I have been quiet this winter. The winter that didn't feel like a winter. Winter is for home, tucking in, re-grouping and rest. While I have done a lot of home and tucking in, there has not been so much rest. Last fall I completed my master herbalist and then after that I completed my Aromatherapy Certification. I spent most of the fall and early winter working on case studies and writing research papers. Meeting with people and making products. I was lucky to have the best case study mentor - she is an author and scientist I really respect and I felt it really allowed me to take off in my interest which is the in-depth organic chemistry and chemical profiles of essential oils. I love plants and botany and soil and growing things. But I also love facts and data and science. I love looking at a problem and scanning my brain for all matching components and the chemicals present in plants that make them work so well with our bodies. They are quite amazing, actually. So I went down the rabbit hole of organic chemistry, physiology and GC-MS reports and I am now out the other side.
Which brings me to the non-rest portion of the winter. I really love making custom products for people and working directly one-on-one to create unique products for specific issues. And I love creating and making. I am lucky to have a wonderful space to have my own herbal studio and I've been planning planning planning. I am launching my aromatherapy and herbal health consultations practice with custom blending for each individual, as well as launching a general aromatherapy product line this spring. I've been designing, planning, calculating, testing testing testing, working. And it is getting close. So close! When I combine that prep work, garden seed starting, and some design projects I have taken on, there has been no time for the winter blues. Which is exactly what I had planned.
And speaking of garden planning!!!! I am very interested in hydrosols and I am hoping to distill my own hydrosols this summer. Small-scale, of course, but still! A still! Something small and portable and that is in my backyard percolating away. I can't wait. I have so many plantings planned for this summer (both for my own herbal cabinet as well as food plants for the food pantry) that I know I will have enough to experiment and learn about the process of distillation of hydrosols. One thing I love is learning new things.
And design! I volunteered with Herbalists Without Borders International and I just finished re-designing the website and will continue to do website and print work for them as we go along. HWB is a great group of people and I have really enjoyed working with them - it inspires me to do more with my own knowledge to commit to find more ways to support my own community. I have been a designer for so long and I have always continued volunteering with my skills and have enjoyed working with small businesses who are environmentally conscious, community focused, and justice oriented - it is a good fit for me and works well with our life and family vision.
I cannot believe it is almost spring. Spring is the time for new beginnings, coming out after a long winter and new life. It is the perfect time to launch Wholly Rooted handcrafted botanicals. So keep an ear and an eye out. I have a lot of good stuff coming soon and I am excited to share!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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