News and blog

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Posted 7/8/2014 10:32am by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

The Gift of Healing Herbs, is a gift to all of us from Robin Rose Bennett. An herbalist with decades of experiences, working with the plants on all levels, listening to their stories and sharing the stories, and healing ways with all of us two legged. The herbal remedies contained within the pages of this book have been time tested with excellent results. Her book is thoughtfully laid out for easy reference, her recipes are easy to follow and some are downright fun. The book is a joy to read and use, we are all grateful to Robin for sharing her years of experience with all of us. We are so pleased to have this book on our bookshelf.

Andrea Reisen
Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center




Posted 6/14/2014 10:07am by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

Summer Wild Mushroom and Herb Woods Walk Seminar

Meeting at Healing Spirits Herb Farm & Education Center in Wallace, NY

Tuesday July 1st, 5:00 PM- 8:00 PM (Meet at 5:00 PM) 61247 NY 415, Avoca, NY 14809
(607) 566-2701
Cost: $35 if you reserve a spot ahead of time, $40 at the door

Hosts: Matthias & Andrea Reisen from Healing Spirits Herb Farm, and Steve Galbreth from Willow Harvest Organics.

As part of our “Woods Walk” Seminar Series, this year’s summer edition will focus on teaching participants the techniques to accurately identify the edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms that grow in our area during the summer months. Matthias and Andrea Reisen from Healing Spirits will be focusing on the plants, while Steve Galbreth from Willow Harvest Organics will be your mushroom guide. We will meet at Healing Spirits Herb Farm in Wallace, NY, and carpool from there to a nearby area of woods along the beautiful FingerLakes Trail for our hike. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera and small notepad to document our finds and key identifying characteristics. We also recommend that you bring water and maybe a snack for the hike, as we will likely be in the woods for a couple of hours. Even though we will hope for a cool breezy afternoon, please dress appropriately as it will likely be warm, and there may be a few hungry mosquitoes around. After the hike, we will return to Healing Spirits for refreshments and a final question and answer session.

Learn to Identify Edible and Medicinal Wild Mushrooms and Herbs Common During the Summer Months 

Posted 3/11/2014 1:42pm by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

March 20th 10-6pm

Cost is $150/person


Come to the farm and learn how Healing Spirits does it.

Planting, harvesting and even drying medicinal herbs the Healing Spirits way!

Posted 3/11/2014 1:36pm by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

Hosts: Matthias and Andrea Reisen

Guest Host: Steve Galbreth

You will be leaving from here and returning here after

Ever look at some plants and wonder if it would be edible or not? Here is your chance to find out. This walk will allow you to ask questions about several plants and mushrooms. By the end of the hike you will likely know which mushrooms you can eat. Many other plants are edible as well such as the dandelion and the highly loved fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It is harder to tell which plants are edible without significant identifying features like a well known berry. Remember to dress for the occasion and remember that in New York the weather seems to change every five minutes. After the hike you will return to warm mushroom soup and cookies.


Date: TBD

Posted 3/11/2014 1:16pm by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 10-4pm


The theme this year will be "Herbal Celebrations: Parties, Picnics, and Fetes in the Herb Garden" 


Yvonne Allen, Owner and Innkeeper

Halcyon Place Bed and Breakfast

11 Maple Lane, Campbell, NY 14821


Posted 3/11/2014 1:01pm by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

Posted 1/3/2014 12:34pm by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

Febuary 7th 6-8pm

Early Bird registration $35

After Feb 1st $40


These are some of our favorite time honored winter recipies, they are both preventives and remedies. Most create heat and warmth in the body. This helps to eliminate congestion and the Yin (cold) types of imbalace.

We will be making vinegars, syrups, teas, oils, and foods!

