Recently I had the opportunity to visit Healing Spirits Herb Farm with my aromatic sisters. We are all certified aromatherapists that belong to the Alliance of International Aromatherpist (AIA). Our New York group likes to partake in educational but fun activities to help further our knowledge in alternative ways to support health. Many aromatherpist incorporate infused herbal oils when making blends. It was suggested by one of our members that it is important to know why we are using these herbs. As a result a field trip was organized for us to attend a day long workshop instructed by Mathias and Andrea Reisen. They co-founded Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center which is located in the Finger Lake Region of New York.
We started our day by going on an herbal walk of the farm. Various herbs were identified and Mathias gave very good details concerning each plant. When an herb was identified; he told us the best time to harvest, if it was a perennial or bi-annual and what parts of the plant is to be used for therapeutic purposes. We started with learning about Angelica and finished off the walk learning about Sea Buckthorn.
Once we made it back to the barn, which has been converted into a cozy shop and classroom we had the opportunity to sip on Birch Sweet Bark tea. At this time Andrea allowed us to introduce ourselves and she proceeded to teach about various herbs. Andrea also taught us how to make several skin care products which incorporated various herbs such as comfrey and lavender. We had the opportunity to sample various herbal teas which are derived from the roots, leaf and flowers. I learned so much about herbs that I have never heard of before such as Japanese Knotweed and Barberry.
My group was also taken on a tour to view the green house. This is where all of the herbs are dried on individual drying racks. They gave us information on how to properly dry herbs. It was amazing to see burdock drying on one of the racks. As we returned to the front of the barn we got to see where the herbs are stored and packaged for sale. I was truly impressed by the amount of herbal goodness that I was surrounded by.
As a bonus we were treated to a tasty lunch which consisted of a curried onions and garlic that was prepared for us by Mathias. He was gracious enough to share the recipe. We also sipped on ginger tea which was an added healthy bonus.
I left the farm with a lot of valuable information to help me maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am looking forward to the second part of our herbal workshop which should take place in the near future. I am fortunate to be a part of a great organization and I am glad to have made the journey upstate to visit the farm. I highly recommend a visit if you are in the Finger Lake Region of New York.