Herbs in the News
What's new in the world of herbs, tinctures and supplements!
Attention Local Herbalists & Gardeners! We are lending our Support to the Eureka Community Self Care Clinic and hope you will, too!
"The Eureka Community Herbal Self Care Clinic wants to bridge two gaps in the Humboldt County area - the amount of unhoused and chronically ill people, dealing with mental health and addiction issues, with our large community of environmentally aware healers and health practitioners. Often times, holistic healing practices are not accessible in communities who lack time or resources, yet these folks are some who could most benefit.
Our plans to mitigate this, and to bring free herbal medicine, resources and education to unhoused and IV drug using populations, is to open a free drop-in clinic out of Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR) in Old Town Eureka. Our vision is to help folks from all income levels, backgrounds, and lifestyles to understand plants as their allies, to learn which plants can aid them in treating and preventing everyday ailments and common issues. In order to do this, we would like to get access to materials, so that our time organizing may be more focused on getting out into the community and less on fundraising.
Here are a few things you (or your business) can do to support our program:
1) In-Kind Donations
2) Monetary Donations: There is a crowdfunding account set up at https://indigogo.com/projects/old-town-eureka-herbal-self-care-clinic
3) Host a Pop-Up or Donation Jar
4) Spread the Word!
The Free Herbalism Project Presented by Mountain Rose Herbs
Mountain Rose Herbs created the Free Herbalism Project as a way to honor our deep roots in the herbal community.
Check out this amazing project and related podcasts at http://freeherbalismproject.com
In 1987, Rosemary Gladstar began a small business to provide class supplies to her students at the California School of Herbal Studies. When she moved to Vermont, the mail order portion of the company was passed on, and Rose Madrone created Mountain Rose Herbs. Shortly after, Rose enlisted the help of her friend Julie Bailey, a teaching herbalist, wilderness guide, and avid gardener, and by 1991 Julie bought the small herbal business. Over the years, Mountain Rose blossomed and in 2000 when her partner and passionate wilderness activist Shawn Donnille became co-owner, the word spread quickly via the internet and word of mouth and Mountain Rose Herbs soon became known as the go-to source for high quality organic herbs by herbalists, students, and natural health stores around the country.
Fast-forward to 2011 and the Rootstalk Festival. After many years of sponsoring and attending wonderful herbal conferences around the country, we started planning our own special event. As plant lovers and herbalists, the folks at Mountain Rose are intimately connected with the healing power found within wild places. As an herbal company, we work to infuse this nature centered perspective into all of our practices to promote an educated, independent, and righteous community. Rootstalk allowed us to cultivate this movement by bringing together a distinctive mix of experts from diverse backgrounds in the herbal and environmental movements to share their invaluable insights, skills, and rich knowledge about the earth. The festival was a beautiful experience that exceeded all of our dreams!
However, while we tried to keep Rootstalk ticket prices as low as possible, the festival – like so many other events – was cost prohibitive for some people. We decided that we needed to transform Rootstalk into an educational community gathering for everyone who wanted to participate and learn. Suddenly, inspiration found us – “Make it FREE!”
To turn this inspiration into reality, we restructured the Rootstalk Festival into a series of free herbal lectures and events now called The Free Herbalism Project. These events are free to the public and feature respected herbal teachers from around the country. These events will also offer an opportunity to raise funds for non-profit organizations, free clinics, and small herbal schools through the sale of t-shirts, mugs, herbal books, DVDs and other herbal goodies.
We are excited to present this series to you as a gift of our gratitude. We hope you will gather with us to send the herbal tradition of shared knowledge out in ripples and waves of hope and healing throughout our community.
We're sure you Herb Lovers out there have heard about the Fire Cider Trademark Controversy. If not, essentially it is this: Fire cider is a traditional preparation of various spicy and pungent herbs macerated in vinegar and honey. There have been as many variations in the recipe as individuals making it but the basic elements have been passed down for countless generations and the name "Fire Cider" itself was coined and copyrighted by Rosemary Gladstar in her books. Shire City Herbals has trademarked this term, essentially claiming it for their own and denying others the right to use the term for their own remedies.
Below is the latest news in a letter from Rosemary herself complete with links and ways to get involved.
