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UpS announces 2011 Medicinal Plant Conservation Award

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Celle Rikwerda, of Stark Natural Herb Farm, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. www.starknaturalherbs.ca

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Celle Rikwerda this past summer at her herb farm and nursery, which became the first UpS Botanical Sanctuary in British Columbia. I was so impressed with Celle’s passion for herbs and her desire togrow her small business, while simultaneously raising her four young children. Celle is following in her mother’s footsteps going to school to become a chartered herbalist and being passionate about the ethnobotany of plants found in the Northwest. Celle is helping spread the mission of UpS through her blog, community outreach to her children’s school, and local garden club with her farm tours. She recently wrote an article about Lobelia inflate for the Canadian Herbalist Association of British Columbia and has also contributed articles to the UpS Journal. Celle goes out of her way to educate visitors to her farm about plants on the “At-Risk” and “To-Watch” lists through her herb garden and plant nursery. As a young mother, Celle finds time to make herbal remedies and work towards making her small homestead as self–sufficient as possible.

Celle says, “We try to stock as many of these plants on the ‘To-Watch’ and ‘At-Risk’ Lists as possible to help with the preservation of the species and to educate people on the fact that these plants can indeed disappear if we don’t step in. Locating plants from a nursery that cultivates them, instead of taking them from the wild, in addition to seed saving, I feel is doing my part in helping this cause. I always let people know which plants these are and why they are special. Lots of people who come by the nursery have never even seen these plants other than on the shelf in tincture form, so it is pretty exciting having them for sale, as well as on display!”

Thanks Celle for all the work you do to share about at-risk plants in your local community, Susan Leopold...

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