OUr relationship to land

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We prefer to grow and know the plants we use to make our medicines, and have been tending herb gardens and wild patches on the land where we live in order to cultivate relationship with them. We also emphasize the importance of cultivating soil, using organic and regenerative practices based in permaculture, traditional farming and land tending techniques. We plant flowers for pollinators, leave some Tulsi for the bees, and save seeds. Our love for wildcrafting, passed down from the first ancestors, is something we are trying to engage in responsibly (see below). Other materials occasionally used in our products are sourced from ethical and organic manufacturers. We do our best to use the lowest-impact methods of packaging and shipment. Our products are made in a home kitchen following Good Manufacturing Practices.

If you have any questions regarding the specifics of our practices, please contact us! 

OUr Thoughts ON The ETHICS of Wildcrafting

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As wildcrafters, land tenders, people of settler-colonial origins living on unceded Nisenan land aspiring to be responsibly and deeply in relationship with that land, we recognize the complexity of our desires. We recognize the tremendous harm that has been done to the Nisenan people who lived in reciprocity with this land, its creatures and plants, by those who came seeking personal fortunes by extraction. We are active in our endeavors to show up humbly and earnestly to what it means to repair that legacy of harm. It is a process, it is a dialogue, it is profoundly nuanced, it is uncomfortably complex. We accept that decolonizing will be a lifelong/intergenerational process.

We've encountered that to be perceived as white and to endeavor to be in relationship with land in North America these days engenders backlash from people who see the complexity and the potential harm done by making home of stolen land. And that can be a useful thing, but it can also be a destructive thing that perpetuates settler-colonial culture by discouraging people from becoming people of place. Our hope is that the more people receive from the abundance of the earth and others it will inspire reciprocity, and that inspiration can in time become the kind of interdependence and mutual benefit that is the basis of non-extractive culture. 

The four of us have differing opinions and ways of being with the complexity of our desires to tend land and share medicine but we all care deeply, are willing to do the hard work, and want to learn and grow around these questions. We recognize the ecological function of being challenged by others to refine our understanding and process, and also because we have been deeply in the inquiry, experimenting with our own lives for many years and showing up to the work, we also feel strongly about the values and forms we have arrived at practicing currently.

Finding harmony among our differing opinions to work together is part of the work of decolonization. The way that we are choosing to structure our cooperative is the fruition of many years of engagement with these questions, and building deep lifelong relationships of trust, reciprocity, and care with each other, despite our differences, which is fundamentally a shift away from capitalism. 

We put our faith in transitional ethics - which look a whole lot messier - because our life experience from trying to live in alignment with our highest ethics have taught us that we can't leapfrog over the realities of entrenched inequality and racial injustice and extractive capitalism quite so smoothly. We have learned that it takes two essential ingredients to change the habits of extractive consumerism: time, and community. We are privileged to have a little of each, and want to leverage that privilege to create more time, community, and connection for other people, and to provide alternative ways to meet basic needs that are in greater harmony with the earth. We hope that providing ways to be more connected to local food and medicine can slowly build a local culture of respect and reciprocity.

We have decided (for now) to work within the system of capitalism as a collective of makers, growers, foragers, herbalists, dumpster ninjas, roadkill queens, and big hearts because change can only happen TOGETHER. We have woven our lives and our fortunes together in ways that transcend equal exchange mentality and the individualism that perpetuate hoarding and scarcity and hinder the evolution of sustainable, place-based, harmonious culture. So much of what feeds and unites us as a small emergent culture of friends can't possibly be priced (acorn pancake brunches, land restoration work parties), and we are fundamentally uncomfortable with turning the gifts of the earth into consumable products for strangers.

That said, we feel it is important to be part of fostering a culture of reliance on herbal medicine, native to our ancestral homeland and native to this beautiful place that is now our home. We don’t “sell" native plants; we “sell” the time and materials that go into making the medicine we offer. We believe in strengthening local community and we choose to live in Nevada County because there is a strong culture of local support, which is an essential ingredient to growing sustainable, place-based culture. Nevada County also comes with an inheritance of genocide and extraction. We believe more in showing up to relationship with the Nisenan people than in appearing flawless to critics, and that work happens off screen. We are not comfortable advertising it on the internet. Our values are not performative, they are lived. What little money we make we are determined to make in a way that is minimally harmful, and to return it to the land that supports us and to our local community. We have all tried a lot of different models, and this is the one (for now) that feels realistic, sustainable, beautiful, and impactful.

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We want to be in right relationship with the plants and people native to this land, as well as with our own ancestry because both feel real, essential, and nourishing. We want all people to have access to powerful healing, both physical and energetic. Most of what we offer is made from medicinal plants of European origin grown in our garden built from ground zero, reclaimed from invasive grasses fostered by the irresponsible (uninformed) stewardship of landowners before us. We build fertility, we plant perennials (though we are renters). When we wild harvest, we do it respectfully and responsibly. We gather seeds and replant them. We are slowly cultivating long-term relationships with harvest sites. We give back, we pay it forward. We are highly imperfect.

But we will stay curious ~ we educate ourselves, we dialogue, we welcome feedback, we donate, we volunteer, we cultivate unique and emergent ways to engage with the complexity we find ourselves tangled in. We hope you do too.

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*10% of profits monthly are donated to a different organization furthering social or environmental justice*

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**if you identify as BIPOC and are interested in our products or offerings please contact us about sliding scale pricing and/or free medicine. Discount codes "25% off" and "50% off" can also be used in the store at any time for folks who cannot afford full price**

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Find out more about the Nisenan tribe:

http://www.nevadacityrancheria.org/

http://www.chirpca.org/

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