Anna Marie Beauchemin / Clinical Herbalist + Educator + Holistic Chef
Every Month, we have the opportunity to talk to an alumni of the Berkeley Herbal School. We ask them to share their herbal journey with us, and with you.
This month we are sharing the journey to herbalism of Anna Marie Beauchemin. Although she came to the plant world at a young age, herbalism wasn’t something she was sure about until she had already working in conservation for almost a decade. She happened upon BHC during an open house, and knew immediately she was in the right place. Anna Marie now works as a full time herbalist in her hometown at her own business, East Bay Herbals!
Here is Anna’s story.
Herbalism was a Natural Step
My journey into herbalism has been intricately linked to my love for the natural world and its conservation as well as my love for the kitchen and garden.
I grew up on a historic fruit ranch in the Alhambra Valley of California, running through fields, playing in creeks, and picking flowers to add to my salads. This time spent in nature helped me to develop a sense of great respect and responsibility towards caring for our natural world, which carried me into the field of conservation biology for eight years before transitioning into herbalism.
When I paired my reverence for the environment with my natural inclination towards cooking and crafting from the earth, herbalism was a natural next step in my career and life’s work. I re-discovered the plant path while farming in France with an herbalist, and it’s been a one-tract journey ever since.
I love combining my passion for creating with my background in the natural sciences and feel that I most thrive in the space where the science and art of herbalism exist together. I’m a current student of holistic nutrition and a former artisan baker who really loves to find ways to bring herbalism into people’s homes, gardens, and kitchens in a relatable way.
Anna Marie’s Time at BHC
I’ll never forget the day I walked into the Berkeley Herbal Center. I had just moved back to the Bay Area after four years of living in Vermont and was feeling conflicted about being back in a place where the culture was so disconnected from the environment.
I was looking for herbal classes and happened to be in Oakland the day BHC was having an open house. When I heard Pam talk about the power of herbalism and the magic of working with plants, and I knew I had found a new home. I didn’t know what starting the Foundations class would bring, but enrolling in school that semester completely changed the trajectory of my life and career in so many ways.
East Bay Herbals
I now work as a professional clinical community herbalist in my hometown of Martinez, California where I run a community-based apothecary called East Bay Herbals.
East Bay Herbals was born of the desire to re-connect people with plants, and to help foster the values of herbalism in the homes, kitchens, and gardens of those who felt called to reconnect. I offer a variety of low-cost and free educational offerings for my community and also work as a writer, recipe developer, and professional consultant. I am a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and am currently finishing up my studies in holistic nutrition which I plan to add to my practice.
To learn more about what myself and East Bay Herbals is all about you can follow along on Instagram and Facebook (@eastbayherbals) or sign up for my newsletter at wwww.eastbayherbals.com to receive seasonal herbal info, recipes, classes, and current offerings including my new herbal CSA and ancestrally inspired topical product offerings.
Recipe: Mushroom Flatbread
One of my all-time favorite cool-season recipes is this mixed mushroom flatbread with garlic, onions, and thyme.
If I were making this recipe in the spring, I would be inclined to add garlic scapes or fresh spring onions, bringing in the magic of the season just a bit more.