Today I want to highlight the value of experience as a teacher. I really think getting an internship or apprenticeship of some sort, where you have hands-on experience is worth so much more than countless hours of theoretical education. Observing and shadowing will teach you invaluable insight, but getting your feet wet and hands dirty is just priceless.
I had the honor of being Radicle Herb Shop’s first intern, when Chris first purchased the business from the previous owner’s (then called The Herb Shoppe). It just so happened that I was at a spiritual and professional crossroads and had been directed to the shop for ideas of how to reconcile a more natural approach with my educational background in pharmacy. Immediately I sought out Chris, who graciously allowed me to intern at the shop. This was one of the best decisions I could’ve made in order to get hands-on experience with herbs, and was a major turning point in my career.
Thanks to the knowledgeable and passionate staff that I shadowed at the shop, I became even more fascinated with the entire field of natural medicine, and fell in love with herbalism. Being able to work with the dried plants with all their hues and textures, being surrounded by their glass jars and subtle scents, I felt that I was also absorbing some of their subtle healing energies.
Following Chris’s advice, I pursued a clinical herbal program at Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism, and have since integrated these studies into my practice as an integrative and holistic pharmacist and health coach. When Chris needed to expand and was hiring more workers for the shop, I became part of the Radicle staff.
Currently, I host workshops (well, pre-COVID anyway) and virtual webinars (post-COVID!) to the Radicle community. I highly recommend experience as your best teacher, and an internship at Radicle is one of the best ways to connect with plants and start learning herbalism in our urban NYC environment.