Greetings, wayward traveller.
By whatever circumstance, winding way, leaf-strewn path, or perhaps wrong turn at a fork in the road brought you here- I bid you welcome.
My name is Ashley and I am the creatrix behind Old Growth Alchemy. Here you shall find a mixture of poetic murmurings and mutterings alongside concoctions brewed from jaunts into the woodlands of New England. The familiar will transform into the unusual by examining forgotten and overlooked plants in unlikely places.
Alchemy began as a way to share illuminations of my ongoing study in folk herb craft, lore, storytelling, and traditional witchery through interaction with the sensuous, animate earth. My creations demonstrate how the experience of leaf, twig, root, flower, or branch transforms depending upon the medium by which they are encountered. In these pages, I reflect upon my findings while the shop highlights the fruits of seasonal harvests and experimentations.
And myself? Well, above all, I am human. Flawed. Messy. In need of some polish. Flowery words are as quick to my typing fingers as sarcasm is to my lips. I delight in the shades of dappled light on leaves as much as poring through the pages of time-worn books or scrolling around the labyrinth of online wordsmiths with a piping hot mug of tea or frosty cup of mead. I like to imagine myself a romantic, and at heart I am, but lived experience has turned me into somewhat of a skeptical realist that's perhaps gone a little too rough around the edges.
I am learning, be gentle.
So, come. Let us make mistakes, delight in unlooked-upon treasures, and rediscover the stories of this dark and mysterious earth together.
~ of note ~
In the United States, there is no centralized certification or training to become a practicing herbalist. Yes, you will find innumerable online and in person courses but the content of such programs can vary widely resulting in two certified and trained herbalists with varying degrees of practical knowledge and experience. In many ways, this is grand. However, I believe the term herbalist has, as a result, seen some dilution.
At this moment, I would consider myself an apprenticing folk herbalist. As such, I work with the plants as they appear in my life and prefer the folk methodologies in practice but am constantly hungering for the science and logic to back it up. My background in herbalism is self-taught research and inquiry as well as an apprenticeship with Spoonful Herbals in community herbalism.
- on sourcing-
In a perfect world, all of my products are entirely ethically, sustainably, and locally sourced or wildcrafted. In the real world, things are in transition. I have tried to either wildcraft, glean, or cultivate as much of my own working plant matter as possible to begin and use organic if financially feasible. However, certain exceptions had to be made to begin this process. Moving forward, I hope to gain sufficient footing in my practice to offer only the best at the most cost effective option available. I want to make sure than my creations can get to those who would use them rather than purely who can afford them.
All information on this website and products mentioned are for educational and entertainment purposes only.