Hi, I'm Cristen! I'm a gardener, herbalist, writer, photographer, maker, dabbler, and lifelong student of the plants. While I've lived in Central Texas all my life, I've traveled quite a bit and these travel experiences infuse themselves into everything I do. I believe that the world needs more cultivators and gardeners who see themselves as part of nature, and I love helping people learn to grow their own food and medicine while connecting with the more-than-human world.
I'm a graduate of the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine and I got my permaculture design certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild. More about me can be found below.
Background & Personal Approach
I've been tending to gardens for more than 15 years and I can confidently say that I'll always be a gardener. I love transforming blank spaces into diverse, everchanging palettes of wild and cultivated plants. I love observing in awe as all the wildlife comes flooding in. And I love picking big juicy heirloom tomatoes fresh off the vine, carrying overflowing baskets of rose petals, chamomile, and curry leaves, and creating homegrown herbal remedies for our community. It's a special kind of magic, and a joyful way of life that I want to share with others.
I've never lost my childlike curiosity, and if I'm not out getting dirty in the garden, I can often be found going down a research rabbit hole or crawling around on the ground taking pictures of cool-looking bugs.
I'm an advocate of humane garden practices. I think every creature deserves to make a life here, and we all must show respect. Instead of working to target and eradicate plants and animals that are unwanted, we can aim to create a balanced ecosystem rich in biodiversity. And in doing this, we'll have a much more resilient landscape that holds up better to things like pests, diseases, and drought.
I believe in the power of manifestation. We can dreamscape the world we want to live in and start making small steps toward that goal every day. We can mindfully observe the space around us before making major changes. We can start small, experiment, see what happens, and make tweaks along the way. And we can recognize that failures are welcomed too because progress isn't linear. No good adventure ever is.
Education & Training
Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, Basic Herbcrafter Program, 2015
Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, Community Herbalist program, 300 hours, 2017
Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, Advanced Clinical Herbcraft program, 275 hours, 2017
APG Austin Permaculture Design Course, 2019 - 2020
New England Women's Conference, 2017, 2018
Good Medicine Confluence, Durango, Colorado, 2017, 2018
Self-study in herbalism and permaculture, 2018-present.
Photojournalism, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin