My friend Mason, who is the event coordinator for Mountain Rose Herbs, mentioned last November that he was helping organize an herbalism event in February in Laguna Beach. He suggested I attend to make tea, and asked if I was going to be in So Cal. Most offers and suggestions like this are usually too far in advance, or I’m not planning on being in the area. This one was different. I was planning on heading south for the winter and it sounded just right.
The TerraVita Herbal Symposium is a biannual two-day event, happening once in Ashland, OR and once in Laguna Beach, CA every year. It brings together a community of herbal teachers and students for plant walks, classes, and this time around, free tea. I spent two days parked at the venue, the Anneliese School, making tea, popping into classes, and providing a space for people to interact.
The kind of people that this event gathered was incredible. It was hard to know what to expect because it is Orange County. Not having spent any time here, I was only subjected to the media portrayal of the area. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, the venue of the event was one of the campuses of the Anneliese School, which has a garden, horses, a huge aviary, and hosts curriculum for the kids that is extremely multifaceted. The attendees of the event were all super down to earth, eager to learn, ready for what the classes and tea bus had to offer, and friendly. I was literally overwhelmed with the attention and affection for the tea bus. Luckily there was plenty of time during classes for me to clean up, make sure there was plenty of hot water and tea, and take some personal time.
One of the teachers, Rob Talbert, a Laguna local, offered a free make-your-own Ayurvedic tea for everyone in attendance. What a cool thing! A man after my own heart.
After experiencing the tea bus a couple of the school’s directors asked Edna and I to come and speak to 5th ad 6th grade classes on Monday. Um… yes! More on that to come.
I want to thank Elise for organizing this event; Mason and Mountain Rose Herbs for helping make sure it happened (as well as sending us more tea and Make Tea Not War Stickers!); Kimberly, Clay, Elliot, and Logan Leeds for hosting us for two nights (my new family!); all the wonderful guests; all the teachers; the Anneliese School; and SEEDS. Wow!