Saturday, June 23, 2018

How To Support Families at the Border and Abolish ICE!

Friends have been in touch recently, moved by the horrific family separations at the US/Mexican border, to see how they can support the children and families being traumatized by this new policy. This current situation – whether it’s family separation or family detention – is inhumane and inexcusable. And also U.S. immigration policy and practice has been a complete nightmare for a long time. Mass detention and deportations, sexual abuse and death at the hands of those “just doing their job” at the border and in detention facilities, corporations profiting off of putting people in cages and politicians pushing to build more facilities and fill every bed. Border patrol destroying life-saving humanitarian aid supplies like water placed in the desert by volunteers, some of whom are facing federal charges for working to ease suffering and prevent deaths that are very much intentionally orchestrated by government policy. And on and on… Many are feeling a sense of urgency and it’s important to gather that collective energy and channel it into action. Also, the situation is ongoing – it’s not a matter of changing one policy or making the system a tiny bit less horrible. Immediate change is important, and also we need *sustained collective action*

When folks ask what they can do now, my first thought is *Support the Groups That Have Been Doing This Work* There are organizations all over that are doing crucial work, both locally and beyond borders: Gathering community support thru letters and petitions and raising bail money to get neighbors and loved ones out of detention, providing legal advocacy and translation, organizing to become sanctuary communities and for Fair and Impartial Policing Policies that stop local and state law enforcement from working with and as federal immigration agents, rallying to get trans people out of detention where they are particularly vulnerable, doing humanitarian aid work and search and rescue missions in the borderlands, border communities resisting checkpoints and working to end militarization and harassment, and on and on. People are coming together to raise awareness and co-create brilliant strategies of community response to what’s happening locally and beyond. Whatever added crises that the powers-that-be cause on top of the everyday crises impacts all these groups and their efforts.

I’m listing some ways that people can support ongoing justice work. Please add more suggestions, resources, and events in the comments! Thank you.

First Day of No School Rally: Stopping Family Separation Now Rally, Mon June 25th 6-7:30pm, Vermont State House. 
Families Belong Together Rally, Sat June 30th In D.C. and around the country 

It can be really difficult to understand the many layers of policies and lived experiences and constant changes with immigration. There are many people and groups raising awareness about immigration policy, “prevention through deterrence” strategies, and mass detention and deportation thru a historical lens challenging racism and xenophobia. Some news sources to check out are Democracy Now! and AJ+/Al Jazeera. You can follow organizers and artists such as Alan Pelaez and Jennicet Eva Gutiérrez who are making connections between anti-black racism and xenophobia, transphobia and the criminalization of migration, and organizations such as No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, Mijente, Puente Human Rights Movement, Mariposas Sin Fronteras, Kino Border Initiative / Iniciativa Kino para la Frontera, and We Belong Together.

There are community organizations all over who are doing the important daily work of addressing the root causes of im/migration, mass detention, and deportation. Groups are resisting racial profiling and the targeting of immigrant communities, changing policy at the local, state, and national level, challenging white supremacy in our schools and creating/defending ethnic studies curriculum, and working in coalition with other organizations working for racial justice, trans liberation, indigenous rights, reproductive justice, disability justice, and more. What are you most drawn to? You can connect with groups in your local area, and you can also find groups that may be geographically far from you but that are in alignment with your values and resonate with what you are most passionate about. 

There are many ways to be involved. You can spread the word about events, write letters to the editor, provide transportation or food for events, get organizations you’re already connected with (your union, faith organization, craft group) to support grassroots community organizations. Attend events and panels organized by (or that at least include!) people of color-led organizations. Listen to what they are asking for in terms of support and help provide resources that are requested. You and/or organizations you’re connected with can become a sustaining member of a grassroots group, giving a monthly donation so that groups can focus less on fundraising and more on campaigns and long-term vision. With time, as you continue to show up and cultivate relationships based on solidarity, other ways of giving support may reveal themselves. 

