January 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

We are pleased to announce:

The Second Annual Radical Herbalists Gathering Southwest

March 7th-9th, 2014
Outside Tucson, Arizona

You are cordially invited to a gathering of herbalists and plant enthusiasts of an anti-oppressive or otherwise community-minded persuasion.

As the number of radical herbalists grows we see Rad Herb as a space to explore together how our work with plants & healing fit into our political work and how these can intersect and support the work we are doing to build the world in which we want to live.

This gathering will provide an opportunity for radical and community minded herbalists to meet each other and share skills, resources, knowledge and experiences. To share time and space, food and medicine, our ideas and our selves, and to talk about how and why we are doing this work. To explore how we could do it better and hear about what others are doing. To build networks of support and inspiration for each other.

As we come together to build and learn, we also recognize a simultaneous ‘unlearning’ process we participate in by calling ourselves radicals. This can take on different forms where certain people “get” some specific language, terms or social signifiers that are indicators of knowledge ( cultural capital ) in radical, herbal and other niche circles. it happens.

Rad Herb welcomes folks from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences in their work with both plants and radical politics, and in that vein, we ultimately want to hold one another accountable at this gathering by committing to co-creating a safer space for all of us to share, learn, network and to interrelate across differences in ways that build our connectivity and community. That doesn’t mean that we avoid conflicts or pave over differences in an attempt to keep it safe, but rather that we are committed to knowing ourselves, our boundaries, our needs and that we all make mistakes. We can recognize that by participating in this gathering, we are attempting to co-create a container and safer space to share, learn, ask and be vulnerable, to build our radical rhizomatous networks and seek to better understand ourselves, our histories, communities and connections to the land and to the plants.

We begin by recognizing that we as organizers come from a colonial settler history in the continued occupation of native and indigenous lands by the US government and with this in mind, all are invited to come together to be accountable to our histories, unearned privileges, relations to power, people and land.

With these recognitions as a foundation, all peoples are welcome as we recognize where we are coming from in order to dream together where we are going.


We intend to facilitate an event full of workshops, discussions, and opportunities to share skills and network. Please come prepared to participate in creating this space by being open to both sharing and learning. We need folks to offer up  workshops, hold a skill share, facilitate a discussion or anything else. Email us with your workshop plans or ideas, and  if you aren’t confident about making it happen yourself let us know and we may be able to help.

Here is a list of some workshops from last year and more we would like to see happen. Let us know if you or someone you know can facilitate any of these. Feel free to get creative, we want to support yal in offering workshops of your own design.

  • Relationship between (herbal/radical) healthcare and systems of oppression – race, class, fatphobia, patriarchy, colonization.

  • Issues of cultural appropriation in alternative medicine, and indigenous solidarity.

  • Any workshop on a specific condition or disease – diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Lyme, Hepatitis C, cancer, asthma, HPV.

  • Herbs for stress and trauma.

  • Herbal care for sexual and reproductive health.

  • Herbs and Skills for supporting birth outside of conventional medical practices.

  • Herbs for transgender folks.

  • Nutrition / food as medicine

  • Cultivating deeper relationship with plants, gardening, sustainable harvesting, tending wild plant stands.

  • Local and native plants of the southwest and Sonoran desert- plant-walks welcome!

  • Energetic plant medicine, flower essences, plant spirit medicine.

  • Learning from and integrating different systems of herbal medicine (Western, Chinese, Ayurvedic).

  • Alternative models to radical healthcare – how to run a free clinic, healing outside of clinical spaces, project report-backs.

  • The American Herbal Guild and the standardization of herbal medicine.

  • Integrative medicine, how to deal with doctors/medical industrial complex, medical advocacy.

  • Historical perspectives on health justice and herbalism.

  • Herbal first aid for protests, wilderness, desert.

  • Basic to advanced medicine making (salves to spagyrics)

  • Harm reduction.

  • Expanding your skill set – resources to learn minor surgical procedures, to get prescription medications, and to access lab tests.

  • Herbal care for animals.

  • Astrology and herbs!

  • What’s going on in the Southwest!- report-backs, networking, what we want to see happen, how to support ongoing projects

  • Case studies and building intake skills – multi-lingual consultations, setting good boundaries, etc.


To be transparent, we want and need support in the form of ideas, tools, and resources around accessibility and we appreciate your support as we learn how to make this a more widely accessible and inclusive gathering. Our long term goal as organizers is to make the gathering a multilingual as well as a more physically accessible space. We aim to facilitate people’s needs getting met but we can only provide those things that folks can step up to offer, facilitate and support. We are really looking forward to working on this with all of you.

The terrain is pretty rugged – dirt roads, scrubby hillsides and washes-so if you need a more detailed description of the location or have specific needs around physical accessibility at the location, please let us know. If you have experience facilitating more physically accessible spaces and want to help out, please get in contact with us!

We are hoping to make this event accessible to folks who speak Spanish and use ASL.  If you feel comfortable translating and want to help out part of the time, or can teach a workshop in either of these languages, please let us know as soon as possible.


The gathering will be in the desert outside of Tucson in the foothills of the Rincon mountains. We will send out more details about logistics,  the location, directions and what to bring once you have registered.

We will be camping with no electricity or potable water so please come prepared. There may be a possibility for more comfortable accommodations, please let us know ahead of time if this is something you may need.

We will also have an outdoor communal kitchen. We will have some staples on hand, but we are depending on y’all to contribute the food for the bulk of our meals.

We hope to make this a family-friendly event, so let us know if you’re interested in supporting child care during the gathering or facilitating a kid friendly work shop – medicine making, plant walks, herb related crafts and song. Let us know if you plan on bringing kids so we can keep you updated on child care availability.

If you need a ride or can offer an extra spot in your car, check out the rideshare page at radherbsw.wordpress.com! As it gets closer to the event, if you are still needing a ride, let us know and we will try to help you out.

This event is free. We will be asking for donations of $10 per day to help us cover our costs. Any money we make over costs will be donated to the Stone Cabin Wellness Collective, a biannual free clinic that supports the direct needs of residents of Black Mesa who have been resisting coal mining and forced relocation on their ancestral lands for over three decades.


Do you want to come? In the interest of creating a container for the weekend, an inclusive and safer space where we can learn and share together, we are asking you all to respond to these questions and to share or set your intentions. We will consider you registered once you have emailed your responses to radherbsw@gmail.com .

We welcome folks coming from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels & so invite you to respond to these prompts as a way for us to get a feel for the community and its needs. There are no right answers to these questions. If you are unable to answer any of these questions feel free to leave them blank.


Name and preferred pronoun?

In what bioregion do you spend most of your time?

How did you hear about the gathering?

Will you be bringing kids with you? What kind of support do you want, if any?

What are your seeds of intention in coming together as radical herbalists this weekend?

One of your favorite plant allies and why?

Are there any workshops you’d like to see happen?

Are you interested in offering a workshop?

Do you have skills and experience in providing CONFLICT MEDIATION, MEDIC WORK, CHILDCARE, ANYTHING ELSE? that you want to share for the weekend? What would that look like? What support / tools do you need to make that happen?

Do you have any camping supplies you can share for the weekend, such as water jugs, rope, tarps, propane burners, chairs, etc?  (We will send out a more comprehensive list of needs as RadHerb approaches)

Is there anything else you want us to know? Are there any specific needs that haven’t been addressed that we could help you meet?

Please invite anyone you think would be interested in joining us! Thanks,


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