Meet the crafters
Angelune Drouin is an elated witness of nature’s marvels who tries to be invisible and handle beauty as delicately as possible.
This generally means very slow hikes, meditations in the kinnikinnick, silent encounters with animals, hours of wild plant garbling, careful managing of bubbly jars and most importantly, numerous kisses on flower petals.
Growing up on the edge of the boreal wilderness in North-East Laurentia, Ange spent her youth hearing what crows, ferns and violets had to say. And it all made sense one day when Spruce gave resin to heal her cuts.
Since then, she’s been slowly nurturing her medicine-making art, fermenting foods and crafting bodycare products for her community.
Fermentista and magic-maker, Ange is always curious to discover what the earth is bringing. When she finds herself with a bunch of vibrant harvests, her creativity takes over and surprising concoctions emerge.
Jalfred Deichsel is a curious observer of quiet things who tries to balance his excitement with the patience to see things through.
This generally means walking too quickly just before arriving, redirecting rainwater, puzzling over tricky problems, climbing down fruit trees with hands full, eavesdropping on fungi, nibbling tree buds and most importantly, watching the ice change.
Growing up in the rainy foothills of Central Cascadia, Jalfred found that bushwhacking and stream hopping was more fun than listening to the plants. But one day, Devil’s Club poked him on the shoulder and shared their strength. Since then, he’s been slowly nurturing his medicine-making art – peeling inner barks, digging up twisted roots, collecting fungi, steeping them all together and stirring their magical brews.
Forager and spark-creator, Jalfred loves to go over the next ridge to see which plants might be living there. When he finds himself with an opening, he climbs on through to explore the other side.
Nomadic Harvests was born in the backyard of a drafty A-frame cabin, sheltered by scrawny spruce trees and shrouded in scents of labrador tea. It started with a little bit of olive oil, some beeswax and spruce pitch. The garden vegetables wanted in, and they came along, with a little salt and time. After 10 years of gestation in the womb of the Boreal forest, Nomadic Harvests made its first human outing at a Christmas market with cases of bubbly mason jars and amber bottles full of medicine. This was November 2017, and the harvesters had yet to determine which activity would have its way: bodycare, fermentation, or education? But diversity being the natural rule, Nomadic Harvests kept building on these important activities to connect plant, bacteria, fungi and human all together.
We value resilience and autonomy, and that’s why teaching is a big part of what we do. We empower people with skills they can develop themselves, reconnecting them with human traditions long-forgotten. Our main vocabulary is “raw”, “natural” and “from scratch”. Most of what we make could be replicated at home with simple ingredients and a bit of patience.
Nomadic Harvests allows us to step back from the human-dominated world to connect with nature as a whole. When we give fermentation workshops and teach foraging classes, we share that primordial connection with people, fueled by a deep respect and desire to engage positively with the land and all living beings.
We draw knowledge from European folk herbalism and relate to all traditions worldwide whose connection to the healing power of plants have endured through centuries.
We are indebted to the long history First Nations have with the plants on their traditional land, and are grateful to be able to work with these local plants, many of which our own Scottish, Irish, French and German ancestors traditionally worked with.
Botanists, herbalists, fermentistas and writers inspiring our journey include Robin Wall Kimmerer, Beverley Gray, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Michael Moore, Kirsten K. Shockey Sandor Katz, Peter McCoy, David Abram, Pascal Baudar…
“How can we reciprocate the gifts of the Earth?
In gratitude, in ceremony, through acts of practical reverence and land stewardship, in fierce defense of the places we love, in art, in science, in song, in gardens, in children, in ballots, in stories of renewal, in creative resistance, in how we spend our money and our precious lives, by refusing to be complicit with the forces of ecological destruction. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and dance for the renewal of the world.”
– Robin Wall Kimmerer