Team up with others to understand how ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is impacting YOUR community. Who is ICE targeting in your area? How are people responding and organizing? How are people holding your local and state law enforcement accountable and ending racial profiling and collusion with immigration officials? Who is addressing systemic racism and xenophobia? In Vermont, you can support Migrant Justice / Justicia Migrante and Justice For All by showing up to rallies, joining them at the Statehouse to support important legislation, donating money or helping to organize a fundraiser. Following their Facebook pages and signing up on their email lists will help keep you in the loop. If you don’t know of any human rights/immigrant rights groups in your area, you can check out the ACLU in your region to see what projects they’re working on and who they’re collaborating with. And speak with your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers! Wherever you live, surely there are others around you who are outraged by all that is happening and teaming up can help support our collective mental and emotional health. It also builds courage so that we can speak out against racism and xenophobia whenever and wherever we encounter it. 

Simply reading the news, let alone directly being impacted by immigration policies and actively working for justice, can be heartbreaking. It’s important to take care of ourselves and each other however we can. The most basics of self-care/survival can easily fall by the wayside when we are feeling so much. Constantly facing dehumanizing words, images, and policies can take a toll on our health at many levels. We can support each other to stay hydrated, get some sleep, get some movement (physical, emotional, etc), eat (nourishing foods are great, and so are comfort foods or whatever we can eat/afford), take our herbs/medications and get to health appointments, share time together and/or have time for solitude, get outside or visit a garden or look at beautyfull images of flowers and trees, whatever we need to do.
You can also check out this In Case of (emotional) Emergency form  

Longer lists of groups to support here

For those who love plants and herbal remedies: For the past 10+ years I’ve made herbal remedies for those crossing the Sonoran Desert and those providing humanitarian aid in Sonora, Mexico and Arizona. If anyone would like to make a donation towards this project, I have left this fundraiser active here

Message from Free the Children Coalition “A lot of people are feeling helpless regarding the kidnapping of children and their internment. It seems that people are feeling the desperate situation requires desperate measures, and they are right. But PLEASE keep in mind the potential harm to those you are trying to help with measures that can cause unintended consequences for the vulnerable children and the immigrant community. Check your privilege. Shutting down an ICE facility, taking over a Congressional Office, demanding statements, identifying those who are profiting from these centers are all good options….” More here 

Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border: Lawyers, translators, donations, protest. (article) "The best way to stop the horrific separation of children from their families at the border is to pay attention to what is happening to their parents…(who) are being criminally prosecuted, facing up to 20 years in prison for simply migrating. It is this criminal prosecution for “illegal entry” and “re-entry” by the Department of Justice that allows for the government to take children away, put them in cages, or send them to live with complete strangers, while their parents sit in private prisons.” 

The Racist History of Illegal Immigration (video – graphic images) here

…Please list more resources and organizations in the comments!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Nourishing our Nervous Systems for the Long Haul: upcoming 2-part workshop

upcoming 2-part workshop:

***Nourishing our Nervous Systems for the Long Haul***
with Dana L Woodruff of Dandelioness Herbals

even busy bees need to rest

Feeling frazzled? Drained? Burnt out? Let’s carve out some time together to replenish and rejuvenate in this 2-part work/playshop. We will explore ways to nourish our nervous systems by drawing on simple self-care practices and medicine-making with common abundant herbs that grow here to support ourselves, our loved ones, and communities. In both sessions we’ll make calming remedies collectively both to bring home and to share with community based organizations.

This is a hands-on class with lots of show (& taste) and tell and learning directly from the plants and each other. We will focus on practical ways that we can integrate relaxing herbs both internally and externally into our everyday lives. While created with caregivers, gardeners, and community organizers in mind, all experience levels and backgrounds are welcome.

This 2-part workshop takes place Friday Oct 27 and Friday Nov 10 5:30-7:30pm in Plainfield, VT.

Space is limited, please reserve your spot soon by emailing

Accessibility: There are 3 steps in front of the building and 4 steps inside, with a rail at both set of stairs. The bathroom is quite small, an accessible bathroom with a ramp is available next door. The event is held in a public space and cannot be assured to be scent-free. Scents: We will be using essential oils (unless someone is not able to be around them, please be in touch if scent is a concern and participants will be contacted and asked to refrain from wearing fragrances). Transportation: Location is in Plainfield along the Route 2 Commuter bus route. Start time accommodates arriving via bus, but misses the last buses both east and west. Carpool encouraged. Ages: To create as relaxing an environment as we can, this workshop is for adults and teens/pre-teens that want to participate. No childcare provided unfortunately. Language: Workshop will be in English, with Spanish clarification throughout if anyone would like. Please be in touch with any accessibility questions or concerns.

The 2-week series is $30-100 sliding scale ($15-50 per class including materials fee, according to what you are able to pay). If you’re interested in participating, but the cost is out of reach, please be in touch.

Facebook event page here.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Support and Collective Healing for US Political Prisoner Herman Bell

Update!:  Herman Bell is now in general population! He was told that the charges will be dropped! Visit Free Herman Bell for more information on how to best support him.

From Herman (written earlier) with many thanks for all of our efforts:

September 27, 2017

My dear brothers and sisters,

Thank you for the outpouring of cards, letters, healing-love and energy that you sent me in response to the unprovoked brutal assault on me by NYS prison guards at Comstock, NY – a vicious slap aside the head from behind and shoved to the ground. I protected myself as best as I could. I sustained multiple kicks, punches to the face and eyes, repeated head slams into concrete, and 2 cracked ribs. They tried to bury me with raining blows, not knowing that I am a seed. But the burning pepper spray sprayed into my eyes and mouth is what did me in – and yet, here I am.

Now I know why visitors bring flowers and candy to the hospital. I was immediately sent, however, not to a hospital but to the Box for “assault on staff,” so the cards and letters and love you sent me were my flowers and candy. You did great!

I was astonished, not by the outpouring of your support, but by the enormity of it.

People are coming together and are standing up. They are finding that they are not entitled to the rights and freedoms they think they have as americans. Instead of the consideration americans – many of them voters – deserve, they are ignored by authoritarian and elected officials.

They lack healthcare, suffer from unrestrained police violence, mass incarceration, lack a living wage, experience poverty and homelessness, and suffer from a toxic environment. People are standing up against these injustices, insisting that their demands be respected and addressed.

The social injustice, jackboot repression, racist attacks, discrimination, wealth disparities, unemployment, lack of affordable housing (the list doesn’t just end there), creates waves of fierce discontent which ls gaining steady momentum, becoming a full-blown cleansing tsunami, the force of which is irresistible.

And that force is you, the People, coming together and taking a stand. My flowers and candy is your outpouring of support for me, our political prisoners, the mass incarcerated and the voiceless.

To write each of you (I’ve literally received hundreds of letters) a personal “thank you” at this time would be impossible. So, I send this “thank you!” instead.

Thank you! I thank you deeply one and all for the empathy, outrage, love and support you’ve expressed in the face of the assault on me. May our resolve to produce social change remain unshakeable.

Herman Bell
​Shawangunk Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 700
Wallkill, New York 12589
(most updated addresses for U.S. Political Prisoners, with birthdays, posted here)

Some of you may know Herman Bell, who is a US Political Prisoner, former Black Panther, movement elder, Victory Gardens Project co-founder, Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar co-creator, father, grandfather, husband, and mentor to many both on the inside and the outside.  How is Herman connected with herbs and herbal justice?  In the 15 years since I was a volunteer at the Victory Gardens Project, near my hometown in Maine, Herman and I have corresponded.  He is a friend and mentor to me.  The Radherb Collective, which I was a part of for many years, took inspiration from the Victory Gardens Project.  Over the years, though our letters and face-to-face visits, Herman has helped shape who I am as an herbalist, how I make remedies, and my understanding of the the way herbs and social justice are completely entwined.  

Herman is 69 years old, has been incarcerated for 43 years and has been denied parole 7 times.  On Sept 5th Herman was assaulted by a group of officers at Great Meadow Correctional Facility.  He was singled out, brought to an area away from all the other inmates to where there is no video surveillance, and guards began beating him.  The account is personally really difficult for me to read, and the thought that he could have died in the attack is beyond upsetting.  He did survive the attack.  He was then taken to the infirmary where he waited for hours and did not receive adequate medical care for the beating he had just endured.  He had the medical staff note that there were no abrasions on his hands or any other indication that he assaulted a guard.  He was transferred to another facility hours away where he has been held in solitary, continues to be denied medical care for the head trauma and other injuries inflicted on him by the guards, and he is also facing the serious charge of assaulting an officer.  He continues to experience headaches, his vision is affected from being maced at close range, and two ribs were broken in the attack.

Anyone who knows Herman knows he did not assault an officer.  Herman is an elder who has not had an infraction for over 20 years (when he participated in a strike over inmate conditions), he was only days away from finally having a family visit (which he'd been denied without justification for over two and half years), and he has been preparing for his next parole hearing in early 2018.

Immediate action is needed

1.  We need to flood the Commissioner with messages of support demanding that Herman receive medical attention, be removed from solitary, have the charges against him dropped, have access to family visits, and that the officers who attacked him be fired.  You can simply cut and past the sample letter here, or add your own personal message.  Here is a pdf of the letter that you can print out, sign/address/date, and send.  If you are able, please print out extra copies for friends and family to also sign and send in.  Also, if you are able, please send this same letter to: Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224.

2.  Please take a few minutes to send an email to the Commissioner and Governor.  (Sample email below)

3.  People are also encouraged to write to Herman to show support.  (Address below)

4.  Please spread the word!!!  If you have other organizations that you are connected with, please share this message with them and encourage friends and family to send letters as well.  This information can be found online here.

Here is a sample email that you can simply cut and paste:


Anthony Annucci
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
(518) 457-8134

Cc: Governor Andrew Cuomo
(212) 257-6405

Dear Commissioner Annucci (Governor Cuomo):

I am writing in concern and outrage over the unprovoked beating by Great Meadow C.F. correctional officers of Herman Bell, #79C0262.
On September 5th, with no provocation, five or six correctional officers assaulted this widely respected elder. These guards punched and kicked Mr. Bell all over his body while he was on the ground. He was kneed in the chest and stomach, breaking two of his ribs. One guard then grabbed his head and slammed it into the ground three times, at which point Mr. Bell thought his life would be ending. He was excessively maced at close range all over his face and eyes, causing temporarily blindness and inability to breathe.

Mr. Bell is accused of assaulting one of the officers. This charge is absurd. The assault on Herman Bell is part of an epidemic of violence by NYS prison guards against the incarcerated population--an epidemic documented by the New York Times and other journalists, as well as by criminal justice agencies.

The idea that this 69-year-old man would have hit an officer is ludicrous, as he was about to have a family visit (the first in two and a half years) and was beginning preparations for an appearance at the Board of Parole this coming February. Mr. Bell was looking forward to the family visit with great anticipation, and he is optimistic about his chances at the Board, given recent changes in parole regulations and the appointment of new commissioners. There is absolutely no doubt that he did not commit any infraction on September 5th; he also has not had a ticket in the past 20 years. Mr. Bell has been imprisoned in the NY State system for over 38 years and has never been accused of assaulting staff.

This brutal assault by Great Meadow guards constitutes not only staff abuse but also elder abuse. Mr. Bell will be 70 years of age in four months. He was badly injured in the beating. Mr. Bell requires both a CT scan of his head and an ophthalmology examination.
I write to demand that you take these actions:

That Herman Bell be immediately given adequate medical screening and attention at an outside hospital;

That CO J. Saunders and the other officers responsible for the beating be fired;

That the ridiculous charges brought against Herman Bell be dropped immediately and that he be returned at least to general population (he 
had been on the Honor Block at Great Meadow and despite his request was never given a reason for being moved to general population);

That Mr. Bell’s family visits be reinstated;

That Mr. Bell be moved to a facility where his family visiting can take place and be rescheduled at the earliest possible date.


More info about the assault and a longer sample letter (which points out that the attack is a form of elder abuse) to print out and send to the Commissioner available here.


Herman's new address:::

Herman Bell
​Shawangunk Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 700
Wallkill, New York 12589

(most updated addresses for U.S. Political Prisoners, with birthdays, posted here)


For anyone reading this during the weekend of Sept 23-24, feel free to join us in the Collective Healing for Herman Bell from wherever you are.  People are gathering together from across Turtle Island/the US, Lebanon, Ireland, and possibly beyond to send Herman healing energy to heal and strengthen his body and spirit. Emails and letters to the Commissioner and Governor are vital.  Sending Herman our love in this collective way is another that we can manifest our support and solidarity.

For those in Central Vermont, there will be a Letter Writing Event to Support Herman Bell on Sunday Oct 29, 2017 from 2-4pm at the Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St, Montpelier, VT.  More info to come.

at the park sitting with the oak trees to draw strength to send to herman. 
with protective and healing herbs. yarrow, calendula, & plantain. and healing waters.