Dear Fire Cider Friends,
Many of you have been writing asking 'what’s up with Fire Cider? What should we do next?' If all seems ‘quiet on the front lines’ it’s only because we’ve been very busy. We are not giving up! Please review our most recent posting on The Tradition Not Trademark Facebook page and note the several ‘action tasks’ that are outlined there, including a "Toast To Tradition" this Sunday. (www.facebook.com/pages/Tradition-Not-Trademark/311341798991086) . There are several updates, printable materials, and sample boycott letters that you can send to your local stores/co-ops. We are in the process of contacting lawyers and seeking legal recourse, and will be doing a mass mailing to inform those folks who aren’t on internet (yep, there’s still a few of us out there!).
We’ve heard from so many of you how important this issue is. It’s not just about Fire Cider, but preserving our herbal traditions and setting a different precedent than the one set by Shire City Herbals (SCH), the company who felt they had the right to trademark a product/name that has been freely shared in the herbal community for several decades before they laid claim to it. They have made all kinds of accusations about the herbal community and remain convinced that one of the founders of Shire City Herbals created the recipe and formula. However, while there are three people who claim that its ‘their formula’, there are almost 7,500 people who state otherwise; That Fire Cider was a popular product in the herbal community(s) and has been made and sold by many small herbal business’s long before SCH came into existence. Several farmers, also, are upset that anyone would think to trademark so generic a term, given that cider makers make a product called ‘ice cider’ and ‘fire cider’.
Some people have questioned the benefits of a boycott and/or petition, asking why we would want to ‘hurt a small herbal business’. Unfortunately, without public pressure of some kind, most businesses operate primarily from their ‘bottom line’. Petitions, boycotts and letter writing are some of the best tools used to document public support. We will gladly show our support of SCH when/if they show support of our herbal traditions by returning a traditional product. The issue here is ‘not to hurt their business’ but to show support for an issue that is hugely important to a great number of us. If there is a better and more effective way, please let us know.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Please stay involved (see the web postings below). It is only through support and active involvement that we will succeed in freeing Fire Cider, an ‘Herbal Tradition, Not a Trademark’.
With you in herbal ways, Rosemary
Ø Read the Recent Letter to the Petition Signers https://www.facebook.com/notes/tradition-not-trademark/email-sent-to-petition-signers-on-march-7-2014/313951232063476
Ø Sign the petition today! http://chn.ge/1nKmS2o
Ø Celebrate "Fire Cider" with a virtual Toast to Tradition on Sunday! http://on.fb.me/1eY1cfV
Ø Support the boycott: http://freefirecider.com/take-action/support-the-boycott/
Ø Volunteer your time: http://freefirecider.com/take-action/volunteer/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tradition-Not-Trademark/311341798991086 Please like and share!
NEW WEBSITE: http://freefirecider.com/ The website has lots of great information about the movement. You can download letters, signs, recipes. Upload information, pictures and more! Check it out!
Toast to Tradition
▪On Sunday, March 9th let’s all celebrate Fire Cider. Make a toast to tradition! https://www.facebook.com/events/635519149854300/
▪Share and post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
▪Don’t forget to tag Tradition Not Trademark on Facebook or use #freefirecider elsewhere!
Promotional Materials http://freefirecider.com/resources/ Download promotional materials from the website!
▪General info flyers
▪Make your own Fire Cider poster
▪Before you write or call a store, check the website for the most up to date list of stores who have supported the boycott Fire Cider! http://freefirecider.com/take-action/support-the-boycott/
▪Make sure you upload the information about stores that have decided to make a conscious choice to support our mission in protecting our tradition from SCH Fire Cider, so that they are not still getting letters, and our energy doesn't get wasted!
▪Check the website for 3 different SAMPLE boycott letters! Remember, these are samples! If you don't like any of them, use your own words! http://freefirecider.com/resources/
▪Show your support for this issue. Keep the pressure on! Have a letter writing get-together!
▪It is so empowering to see us all come together to protect our traditions. We have almost 7,500 signatures! https://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-patent-and-trademark-office-revoke-fire-cider-trademark
▪Help us by circulating the petition to reach 10,000 signatures!
Flood the Market
▪We’d love to see coops and health food stores across the country carrying a large selection of LOCAL Fire Ciders! Live in Alabama? Why should your Coop carry a Fire Cider from Massachusetts? And if you live in Massachusetts, your Coop could carry Fire Cider made right in the very same town!
▪More info on how to do this! http://freefirecider.com/take-action/flood-the-market/
▪We are hoping to solidify our volunteer coordinator this week!
▪Submit a volunteer form if you would like to lend a hand! http://freefirecider.com/take-action/volunteer/