Letter from the Publisher: International Herb Symposium
Categories: Health & Healing
North Atlantic Books’ Publisher and Executive Director writes about an event he recently attended, where he spoke with a number of our authors and learned about an interesting ongoing case.
I was thrilled to attend the International Herb Symposium in mid-June at the beautiful campus of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. The symposium, founded by Rosemary Gladstar, brings together top herbal practitioners to explore “the various methods we have of working with healing plants from the shamanic and folklore to ethnobotanical, clinical, and scientific.” The gathering truly lived up to these goals and had great resonance and connection with the North Atlantic Books mission and network.
The event was not only a place to meet great new friends and potential partners, but it was an opportunity to reconnect with some core NAB authors and existing partners as well. North Atlantic authors Matthew Wood, Chris Kilham, Anna Robertsdottir, and Wolf Storl were in attendance; it was a real pleasure to connect with them and hear them in conversation together.
But what was most interesting was the degree to which the herbal community as a collective has engaged in a variety of causes and wider work in the world. The headline example is the Free Fire Cider campaign. Fire Cider is a traditional folk remedy made by fermenting a variety of fruit and vegetables in apple cider vinegar, yet a small herbal company has been awarded a trademark for the name. The goal of the Free Fire Cider campaign is to cancel the trademark, as the company has now chosen to sue a number of herbal practitioners who use the traditional term. This case shows an interesting collision between the imperatives of Western corporate culture and folk remedies and traditions, and is still playing out.
In so many ways, the International Herb Symposium was a great success. Here at NAB, we’re looking forward to a handful of similar community engagements we’ll be attending in the coming months.
Thanks so much for your interest in North Atlantic Books, and stay tuned for more information and updates soon.