of the largest advertising and direct marketing agencies in the country. My extensive experience in visual design, copywriting, illustration, content creation, video editing, website design, and marketing and advertising, supports the projects I work on and the nonprofits I volunteer for. I am skilled using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Pages, DaVinci Resolve, GarageBand, iMovie, Acrobat, and social media platforms.
Columbia College, Chicago. BA
Arts Management with minors in Fine Art/Design & Audio Engineering
Studied music, fine art, design, arts management, graphic design, audio engineering. Focus on arts & entertainment business, nonprofits, and arts organizations.
~University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Professional Nonprofit Management
~Grantsmanship Training Program, The Grantsmanship Center
Permaculture Women's Guild - PDC
Permaculture and Advanced Social Systems Design Program Completed, Dec 2021
Certified Permaculture and Social Systems Designer
Daily Point of Light Award, 2021
Herbalists Without Borders - 2017-present
Currently Volunteer as US Donation Distribution Coordinator, US Seed Grant Coordinator, and serve on the HWB Board of Directors.
Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic 2017-2022
Volunteer Clinical Herbalist & Aromatherapist, VRHC
I volunteered in this free clinic, working with veterans who have experienced PTSD, monthly for 5 years, as herbalist & aromatherapist.
November 2017-September 2022
American Herbalists Guild,
Board of Directors,
2022 Chair (stepped down in 2022)
2020-2021 Assistant Chair
2018-2022 Co-Chair Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
2020-2022 Ethics Review Advisory Committee
2018-2022 Governance Committee
Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Co-Chair Membership Committee, 2021-2022
Moms in Madison 2003-2017
Madison Wellness Collective 2016-2017
I have thousands of hours of education in nonprofit management, herbalism, permaculture, aromatherapy, plant conservation, environmental education, design, health justice, diversity and inclusion, crisis management, first aid, CPR, psychological first aid, international aid, trauma, and more. This listing is just a few.
This Is just a few of the courses and programs I have completed. I have over 23 years and over 5,000 additional hours of continuing education in hydrosols, herbalism, aromatherapy, aromatic medicine, holistic nutrition/natural nutrition, whole foods, trauma, holistic health, youth education, permaculture, humanitarian aid, CPR/AED certified, first aid training, clinical experience, nonprofit work, and more. I am usually enrolled in a few classes at a time, and am always on a quest to learn more.
If you are interested in a full CV listing of completed coursework, schools of herbal and aromatherapy education, and experience hours, please email me.
Social Permaculture, Regenerative Agriculture
Courses: Conference Education & Intensives
Work With Denise
Who We Are