I am pleased to present to you my first Interview! I was super excited when April from @She_Is_Of_The_Woods on Instagram agreed to answer a few questions for me. She is someone I found one day scrolling through Instagram like one does when wasting time. Her post was super interesting to me because I have always been interested in herbals and using plants for healing. I immediately started following her. She is a wonderfully passionate lady who knows her stuff. If you are into herbal healing products or would like to learn more about them, give her a follow on Instagram and check out her Website.
And without any further to do…here is the interview!
Please tell us about your Instagram name, Why She Is Of The Woods?
I was sitting on my porch trying to think of a name for myself at the time when making a new account, I wanted to be authentic. You see for years I couldn’t be myself for the sake of making a living. So I was just looking around, at the time the the woods were the most authentic thing in my life. The only place that knew me deeply. Even those parts that I had preferred to hide.
Who are you as a person?
I have always found this question to be challenging to say the least. Life is complex and ever evolving I am not the person I was a week ago, a year ago, a decade ago. The same is true for the future. But if I had to narrow it down I would say I am a person who has in many ways lived far to much life far to soon. As a result I am guarded even if I am rather open on my Instagram. I have always been in that weird place where I don’t really fit in anyplace but am given a view into everyplace. I guess this sort of life has made me a fierce woman who also has raw emotions. In reality I am whoever I need to be to get through whatever shit is currently going wrong.
What was it that drew you to herbal knowledge and crafting?
It just runs hot in my blood, every shade of green and hue of color in nature draws my attention. If I try and ignore the urge to go and see what green ally it may be my mind runs crazy. I have always been a healer, even if it’s to my own determinant. It has taken me years to be sure to tend to myself before others. But that need to heal never wavers.
Who taught you all your plant knowledge and the skill of crafting them into healing products?
I learned a lot from my Grandmother in these same mountains and of course the rest of my family as well. I spent all of my teen years hitch hiking across the country and more often than not the only food and medicine I had was from the fields and river banks. I often followed the warmth and in doing so something was more often than not in season.
When I settled down to give birth to my son at the age of 18 the only company I had besides one good friend were the plants and my books.
Later I ended up dating a man who was into herbals in a heroic manner and the day I watched him tell a pregnant woman to drink penny-royal tea to calm abdominal cramping from her growing womb and completely dismiss my frantic warnings and go on to discredit my knowledge to her was what gave me the final push I needed to never be like that and spread the knowledge of safe simple herbs. I became an herbal caregiver for 40 plus dedicated chronically ill patients.
As the years went on I became frustrated with the fact that the majority of my patients where only interested in using marijuana for their illness. Which has it’s time and place but is anything but a cure all. More like a band-aide in most situations. So I finally enrolled into a correspondence course with Susun Weed flash forward a decade and here I am!
You have some very strong views on Essential Oils. You have written a wonderful blog about this. Can you share the blog link with my readers and maybe give a few short words about your stance on EO’s?
My one and only blog entry so far (I am so very busy tromping through the woods!) is in regards to the danger and abuse of eo’s. You can read all about it on www.wildwoodapothecary.org in a nut shell they are a dangerous volatile oil that kill our gut flora simply from scent, disrupt our hormones and so much worse. Another huge issue is that it is taking the herbal world by storm and thousands and thousands of people are simply “playing herbalist” with a starter pack of eo’s and an internet full of dangerous recipes and advise.
You are super passionate about organic wildcrafting. Can you tell us why you are so passionate?
That’s pretty easy. Safety. If you are gathering herbs in parks, roadways, agricultural fields etc you are not wild crafting. You are urban crafting. You are putting yourself in danger and those you share with via heavy metal poisoning, pesticides and commercial grade fertilizers, The same kind people love to use to make methamphetamine…
You have a range of wonderful products. Do you have a favourite one that you use?
That’s a hard question and as it changes so often with the season and my needs. But I love my Herbal Chaga Java tea and drink that daily no matter how hot out it is! As well as my grounding oil I will never not have that in my pocket!
What is your creative process?
This is an easy one! Need. Genuine need. Every single thing I have ever offered has been made out of a need to help myself or loved ones. I will never offer an untested item. You are not my lab rat. I guess a huge part of my process is also just sitting back and letting the plants quietly talk to me, who would blend well with who for what? How can I bring someone I truly care about safe relief? It’s a subtle whisper
On your Instagram you often show your beautiful beading projects. What started your love of beading? Where did you learn this skill?
Bead work is simply part of my culture I was taught by my Grandmother as well as in school. I do try and stay away from typical designs. To be honest that is the only thing that makes my bead work somewhat unique. I am in a sea of mind blowing beader’s here so it is easy to drown haha. But in reality where we live the winters are brutal and intricate things that take up time are needed. Especially back in the day when there was no social media. Shoot until the early 2000’s the only time I was really around a computer was when we played Oregon Trail on the black and greened screened single computer at school.
I have read some of your poetry, your words are very touching. Where does your poetry come from?
It just pours out of me when I feel something deeply enough. To be honest I simply come up with them as I type on Instagram. I used to write quite a lot when i traveled and it was mainly poetry. But in all reality 80% of the time it is deep symbolism of wounds and experience. Sometimes it means exactly what it says. Just depends.
Thank you so much April for your time. I hope with this interview other people will become interested in your message as I have become.
To my readers, Thank you! I appreciate you time in reading my blogs. If you have any questions for April or myself…please post them below. 😀