Today’s spotlight highlights the hilarious, snail-loving herbalist Jessica Morgan creator of Morgan Botanicals. I was first drawn to Jessica’s sharing because of her fun, *playful* approach while being wildly knowledgeable about plants. Get to know her a bit, and check out the giveaway below.
Morgan Botanicals is owned and operated by Jessica Morgan, a life long lover of plants. She is a community herbalist and environmental horticulture and crop science graduate, garden coach and consultant, a certified CA master gardener, junior master gardener instructor, snail whisperer, forager, plant tickler, joke teller, wild foodie, teacher and writer and reader of all things interesting. Jessica offers medicine-making workshops, children’s classes, plant walks and talks, garden and crop advice as well as handmade herbals and custom blends. You’re most likely to find her roaming the wilderness oohing and awing and botanizing, wildcrafting, twig collecting, tree climbing, plant pressing, plant tickling, brewing and photographing, teaching in her food and medicine garden surrounded by children or crafting herbals in her herb shop.
What inspired you to go in the direction of the work you do/start your business?
I’m a lover of life and I’m all about happiness, and I’m happiest when I’m mingling with the plants. I’ve been around the plants my whole life and found my self tumbling into job after job in plant work. I worked in many nurseries and greenhouses, pushed paper work for large Ag fields like Grimmway, did field biology work on endangered plants for Cal State, and for fun I liked to dye cloth and yarn with plants and make live plant wreaths and crafted and sold my herbals. It was easy to see my direction…so I went with it.
How do you balance work/life/family/play?
Funny thing is, my work seems to be my play! My family is my life and together we work hard and play hard. From weeding to wildcrafting, or making herbals to selling herbals, I let my kids help when ever I can. They are pretty good little foragers and weed munchers, and in the shop they help hang herbs to dry or fill the drying racks. A typical day of hiking easily becomes a picnic and river splash or bird watching, plant photographing and harvesting day. My husband and I set forth a goal a long time ago that life was going to be free and easy, simple and fun….even with our four kids. We strive to teach our kids balance and that our life’s work should be fun, and if we do what we love it will never really be ‘work’.
What words of encouragement would you offer someone walking on the path toward their dreamwork?
You have got to do what you love. All the way. When you live and breathe and work what you love, you will see and feel and breathe success. I’ve learned not to constantly seek out the answers, I like to set my goals and then just go with it. I wholeheartedly trust my instincts and intuition. I listen. I never know how something is going to end and that is exciting….a project, a trip. I don’t like to live for the finish line. I like to live the day and see where it takes me. It’s all about the path. The path to your dreamwork.
I also think it’s important to try everything once. Learn to say Yes! Learn to fail. Don’t be afraid. I always try to remember that if you can change something, don’t worry about it, if you can’t change something, why worry about it! Learn to respect the ebbs and flows of life and seek out the lessons and by golly~do what you love.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
It’s always different…that’s my favorite part. One day I’m plucking chamomile blossoms from the garden and the next day I’m hiking up a mountain looking for the perfect rosehips and currents or sloshing along the river looking for horsetail and stumble upon some feisty catnip, or a three hour exhausting root-dig-wrastle with sand and mud in places you never thought sand and mud could get! Or a week in the kitchen putting up a harvest or experimental brews….it’s a wild life, peaceful and fulfilling. I love the ever-changing, always inspiring path of plant work.
What is your favorite herbalicous treat?
Hmm, that is a super tough one. I could no easier pick a favorite plant or star. Or snail. I recently made some elderflower churros with sweet cardamom and rose petal dust that was out of this world. I will make them again, forever! I love good ol’ herbaly teas and I love leafy and seaweedy and rooty soups. Hand plucked, fresh herb tea right from the earth really gets my happy strings singing. Or anything with cinnamon or turmeric or cayenne and cloves and such. I like experimenting with fermentation and have been currently delving into homemade herbalicous beers and meads and kombuchas and yogurts and yumminess.
*Todays Giveaway: A Happy Foot Hug Set – Includes 3 foot-loving products*
‘Dancin’ Feet’, a wonderful herbal foot soak
A Soothing Heal-All Balm
A Cool-It herbal foot powder
To enter tell me something that you think looks wonderful from her e-shop (click here to see it) in the comments below before midnight PST on Sunday July 22th. Winner will be announced on Monday July 23rd.
The Winner of the Happy Foot Hug Herbal Goodies set is: Karen who loved “The infused oils! I make alot of my own and Morgan Botanicals has alot that I haven’t tried! Infused oils carry the best that the plants have to offer and are so wonderful to use!” Thanks again to Jessica for sharing your your world with us.
Thanks so much, Jessica, for hanging out with the HerbMama folks!