For more information and updates:

Denied Family Visits: Bell’s daughter-in-law, kihana miraya ross, reflects on how vital visits are for both Bell and their family

The Scourge of Racial Bias in New York State’s Prisons: A New York Times investigation draws on nearly 60,000 disciplinary cases from state prisons and interviews with inmates to explore the system’s inequities and the ripple effect they can have. 

Video of Herman and his family here

Jericho Movement working for the freedom of all political prisoners

The Freedom Archives 12,000 hours of audio and video recordings and thousands of documents about social justice movements locally, nationally, and internationally from the 1960s to the present. The Archives features speeches of movement leaders and community activists, protests and demonstrations, cultural currents of rebellion and resistance.

Video of Herman and his family here

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Roses petal medicine

ROSES!!!    🌹🌸🌹🌸🌹🌸🌹

Sorry for yelling.  But ROSES!!!!

A friend asked me today what can be done with roses that are in full bloom right now and I thought let's make a collective list!   What are your favorite rose recipes and potions??

*ROSE TIME ~ First of all, I highly encourage sharing time with roses.  Stop to smell the roses, sit with them, listen to them.  Last week I did this on the summer solstice and the deep pink rosa rugosa bush felt *very* different than the white one.  Totally different energy.  You can also draw it, photograph it, noticing who's gathering its pollen and who's growing nearby.  Notice the soft, gentle petals and the strong, fierce thorns and feel free to reflect on opening and protection and how this plant embodies both.  And so can we.

*ROSE BATH SALTS ~ Layer rose petals in a jar with sea salt to make lovely bath salts.  Simply pour in some salt, then scatter a very thin layer of rose petals {fresh or left for a few hours or overnight to wilt and dry a bit}, more salt, and on and on. i like to use plastic or glass lids, as metal ones can corrode from the salt.   Add these salts to your (foot)bath water for a special treat.

*ROSE OIL ~ Wilt or dry the rose petals and infuse them in oil.  You can use this as a soothing massage oil or create a salve or balm with it.  Instructions on making herb-infused oils, balms, and salves here::: (Im)migration and Lip Balms for Social Justice?!

*ROSE ELIXIR ~ Infuse fresh rose petals in brandy or vodka to capture fresh rose petal heart-medicine for all year round.   I like to add local honey or maple syrup to this.  If using honey, I pour it over the rose petals and stir it so that the petals begin to release their moisture and medicine right away into the honey.  This also helps incorporate all the ingredients, so they don't separate out {as much}.  Then I pour brandy in, stir or shake it up, and let it all infuse for an entire mo(o)nth cycle. {proportions-wise, probably add about 1-1.5 cups of honey to a quart jar that's half-full or full  - but not packed tight - with rose petals and then fill it to the top with brandy.  You just want to keep the total alcohol content about 20-25%}  If i'm adding maple syrup, I infuse the rose petals in the brandy or vodka for a month, and then add the maple syrup when I'm pouring it up into individual bottles.  This remedy can be taken by the drop or dropper full when needing some heart-support, such as grieving a loss, opening your heart, mending a broken heart, or exploring personal or ancestral trauma.

*DRYING ROSES ~  Having a jar of dried rose petals is amazing medicine, just looking at it, opening the jar and smelling it.   You can add these dried petals to tea blends, baths, as edible decoration for fancy cakes or to freeze into ice cubes, and for craft projects like adding to collages and dioramas or placing in tiny vials to wear as jewelry {just know that they will fade with time}.   Dried roses can also be added to local honey {with cinnamon or other herbs} to stir into tea or spread onto treats, or added to bath fizzies. instructions for making bath fizzies here: The People's Spa: Reclaiming Relaxation and Cultivating Collective-Care!

*HARVESTING ~  If you're gathering roses to make remedies for internal use, harvest them away from roads, railroad tracks, and other areas that can be sprayed with chemicals.   If there is a special rose bush you want to gather from that is right on the road, you can use those to place on your altar, to add to a footbath, etc. ///   I like to gather roses by gently plucking their petals, leaving the centers to grow and ripen into rosehips come autumn.

*OTHER IDEAS? ~  Please feel free to add your recipes, comments, and questions below...

