Where Herbalism Meets Sustainability
Environmental sustainability by book definition is the choice of responsible interaction between the planet and all that inhabit it to maintain healthy growth for the future. Yet, how each person goes about making those choices is individualized to everyone’s own journey. FD Market manager, Krysti, is in training to become an Herbalist in the hopes of sharing her path with others to promote overall wellness for people and the planet.
Krysti is currently attending a two year long clinical herbalism training through the David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies. The classes entail phytochemistry, introduction to herbalism, and chemometrics to understand each single herb, its indications, chemical makeup, when to use it, what to use it with, and the conditions it may be problematic to be used for. Her coursework did also include one food nutrition course, which is a topic she wants to explore more through food medicine. She shared that so much of the plants produced and grown agriculturally aren’t used to their fullest abilities. Take blueberries for an example, we all know and love the fruit, but the leaves are also great for helping with allergies.
After completion of her initial two years, Krysti plans on staying for another two years to finish the therapeutics program as well as the graduate program. Her passion for hands-on experience with herbs is drawing her to attend an Herbal Apprenticeship under Tami Sweet in Ithaca, New York where she will camp, forage, harvest, and work with the farm’s herbs.
Upon graduation Krysti aspires to open her own practice with a sustainable farm in order to grow as much as possible, to be involved in the whole processing cycle of the herbs. She sees herself doing consultations for clients, where customized formulas are created to soothe health conditions. Another important aspect for her is teaching and inspiring others to learn self-sufficiency through their own herbal gardening and harvesting practices. Currently her favorite local herbs to learn about and work with are Mimosa Bark which helps soothe anxiety, PTSD, depression, and is overall mood elevating. She also enjoys working with Tulsi (Holy Basil) at Porch Tea (another Farmer’s Market friend) which is an adaptogen promoting the regulation of the nervous system.
Herbalism by definition is the art and science of applying herbs to promote health, and Krysti applies those practices to her daily lifestyle by drinking herbal tea, gardening, composting, and foraging out in nature to make herself familiar with the local plants. She also participates in community wellness, by purchasing as much of her goods as she can locally, to help support local farms and herbalists. A big part of her personal eco-friendly journey is eating a local diet, which she accomplishes by being a regular at the area's farmer’s markets. We love farmer’s markets here at FD Market, in case you couldn’t tell! She also practices sustainability by learning what herbs in nature are invasive to the area like Mugwort and which ones can be picked or harvested in bulk without damaging the local ecosystem.
A key element to what Krysti’s herbalist training is the application of hands on creating by following a formula or recipe, and she practices that at FD Market. Her day to day work at FD Market consists of checking on the store plants, packaging orders, making the occasional TikTok, and preparing batches of the best selling shower steamers and toilet bomb products for the store. The shower steamers, toilet bombs, and carpet fresh products use essential oils as well as herbs from Macungie Mountain Herbs. In the future she hopes to incorporate more herbal practices into FD Market by hand making more products such as the muscle balm or lotion bars.
By slowly learning about her environment and letting her environment in turn work for her, Krysti’s journey as an herbalist encompasses the values FD Market strives to create and share.