GivingTree Farm Herb Company

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This story, like many stories, begins with a cat. Mira, my kitty of 16+ years was born under my supervision to her beautiful mother Samantha in May of 1985. Along with The Mirskies came her brother and sister. I decided they all needed some fresh catnip in their diets so I bought and planted a catnip plant. That began my first focused interest in herbs. By Mira's one year birthday I had moved back up to Oregon from California and started a small but very diverse herb garden at my grandfather's house in Albany.

Soon, my mother, Karen, moved back as well, to nearby Corvallis. It wasn't too long before she got involved and we began selling herbs, Elephant Garlic, pesto, flavored mustards and vinegars and many other creative herb-based items at the local Farmer's Markets in the Willamette Valley. After moving my base of operations a little farther south to Eugene in 1988, I realized that I had reached the limits of what I could teach myself about herbs. I needed to learn more. I needed a teacher.

So, in 1991, I became an herbal apprentice for a couple of years with Howie, a local master herbalist and wildcrafter. During this time I also had an urban herb and vegetable truck garden going that helped feed me, my friends and family and any surplus I grew went to the market to be sold.

I still kept ties with Albany and Corvallis and in fact taught my first herb class (called "Power Plants:  The Spiritual and Shamanic Uses of Plants") in Corvallis during the summer of 1992 to an enthusiastic audience. Since then, I have been offering all kinds of herb classes, from herb walks, to workshops to apprenticeship programs.

The herbalist at one of his many Eugene-area gardens around 1990

My first foray into selling something more complex than a bundle of dried herbs began during the summer of 1993. I had just moved to 400 wooded acres about two miles south of Eugene and I needed to pay the rent. My friend Ann suggested we go to the Grateful Dead concert at Autzen Stadium and sell something. She made up some herb tinctures and I bagged up a pretty rough-looking assortment of herbs I'd recently learned to gather for smoking and off we went. Thanks to the Deadheads, we both had a great time and even made enough to each pay our rents -- such a deal!

That was the beginning of what would become GivingTree Farm Herb Company. Ever since then, I've made and sold a variety of herbal products, but my Herbal Smoking Mixtures have been the most popular.

In 2000 my friend Wendy and I completed Master Herbalist Michael Moore's 500 hour clinical herbalism program and began a professional clinical herbalism practice. For people who have health issues and would like information from an herbal perspective, I am still doing one-on-one consultations either in person, online, or over the phone. (Please see my CONSULTATIONS page for more information.)

I began instructing at Lane Community College's Massage Program in the fall of 2005 and continue to teach Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology to a great group of massage students every term.

I recently married my lovely wife Dana this January 2010 and have moved back to Albany.  The circle is complete! (Please see my CURRENT CLASSES page for more information about what I'm teaching here in the Albany/Corvallis area) Feel free to contact me with any of your herbal interests and questions!

Thank you for visiting my website! Enjoy my offerings, have fun looking around and I hope you learn something useful about the plant people.

One of my earliest products: an herbal smoking mixture called "Cascadia"

GivingTree Massage
GivingTree Farm Herb Company
Lawrence Birch, Owner and Herbalist



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