The gifts of nature
and teachings of ancestors
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the challenges of modern life.

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  • In Memorian: Steven Foster (1957-2022)
    Steven Foster is a teacher to many students at the Florida School of Holistic Living, whether or not they’ve ever taken a class with him. Through his 19 books, most notably the Petersen’s Field Guide to Eastern and Central Medicinal Plants, Steven has captured a legacy of plant wisdom for future generations. Steven traveled to Florida to keynote our 2015 Florida Herbal Conference, where many Florida herbalists got to understand the depth and dynamism of this humble herbal legend.
  • Yaupon – Plant of the Month, January 2022
    Plant of the Month Blog, by Maggie O’Halloran Common Names Yaupon Holly, Yaupon, Cassina    Latin Name Ilex vomitoria Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)    HabitatLike many other hollies, yaupon holly is an evergreen shrub or tree that is loved for the colorful berries it produces on the female plants. Native to the land now called the United States this bushy holly plant is in the same family as yerba mate and guayusa. Hardy and drought resistant, it grows wild in the Southern United States and Mexico zones 7-9. Native to a variety of areas including sandy woods, dunes, open fields, forest edges, and wet swamps, often along the coastal plain and maritime forests, from southern Colorado to Mexico, Virginia, and Florida. It can be grown with little maintenance in the way of fertilizers. Yaupon is also salt and frost tolerant, as well as pest and disease-free; pesticides are rarely needed. This fast-growing tree can grow up to 30 feet but keeping the height around 7 to 8 feet is optimal. The trees can be harvested after two or three years, harvest occurs once a year. 
  • 2021 Reflections from Maggie & Emily
    As we approach the final days of 2021, I encourage us all to allow a deep exhale as we reflect on the last twelve months, preferably with a warm cup of herbal tea in hand. One of my dear friends and FSHL graduate, Lisa Ray, used to tell me that in hard times, “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” – as a reminder to slow down and pace myself for the long haul. If 2020 taught us anything, it was recognizing that the uncertainty of our times will persist, possibly far longer than we can imagine, and that the only way we can cultivate resilience to get through it is by caring for ourselves like we’re in a marathon. As we entered 2021, we took this advice to heart. At Florida School of Holistic Living, we envisioned ways we could still support our community in deepening their relationships to plants while doing so safely and responsibly. We dreamed up opportunities to learn across a distance that were also engaging and inspiring us in the physical green world around us.

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