And if you love ROSES feel free to visit my online Dandelioness Herbals shop and check out the ROSY REMEDIES there such as *Love It Up! breast and chest massage balm, LionHearted, Heart Elixir, Calm the Rage, Crampease, Restorative Moons, I Kant Slep, Replenish, Thorn Essence, Protective Ocean Essence, Heart Centering Blend (aromatherapy roll-on), Global Citizen herbal salve, Relaxation Rose Bath Fizzies (in the Self-Care Kit: for emotional first aid), and Calendula Violet Eye Serum*

Please click here for the Rose petal medicine slideshow or press play in image below:

Thursday, June 08, 2017

*St. John's wort Harvest and Remedy Making* with Dandelioness Herbals + Wake Robin Botanicals

Presenting the first of hopefully many video collaborations between Dana of Dandelioness Herbals and Atalanta of Wake Robin Botanicals!!! For those of us living in places where spring has been slow coming, we thought we'd share this video that we made at the height of summer on a super sunny day. 

In the video we harvest St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) flowers and buds and make blood-red herbal infused oil.  This oil can be used as a massage oil or transformed into a first aid salve, lip balm, sore muscle rub, salve for nerve damage and burns (including sunburn), sunscreen, and more.  Because it has not only physically soothing and healing properties, but also energetically protective ones, I commonly include it in remedies that I send to No More Deaths/No Más Muertes (en Español here) and other humanitarian aid organizations supporting those crossing the desert from Mexico into the U.S. 

For more information about making infused oils, salves, and lip balms are posted here:::
(Im)migration and Lip Balms for Social Justice?!

If you'd like some remedies that capture summer vitality in a bottle, check out DH + WRH remedies with Lemon Balm, St. Johns wort, Rose, and other medicinal herbs. We have tinctures, elixirs, salves, balms, and more...

Lemon Balm Elixir, Fabulousness In A Bottle, Milky Oat Elixir, Protective Ocean Essence, Love It Up! Breast and Chest Massage Balm, and more from Dandelioness Herbals here.

St. Johns Wort oil, Lemon Balm glycerite, Sacred Basil elixir, Luscious Lemon Cream, Rose Elixir, Don't Bug Me Spray, Teatime tea, and A Pause in the Day tea, and more from Wake Robin Botanicals here.

And you can help reunite Atalanta's family by donating and/or sharing here.

Here's the video:::

St. Johns wort lip balms and sore muscle rub
for No More Deaths/No Más Muertes

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Dandelioness Herbals on Moccasin Tracks radio program with Linda Black Elk

In late May I joined Deb Reger as co-host on her radio program Moccasin Tracks on WRUV/University of Vermont to discuss plants, healing, and justice with Linda Black Elk.

Linda Black Elk was coordinator of the Oceti Sakowin Prayer Camps' Medic and Healers Council at Standing Rock. She is an ethno-botanist, healer, herbalist, teacher, mother, Water Protector and so much more. During our conversation she talks about the ongoing Water Protector Camps and support that has been building for the Mni Wiconi Clinic which will be a free wholistic clinic at Standing Rock. She also shares about restoration ecology work being organized for the area of the former camps in N. Dakota.

Later during the program, I speak with Deb about my recent visit to the Arizona/Sonora border, doing humanitarian aid work supporting those crossing the desert with No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, People Helping People, and Kino Border Initiative/Iniciative Kino para la Frontera We also talk about ancestry, herbs for emotional support, mutual aid, rural organizing, and give a shout out to Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante and their Milk With Dignity campaign.

The theme of the program and our time together was reciprocity and relationship.  May we continue to cultivate relationships with each other and create reciprocity with the plants that nourish us and our movements for justice.

Our conversation with Linda Black Elk here:::

My conversation with Deb Reger here:::

The conversation felt like a tea party, the station felt like an electric garden!  I brought along  Restorative Moons at the station.  This remedy is burnout prevention/repair in a bottle, with rose, milky oats,  a collaboration by Dandelioness Herbals and Wake Robin Botanicals

Friday, December 02, 2016

Fundraiser::: Remedies to the Border! And me with them!

The time has come for me to physically visit the Arizona/Sonora border, where I’ve been sending remedies to a humanitarian aid organization since 2009.  I want to connect directly with the people, projects, plants, and land there in order to make more relevant and healing medicine.  In order to do this, I’m fundraising to cover the expenses of the trip as with a significant portion of the funds going towards supplies to continue making remedies.

