- Written by Michelle Soto Michelle Soto
Hi everyone! I am a fashion forward herbalist, educator, gardener, dog lover, and community organizer. I’m so happy to share all of this with you at the farm and apothecary.
My growing experience started as a kid, cultivated by my dad’s love of gardening. Using a child sized shovel and wheelbarrow I would help him tend to the plants around our house. Years later, I rediscovered this connection at Healcrest Urban Farm in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I cooperatively managed a small urban farm.
My dream for Cutting Root is to match the plants I cultivate to the people who need them. Whether flowers in a bouquet, the transplanting of a beloved medicinal to your own garden, or a personalized tincture, I want to create accessibility to these plants. That accessibility lies in the growing of hard to find medicinals, private consultations, and herbal education. To me, being an herbalist is a political statement. It means encouraging community care, challenging the status quo of health care, and building connection to the natural world. I take a harm reductionist approach, including diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes and use alternative methodology such as reiki, focusing and meditation in my practice. I practice with the Stonefruit Community Herbalists in Pittsburgh, PA and the Stone Cabin Collective in Black Mesa, AZ.
Besides being inspired and taught by the plants themselves, this is a list of some of the incredible mentors in my life who helped me arrive at Cutting Root Farm.
Phyllis D. Light, Appalachian Center for Natural Life, Arab, Alabama
Caroline Gagnon, Flora Medicina, Quebec, Canada
Misha Cohen, Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, San Francisco, California
Lisa Ganora, Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, Boulder, Colorado
Darcey Blue, Shamana Flora, Tucson, Arizona
7Song, Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, Ithaca, New York