The Florida Herbal Conference 2014 was held February 28th to March 2nd 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. Numerous classes and workshops were held throughout the weekend and were organized into the themes of Kitchen and Garden, Clinical Practice, Meet the Plants, Herbal Traditions and Mind Body and Spirit.  Keynote speakers David Winston and Susun Weed hosted intensives and brought with them  wisdom of the history of herbal medicine in America and spoke passionately about practice continuing to be unregulated and accessible to all. “Starting in the 1960’s, there were only about 4 books available on practicing herbal medicine”, said Susun Weed. “The many herbal conferences being held  now have sprung from a single one and our dream is that the herbs and plants continue to be the people’s medicine”. Additional activities included the inspiring vocal resonance of The Beautiful Chorus and sacred drumming at the camp fire circle.  The event opened and closed with beautiful and moving ceremonies and vendors were on hand to offer not only their quality wares, but to share even more knowledge. A youth program was made available this year and was well attended. 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 Patty Coulton and Lesley Greene and their 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 2015 conference will be held February 27th to March 1st. Hope to see you there.

flherbalconference2014 Photo credit: Roger Prince

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