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The next time you are with your family, whether they are your chosen or biological family, remember that these are the people who give your life meaning. They are central to your own sense of identity and purpose. This is true whether you have a good relationship with them, neutral, or a bad one. Even when you are at your local grocery store, look around at everyone you see and remember that this is the community to which you belong. Whether you know them personally or not, it doesn't change the fact that they are your local community, and you are theirs. Feeling disconnected and estranged from each other is a serious source of dis-ease.

Did you know that loneliness has become a major public health concern in the US? It has been linked to an increased risk of both physical and mental health problems. A 2023 study by the American Psychological Association found that 52% of Americans report feeling lonely, and 47% report that their relationships with others aren't meaningful.

Understanding the Role of Community in Healing and Growth

Loneliness, as I've experienced firsthand, can be crippling. It was one of the catalysts for founding Healer’s Harvest. For years, I searched for the perfect community. It seemed like no matter where I went, I just didn’t quite belong. I thought if I traveled far and wide enough, I would eventually find a place that felt just right. However, having moved around and traveled throughout my twenties, there came a time when I was approaching thirty and felt no sense of home or community. It was then that I decided to put down roots somewhere, which led me to live above Farmacy Herbs in Providence, RI. The lesson I began learning, and desperately needed to learn, was that I had always belonged. Everywhere I went, I belonged. I just didn’t know it. I couldn’t feel it. Now I understand that it was my mindset that was creating the illusion of not belonging.

The Healing Power of Community

Supporting your community and getting to know its members can have profound effects on your well-being. When you shop locally, you not only contribute to the economic vitality of your area but also foster a sense of belonging and connection. Expressing your values through the purchases you make strengthens the bond within your community.

Making a commitment to getting to know your community in a meaningful way is an investment in your own healing and growth. Ask yourself, what does my community need? How can I help? By identifying what matters most to you and finding ways to get involved, you not only enrich the lives of those around you but also nurture your own sense of purpose and belonging.

Building Meaningful Connections

I created Healer’s Harvest and The Herbalist’s Collaborative to draw like-minded individuals to me, and it has worked! These initiatives have evolved into more than just casual connections; they have blossomed into meaningful relationships and opportunities, including being part of the organizing committee for Gather: A Northeastern Herbal Conference. This immersive, community-building event serves as a gathering place for herbalists, wild-crafters, plant lovers, and those curious about herbalism and holistic healing. It's through events like these that we come together, share knowledge, skills, and passion for the natural world.

Join Us in Building Community

I invite you to join us on this journey of healing and growth. Whether you're seeking connection, knowledge, or simply a sense of belonging, there's a place for you in our community. Together, we can create a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered. I hope to see you at Gather: A Northeastern Herbal Conference, where we will celebrate the beauty of community and the healing power of nature and connection.

Gather: A Northeastern Herbal Conference coming to you on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 at Bentley University!

175 Forest St, Waltham, MA 02452

9:30AM - 6PM

We have a fantastic line up of local speakers who will present on a variety of topics including: Herbal Medicine Making 101, Crafting Herbal Mocktails, Herbs For Cancer Support, Bedtime Basics, Herbs For The Nervous System & more!


This line up provides learning opportunities for beginners and experienced herbalists alike! Our goal is to provide an opportunity for our local herbal community to “Gather" and to make herbalism accessible to all!

There will be a plant sale as well as a variety of vendors where you can shop for locally crafted herbal products including skin care, aromatherapy, herbal teas and so much more!


There will be a raffle to enter for a chance to win a spot in the upcoming season of The Herbalist’s Collaborative and another raffle for a locally curated herbal self care kit!

We look forward to meeting you!

Gather provides an opportunity to connect with a community of people who care about healing, growth and nature. We welcome you to attend, learn about the world of herbalism, meet new people and get inspired by the healing wisdom of nature and community.


Please help us spread the word by sharing this information with anyone who may be interested!


With love from the organizing committee,


Justine Ring, Bee Andrews, Tamar Helfen & Jenn Prince

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