The Florida Herbal Conference 2013 was held at YMCA Camp Winona in DeLeon Springs. The beautiful lakeside camp was the perfect setting, under majestic oaks along Lake Winona.  I was so excited to be invited to attend as part of a work exchange program. The conference website advertised workshops about one of my favorite things, Florida native medicinal and edible plants. More than 40 classes and workshops were offered this year and  were divided into themes that included Growing and Creating, Meet the Plants, Clinical Practice and Herbal Traditions. Keynote speakers Matthew Wood and Phyllis Light offered intensive classes entitled The Enduring Value of Traditional Herbal Medicine in America Today and Where Tradition and Science Meet. Additional activities included the inspiring vocal resonance of The Beautiful Chorus and sacred drumming at the camp fire circle.  Vendors were on hand to offer not only their quality wares, but to share even more knowledge. Many attendees took advantage of the spacious camp to pitch a tent a enjoy the experience of camping, cooking dinner outside or joining up for nourishing meals served by 3 Suns Bistro.  I was privileged to make new friends and connections and was pleased to see that many people traveled from out of state to attend.  Event organizer Emily Ruff, director of the Florida School of Holistic Living, along with her knowledgeable staff organized an unforgettable event and I’m looking forward to next year. As Emily likes to say, if anything can go right, it will! For more information visit http://www.holisticlivingschool.org. The 2014 conference will be held  February 28 – March 2, 2014. Hope to see you there.

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Photo credit: Caitlin Battersby.

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