We have transitioned from an unincorporated association to being under the nonprofit Herbalist Without Borders in 2022. This move offers liability protection to volunteers and connects us with a global network of herbalists involved in many exciting mutual aid projects, such as free herbal clinics and community herb gardens, and links us with potential donations of herbal products from major herbal companies and herbalists around the world. 

Our focus will continue to be on the Mendocino bioregion, and there is so much work to be done here! But partnering with a global network feels supportive and stabilizing. 

We have established a Council to make decisions using the consent decision-making process, a more streamlined and efficient consensus version. We currently have four council members but hope to grow to seven. The goal is to have these council positions become elected positions where candidates are voted in by members of the Guild. The first tasks of this newly formed council will be to write the organization’s bylaws, fine-tune a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement, and create an easy and accessible structure for membership. 

The four current members of the council are:

Caitlin Wolf as Secretary of Media, with the responsibilities of social media updates, sending announcements to the email list, and designing and editing the quarterly newsletter. 

Caitlin Wold is a local Herbalist, Holistic Health Consultant, and owner of Root Girl Herbals. She has a passion for herbalism, health, and empowering people to take their health into their own hands.

Tina Tedeschi as Representative to Herbalists Without Borders, quarterly reporting to Herbalists Without Borders with project updates and financial details, and reporting back to the council on updates from Herbalists without Borders with exciting info as their upcoming Trauma Training. 

Throughout the transition process, Tina has worked to establish a relationship with the executive director of Herbalists Without Borders. In addition, she tends her herbal garden and builds with cob while raising her teenagers and running her massage business. 

Matilda Hernandez-Miyares, as Event and Education Coordinator, coordinates events and educational opportunities, including the many details involved in those things. 

Matilda is stepping into this position as someone experienced in teaching workshops and is excited about making sure knowledge of medicine cultivation and use is available in the community. In addition, she has experience cultivating many herbal and mushroom medicinals. 

Anna Hope FarPorte as Membership Coordinator and Interim Treasurer, with the responsibilities of developing our new membership program to be inclusive and accessible, receiving feedback from members, and as Interim Treasurer, tracking finances, and training a new treasurer.

Anna Hope has been treasurer of the Herb Guild for three years and teaching workshops on herbal medicine making and anti-racism in herbalism. She will be stepping into the role of Membership Coordinator and is excited to develop an interactive membership system where folks can become involved in volunteer activities or support our projects financially. In addition, every member will vote on critical issues that impact the Herb Guild, including eventually voting for elected council members. Anna Hope has grown medicinal plants and raised her child for ten years in this community. 

We also have two Advisory Council Members helping us develop the bylaws.

The Herb Guild has raised a significant amount of money, with help from many of you, for a Mobile Apothecary that can serve our county’s diverse and far-reaching regions. This is a project that we are actively continuing to work towards. We hope this restructuring process will create the solid foundation needed to develop and maintain a project of this magnitude with many moving parts and financial responsibilities. There is a lot of excitement about this project, and we want to channel that excitement into a long-lasting and functional project that will benefit the entire community.

In the past, we have been present at the Ukiah, Willits, and Laytonville farmer’s markets, selling members’ products on consignment. Unfortunately, as a nonprofit, we will no longer be able to do this. But we do hope to attend farmer’s markets again in the future, more as a pop-up donation-based herbal apothecary that aligns with the vision of the mobile apothecary serving many regions of the county. And we hope to continue our tradition of holding herbal maker’s markets a few times a year to support local herbalists in getting their products out to community members. Education is also one of our priorities. To start with, we have been holding monthly herb talk meetups on the Second Sunday of the month, where folks can gather to discuss seasonally relevant herbal topics. 

We welcome and encourage your participation in this new chapter of the Mendocino County Herb Guild. We are looking to fill more volunteer Council positions. Positions that we are currently looking to fill include:

Secretary of Documents – staying current on permits and insurance needed to host events, council meeting agenda, notes, meeting reminder emails, checking email, and P.O. Box.

Treasurer of Internal Finance – help develop and report on project budgets and coordinate reimbursements.

Treasurer of External Reporting – preparing quarterly financial reports to Herbalists Without Borders, contacting them to fund budgeted items, depositing income with Herbalists Without Borders, end of year report to the council.

One ambitious person could hold the two treasurer positions, but we thought splitting the tasks among two people as a volunteer role would be easier. These are primarily volunteer positions, but under Herbalists, Without Borders guidelines, we can offer a maximum of a $500 stipend per year for 100-125 hours of yearly volunteer work. 

In conclusion, we have a lot in the work we are excited about. We will be updating everyone as we go. Feel free to reach out by email if you are interested in participating.