Class Instructors, Andrea Reisen, Suzie Wigger, & Hilary Slayton


Call 607-566-2701 or stop by Healing Spirits Herbs to register 

Posted 12/30/2013 10:44am by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

NOFA-NY January 24th thru the 26th


NOFA-NH Febuary 1st thru the 2nd


Northeast Womans Herbal Conference August 22nd-24th


Mid Atlantic women's Herbal Conference October 4th and 5th 


International Herb Association July 18th thru 20th Toronto Canada 

Posted 2/4/2013 8:28am by Andrea or Matthias Reisen.

     Announcing this years new hot off the press Herb of the Year Elder book. This new 200 page book has just been released. Edited and compiled by International Herb Association secretary Karen O'Brien this book is full of information both scienctific and folkloric regarding Elder ( Sambucus spp.).You can get your copy though us at Healing Spirits or though the International Herb Association.


     The International Herb Association picks the herb that is to be designated each year as the Herb of the Year and than puts out request for articles for that year herb. If you would like to get past years Herb of the Year book you can go to the IHA website and order them.

     The Elder book is available though Healing Spirits for a cost of $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Please place your order now so that you can start reading this exciting book and trying some of the teas, syrups and herbal remedies that elder can provide you.

Green Blessings Andrea and Matthias (President of IHA)

Elder Flowers

Posted 12/10/2012 9:46am by Andrea & Matthias Reisen.


As a farmer’s daughter, I’ve had a lot of experiences with farming, so that was not what I was looking for at Healing Spirits herb farm this summer.  I wanted to learn about medicinal herbs, not only to treat myself, but because I dream of becoming a homebirth midwife someday.  Herbalism, is, and should be, an integral part of homebirth midwifery, so I knew I needed to learn something about it.


Now working part time at Healing Spirits just one summer, I feel like I just brushed the surface of herbalism.  Matt and Andrea, the owners and proprietors of Healing Spirits have been herbalists for over thirty years, and although they are very wise people, very skilled at their craft, I’m sure they’d be the first to tell you they don’t know everything about herbs.  Plant knowledge is unlimited, not just because there are so many plants on earth, but because of all the levels you can get to know a plant on.  You can learn just about the anatomy of a plant for example, or just the chemical constituents that make the plant work as a food or medicine (or often, as both,) or you can use a plant in spiritual ways (a plant that comes to mind is rue, which is a potent flowering plant used in South America to drive away evil.)  You can learn the habits of a plant, whether it likes to grow near specific other plants, in the woods, in the fields, in the shade or sun, in wet or dry ground, what type of soil that plant likes and so on.  You could probably spend a lifetime just learning one plant and not know it completely.


Matt and Andrea taught me that we build relationships with plants.  Just like the slow going building of relationships with people, plants take a long time to get to know.  I go to Matt to learn the chemical constituents of plants that cause them to work as medicine, and the scientific names of plants, for example.  I go to Andrea to learn the spiritual ways a certain plant works, and what her intuition tells her about that plant.  Both provide me with good knowledge; they just both have very specific areas of expertise.


An experience at Healing Spirits is a magical experience, to say the least.  Both Andrea and Matt encouraged me to communicate with the plants; to speak to them, to pray whilst among them, to tell them my fears, dreams and desires.  Interestingly, these experiences taught me the most about the plants.  Something about lemon balm for example, always makes me open up and let all my emotions out; it feels good to cry or laugh while harvesting lemon balm knowing that lemon balm is nonjudgmental and gentle.


Right now, I’m in nursing school, working my way slowly towards midwife.  I use plants daily to keep my immune system strong while doing clinical rotations in the hospital environment.  I especially love the plant elder for its powerful ability to keep the immune system strong.  I use elderberry syrup just about every day to ward off colds and the flu and other illnesses.  I do this instead of getting a flu shot, which is sure to get you sick, whereas you have better odds of not getting sick if you work on strengthening your immune system.  


Learning about plants connects you to yourself and the beautiful Earth you where you live in a very intimate and special way.  I’m so glad I got to work at Healing Spirits this summer and I hope I can continue to learn from Matt and Andrea as I grow up into a midwife.