The story:::

In 2008 I learned about No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes, a humanitarian aid organization in Arizona providing water, food, and first aid care to those crossing from Mexico into the U.S. through the Sonoran Desert.  I was teaching community herbal medicine-making workshops and after reviewing their needs list I got in touch with them to see if the herbal salves and lip balms we were making would be useful.  They said yes and I sent the first shipment of remedies in 2009.  The project has evolved over the years, now including teas, foot powder, various salves, and elixirs and sprays for emotional support and energetic protection.  I’ve received really positive feedback about how the remedies have supported those crossing the desert during extremely intense, difficult, and traumatic journeys as well as those providing desert aid work and community organizing in the borderlands.  The remedies are made with much care – from planting calendula and other seeds in the spring, tending and harvesting the plants, transforming them into remedies, creating labels in Spanish with images of healing herbs, bottling and labeling them all, and packing and sending them off to Arizona.  Remedies have been made collectively at a college and local high schools, herbal gatherings and community workshops, and with friends - both youth and grownups.  Sometimes we do a mapping activity together where we trace our ancestry, grounding the remedies in a heart-centered place of solidarity.  In 2015 I received a grant from Herbal Aide.  Having the grant money meant I could buy salve containers in bulk, we could purchase proper, more durable labels, and we were able to send a lot more remedies. 

Over the past year it has become clear that the time has come for me to physically visit the border.  I want to become better acquainted with the people, projects, plants, and land there.  Though I appreciate the years of email and phone communication, there are certain conversations that need to happen face to face, specifically around remedies to heal sexual trauma.  Being able to visit the camp and offices, I will be able to see how the remedies are being used, how they may be improved, and what other remedies may be needed.  Over the past year I've connected with the Kino Border Initiative/Iniciative Kino para la Frontera in Nogales, Sonora and would like to connect with them in person.  I also want to be there this January, during Trump’s inauguration, to support those that have been dealing with the emotionally and physically draining work of providing services and organizing for justice in a climate of constant crisis.  I want to support the caregivers and community members who have been forced to live with checkpoints, racial profiling, and a militarized border.

My fundraising goal is to raise $2000, with a significant amount of this money going towards getting more remedies to the border.  I need to buy a plane ticket and cover food and travel costs for my trip, and I want to have money for this coming year to replenish the stock of containers and other supplies.  Any amount is much appreciated.  Feel free to share this link with others who love herbs, im/migrant justice, collective liberation, and healing justice. Thank you so much!

DONATIONS can be made 4 ways:::  
1. My Remedies to the Border!  And me with them! YouCaring fundraising page
2. PayPal to  Please include a note that the money is for “remedies for the border”
3. Check made out to Dana L Woodruff (please email for mailing address)
4. Cash given in person at the Holiday Trunk Sale 12/11 or by arrangement 

Please be in touch if you would like to receive a gift and the mailing address of where to send it (shipping w/in the US is free, the difference for international shipping can be added to the donation).  Gift?!  Yes, see below.   

GIFTS!!!  (see photos):::

Thanks to some super generous and crafty people, there are fabulous gifts as part of this fundraiser: 
-Botanical/uterine art print by Gloria.  Available to anyone who gives a donation of $25 or more
-Hand-stamped silver spoons that say “SWEETIE” by Emily of ReBlooming Arts
Available to the first 8 people who give a donation of $35 or more
-Hand-knit hats (3 cream colored wool hats, 1 striped rainbow wool hat, and 3 mermaid-y colored wool/acrylic blend hats.  In various sizes) by my mother who recently sent 40 hand-knit hats to support the water protectors at Standing Rock!  Available to the first 7 people who give a donation of $50 or more 
-Ocean Protection Essence by me, Dandelioness Herbals.  An elixir made with Rose petals and Rose hips hand-harvested at the ocean, infused in brandy and local honey, with flower essence of Rose, St. Johns wort, Motherwort, Meadowsweet, and Yarrow.  1oz.  Available to the first 20 people who give a donation of $75 or more

Feel free to share this link with others who love herbs, im/migrant justice, collective liberation, and healing justice.  Thank you so much!  I will continue to post updates to the Remedies to the Border! And me with them! fundraising page.