Hearthstone Herbal is an herb farm & apothecary located in Thunder Bay, ON. All of our products are made either from plants grown in our chemical free, biodynamic garden, or are mindfully wild harvested from the Boreal forest and its surrounding wild spaces.
The value that Hearthstone Herbal's products offer, other than being packed with raw, pure herbal chemistry and more love than can be quantified, is that a sincere relationship is built with the plants & their ecosystems. There is a level of kindship and care built into Hearthstone's hand crafted herbal preparations that goes deeper than only using herbs imported from far away landscapes, where labor and environmental growing practices can be unknown and/or concealed.
My name is Gwen.
Born from a place of deep need, Hearthstone Herbal came to me when I was at a very lost and untethered point in my life.
Once, while I was in the middle of the woods hunting, bone tired and weary of heart, I sat down on a log and watched my hawk above me settle into a beam of rare mid winter sunlight. I decided to take some rest and think about everything that was happening at the time. Amidst the feelings of being uprooted, disoriented, and in the middle of grieving the loss of my mother, something sparked in the peripherals of my imagination and I immediately felt a glimmer of what I was missing.
Community. Any idea of what I was meant to do next. Long needed peace between my mind and my heart. Acceptance of the fact that sometimes we start down a path we think will bring us to a certain place, only to find out it's not quite what we were hoping for.
In my mind's eye I saw a fire. A bonfire in the woods, a crackling flame in a hearth, I'm not sure. What I did know is there were people all around it who were tied together with a common purpose.
Self determination. A desire for truth. A desire for healing on the personal, community, and planetary levels. A commitment to honouring traditional lifeways, a vow to return to our inner knowing that lives in our bones, surviving through the disharmony that binds us to the demands of the modern world.
I see herbalism and connection to our wild spaces as one way to actualize these things.
So, I started a small garden plot and packed it full of as many different herbs as I could, all started from seed myself, and have spent countless hours on the landscape getting to know the plant communities around me.
Currently I am a student of the Wild Rose College of Herbal Medicine, and hope to one day finish the clinical herbalist's program to better serve the community in which I live. Beyond this, I have also been informally studying and working with herbs for at least 6 years.
For now you can find me in the Thunder Bay area tending the land, bringing forth what our plant allies have to offer in the form of salves, oils, extracts, and other items.