My curiosity about using plants for wellness began in the library as a preteen, following my own interests. I’ve never stopped reading on the subject. The Internet brought tons more information; my favorite pastime became Jim Duke’s Ethnobotanical Database. My interest was so keen, I almost went to Naturopathic Medical School after college, but eventually decided to move back home to be with my (now) husband instead.

Today my husband, John, and I own and operate an Organic Market/Health Food Store/Specialty Beer & Wine Shop in our small hometown in eastern NC. We are also about to celebrate our 15th year at our first business, Muddy’s, a neighborhood coffeehouse and roastery. We are the caretakers of a Revolutionary War era house in the country with a huge heirloom garden, a small orchard and lots of resident plants and animals. Our hobbies include sailing, camping, biking, seed-saving, cooking, traveling, photography and old houses.

Yet, through it all, my interest in herbs, plants and wellness remained. I discovered East West Herbal School online and signed up for classes back in 2004. But the craziness of running two businesses, having a child and life in general happened. I never touched those books.

Almost 10 years after I started, the coursework that sat on my shelves began calling me again. On a whim one day, I emailed and asked if I could pick up where I left off and begin the course again. Jill and the Tierras cheerfully allowed me to start over in 2013 and it’s been amazing! Learning TCM diagnostics seemed so far outside of everything I’d ever read, but its knowledge goes deep and wide across thousands of years. Using plants that have evolved with us over millennia, in formula, to bring the body back into balance; this is what I was meant to do. My deepest thanks to the Tierras and the school for sharing the knowledge and allowing me a chance complete my study and pursue this dream. By teaching modern healers how to heal, they are creating a better world for all of us.

You can visit our business sites, if you like, at muddyscoffee.com and sohoorganicmarket.com

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