A couple of weeks ago, I spent a magical weekend in Port Townsend, Washington visiting a very dear friend of mine and attending the Medicinal Herb Growing and Marketing Conference. I really enjoyed this conference and was impressed with how well they executed the event, despite it being their first year. And considering the fact they only planned it a few months ahead! There were a few logistical glitches, of course, since it was a first-time event, but overall, I had a wonderful, heartwarming and educational time. In general, the people there seemed welcoming, supportive and just happy to be there. It felt like a truly community-building event without a tense feeling of competition and stand-offishness. The location at Fort Worden was fantastic for an herbalism conference–we had access to forested areas for wildcrafting walks and meadows covered in plantain, clover and yarrow for sun-bathing, eating and relaxing. And the Fort had some beautifully scenic views–if you walked to the edge of the housing area, you could get a panorama of the snow-dusted Olympic Mountains looming over the water. There were WAY too many alluring workshop options for me going on simultaneously, so it was difficult narrowing it to just a few! And I didn’t attend every session slot since I wanted to spend time with my friend, but I did attend the following workshops:
-From Farm to Pharmacy: Running an Herbal Dispensary with Dr. Jenn Dazey
-Intro to GMPs for Small Businesses (good manufacturing practices) with Linden DeVoil
-Building an Herb Business: From Farm to Product to Retail with Kim Otto of Moon Valley Organics (You should check out their inspiring story on video!)
There were some fantastic vendors there, too! These included, Pharmacopia Herbals (I bought some beautiful, vibrant, dried calendula flowers from them); Wildroot Botanicals (Their hydrosols are amazing. I had to bring Western Red Cedar and Black Sage home. Obsessed!); Portland Apothecary; Friends of Trees’ herbs (bought a big bag of wildcrafted, dried sumac); and Susan Parker’s Power of the Seed book for all you carrier oil geeks. Here’s a photo of some of my conference/Port Townsend loot below.