Every month we catch up with an alumni of the Berkeley Herbal Center certification programs in our Alumni Series.
This month we connected with Katherine Novotny, RH. Katherine comes from Indiana, she was a teacher at BHC, and when she left, it was to start her own herbal center back in her home state!
The rest of this article comes straight from Katherine!
“If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?”
I hail from the Hoosier State (Indiana) and moved to the SF Bay area after college. I taught pottery for years, but wanted to pursue something different, perhaps something more fulfilling.
I remember in early January of 2011, I was sitting in my bedroom, and in a moment of clarity, though “If I could do anything in the world, without worrying about money, judgement, future, etc. – What would I do? And shockingly, the answer came so easily.
I wanted to be someone who could go into the forest or into my backyard and know the ancient uses of plants; I wanted to know how to collect them, what parts to use, and how to prepare them for food, medicine, crafts, etc.
I remember thinking “does that kind of career exist?” If so, I bet I can find it in the Bay.” HA! While sitting in my bedroom, I found the Berkeley Herbal School and decided to schedule a visit.
I remember the first time I walked into the school so vividly. I even remember exactly what I was wearing! The rest is history, after that first visit, I never really left. It felt like home, and perhaps the soul reason for moving out West in the first place.
Katherine’s Herbal Destiny
To say the least, I was an enthusiastic student. I knew that after graduating from the apprenticeship program, I was destined to continue on to an herbalism career.
I went on to teach the apprenticeship program at Berkeley Herbal Cetner, as well as the foundations/therapeutic course. I also helped open and facilitate the student clinic, and worked behind the scenes in the office.
I found that by teaching herbal medicine I became such a better herbal clinician AND by being an herbal clinician I was a better teacher. Both worked hand in hand.
After Herb School
My path led me to teaching herbal workshops at different gatherings around the country, including the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium and at the Great Lakes Herb Faire. For the last 6 years I have been in charge of facilitating the Herbal First Aid Wellness Den at a gathering in Oregon called Spirit Weavers.
Since my time at the Berkeley Herbal Center, I have moved back to Indiana and have opened my own herbal apothecary/school/private practice called the Indiana Herbal Center, currently located in downtown Bloomington, IN.
I teach my own version of an herbal apprenticeship class called Plant as Portal and have a beautiful herbal/veggie garden at my home!
How to Follow the Indiana Herbal Center
If you’re in Indiana and you’d like to take a class or have a consultation, check out the website: indianaherbalcenter.com.
You can find IHC on Instagram @indianaherbalcenter