I'm hannah schiller and I am an herbalist, writer, botanist, medicine-maker, farmer and general plant enthusiast currently based in the hudson valley of new york. I didn't grow up around plants or the natural world really at all. The child of corporate business parents, I was raised in a very mobile family, spending the first years of my life moving and traveling around the world. As a child most of my exposure to understanding nature was through books; my parents were adamant that we read and so we did, and it was from those pages my greatest youthful influence comes. In my late teens I fell in love with art and had every intention of attending college in new york city, to drink coffee and study painting and literature. At the very last minute my heart and intuition redirected me to rural North Carolina to the tiny and beautiful Warren Wilson College where I attended school in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. There I learned to garden, fell in love with the forest, and began studying plants and herbal medicine. I majored, however, in Anthropology/Sociology, passionate also about culture and society and social structures, the influence of my exploratory, international upbringing still a large aspect of who I am. The two studies wove together a unique blend of people and plants, braiding a philosophy of herbalism that holds social and ecological justice at the forefront. And I find my life and business endeavors to forever be a balancing act of these passions and interests--art, plants, writing, people--discovering how each both deters and dovetails the other in a challenging and beautiful way. This dynamic creates the mission and goal of this business/project: finding and meeting with others there at the confluence point of ecology and social justice.
While in school I was an intern with the conservation organization United Plant Savers and spent a summer amidst the at-risk medicinal plants at their botanical sanctuary, studying the trees and prairie flowers of Ohio alongside the politics of poor rural America. The following year I attended the Botanologos School of Herbal Medicine, studying with Patricia Kyritsi Howell. This program, held at the Foxfire institute in North Georgia, blended western and traditional Chinese herbalism and energetic approaches into the clinical mindset. After college, in 2014, I apprenticed with 7Song in Ithaca, New York, honing in on my botany obsession and working with him at the Ithaca Free Clinic and in his home apothecary. There I also fell in love with first aid and have since worked first aid stations at various Rainbow and Earthskills gatherings. I also attended 7Song's Community Herbalism Intensive at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine while apprenticing with him.
After 7Song's, I studied clinical herbalism with CoreyPine in Asheville, NC at the Blue Ridge School of Holistic Medicine. I spent about a year traveling down and working in Atlanta, GA with Lorna Mauney-Brodek of Herbalista. There, I worked at the Open Door foot clinic, on the Herb Bus, and with the Herb Cart, all mobile free herbal clinical services offering herbal and non-herbal care to the under-privileged and homeless on the city streets.
Foliage Botanics slowly manifested during those years, a business and a clinical practice--an ever shape-shifting herbal and plant-based entity that ranges from a product line, to classes, to plant walks, to place-based writing and land projects. I have been seeing clients since 2014, working with people one-on-one to integrate herbs into their lives and healthcare regimes.
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