Folk Herbalism, Relational Being & The Vegetal Turn
Joe has been engaged with ecology in oh so many ways since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Sharing great deals of time in the woods next to his childhood home and gathering a vast more-than-human community of friends and family throughout his journey. For over 25 years Joe has been participating in deep, meaningful experiences with plant medicines and has been a practicing folk herbalist for over 18 years. He has engaged in many herbal workshops, trainings, and conferences, often helping to coordinate, organize, promote, and facilitate them as well. While living in the UK and attending Schumacher College over 2021-22 he helped co-found the Dart Community Apothecary and still continues to collaborate with them from across the pond. He based his Masters degree dissertation on Phenomenology, Ontopoetics, and Intuitive & Sensory Herbalism and explored how to make engaging with these plant friends, companions, and allies a more accessible and intriguing/fun activity for people inside, and especially outside of academia. Importantly he also examined this all from a scholarly activists perspective exploring what social and racial dynamics limit peoples access to this kind of learning and thinking, and how privilege and power are involved.
In 2022, Joe joined the global Networking With Plants in the Anthropocene as part of its steering committee, exploring what is being deemed as the ‘Vegetal Turn’. He developed their website, created their logo, and produces their graphics and content for the podcast and events. He is an active member of this emerging network. He is also developing, in collaboration with many more-than-human companions, the Institute of Relational Being which explores ways in our modern times to be of service to more accessible ways to relate to plants, animals, rivers, insects, and all the many animate aspects of our shared world and reality that much of modernity and what we refer to as Western Civilization has paid little to no attention to beyond abstract connectivity. He is currently working on a book about Relational Being, facilitated a workshop for the 2022 Why the World Needs Anthropologists (WWNA) Re/Generation Symposium in Berlin, Germany about this work and has been facilitating workshops and talks about Relational Being in person and online in many capacities since.
Dart Community Apothecary
Joe was one of the human co-founders of the Dart Community Apothecary, helping craft herbal medicines, coordinate events, and support the communications for the D.C.A including run create and run the Instagram account. Most recently Joe co-facilitated a Full Moon workshop with the Dart Community Apothecary in Devon, England in August 2022.
Sweet, Sweet Collaborations
Joe is all about collaborating. While he has presented and given solo talks, he is more than happy to facilitate and engage in group or co-led plant related classes and workshops. A big part of this is his realization that we are all students and teachers and there is generative power in approaching learnings in this way.
Joe is at a strange, awkward place on his personal journey, a threshold he’s been dancing between for most of his life has led to a willingness to attempt to better represent the more holistic representation of who he is. Recognizing there are myriad more-than-human beings he’s collaborating with all the time, and celebrating that much of this time, his dance partners, collaborators, and co-conspirators are herbal companions. This is a glimpse into his work into Relational Being and how he and we can better see the relationships that combined make up who we are.
Joe shares space in myriad ways. bringing Awe, reverence, and sometimes, a wee bit of SILLINESS sprinkled in, too
Big shout out to all the pollinator beings who are helping make this all possible. So much love and gratitude for this shared dance…
To hold in ones hand the awesome, powerful, and often subtle energies of these herbal beings is a gift in and of itself.
Joe is as curious as it gets. He’s questions bubbling out of his ears curious. And in surrender to ultimately not-knowing anything really.
Below are a random assortment of engagements Joe has had with plant companions. Here is a mere glimpse and display of one human’s shared perspective of herbal goodness with plants, potions, and projects galore…