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.
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.