From a very young age, I’ve been nibbling on weeds in the garden. My sister and childhood best friend used to dare each other to eat dandelions, plantain, and of course tart and delicate wood sorrels.
I was born in Connecticut, where I spent most of my youth along the coastal shores of Long Island Sound. It’s within the forest lined rural areas of that colonial state that I developed a deep love of the woods. It was my sanctuary, my play ground, the very nourishment I needed to survive the trials and traumas of growing up as a shy, wildly imaginative girl in the ’80’s.
I spent 10 years in rural Southwest Missouri before migrating back to the north to settle in my home, beautiful West Central Wisconsin. Who would have thought those childhood games would grow into a passion for wild plants, and the medicine potential the very weeds we dared each other to eat offer us.
My name is Amy Shea, and I have been working with herbs for more than 16 years. My first formal learning experiences came under an apprenticeship with Jess Conaway, as well as classes offered by the Coulee Region Herbal Institute and Carol Jacobs. I taught my very first class on working with herbs as part of the Coulee Region Herbal Institute, Using Herbs in Crafts. I spent 7 years working at the People’s Food Co-operative, where I got my feet wet working with herbs, herbal supplements, nutritional supplements, flower essences, essential oils, and body care products from a retail apothecary perspective.
I graduated in 2015 from the Green Wisdom School of Botanical and Natural Medicine Master Herbalism program. I serve as an instructor for Green Wisdom, as the Materia Medica Instructor for the Master Herbalism Program. I also began presenting beginner level classes and intermediate level classes and teaching sessions at a variety of venues around the Coulee Region of Wisconsin and Minnesota. My areas of particular interest within the botanical spectrum are in the areas of plant spirit wisdom, the history of herbs as medicine with particular focus on the medieval periods and earlier, locally available and native plants, and herbs that are supportive for people with chronic conditions and cancer.
At home, I’m a busy mom of three amazing homeschoolers, a pit bull advocate, and the wife of a musician. I get my hands in the soil whenever I can, and of course I love to trek out into the woods. I really enjoy creating things with my hands, and building traditions with my family. Cooking is one of the ways in which I express love, so if I cook a ridiculous amount of food for you then you know that I love you.