What: Rootstalk Festival
Where: Salem, OR
When: September 22–25, 2011
Why: For a little local reporting!
The Scoop: As the sole Oregon staffer, it was just a hop, skip and jump to head to the Mountain Rose Herbs Annual Rootstalk conference, held just outside of Salem. A gorgeous lush setting where skyscraper size Douglas-fir trees the commanding authority, was once again the setting for this three-day and night gathering of teachers and masters speaking on everything botanical: including herbalism, aruyvedic medicine, wild mushrooms and edible plants. More than 700 nature-loving folks attended the event wherein all proceeds benefited Cascadia Wildlands, a non-profit whose mission is to combine personal connection with nature and community.
Me and CoreyJean, ready for fun
Shawn Donnille, longtime advocate of the veg lifestyle, enthusiastically put this event on every year to give back to the community. The mornings start off with yoga under the trees, followed by informative lectures with intermittent breaks for canoeing and hiking with Sierra Club members. I found myself hovering at the Viva! Vegetarian Grill food cart, and had my pick of an array of fast food from their all vegan menu. My dog, CoryJean, preferred their hotdogs, sans the onions, as I shamelessly devoured the steak sandwich dripping with cashew cheese. Folk music strummed the attendees’ spirits, while storytelling by campfires was the evening serenade. There was even a masquerade ball under the stars where mere humans were transformed into mystical faeries and frolicking forest creatures while drinking dandelion wine. A hoedown not to be missed, I am getting my fairy wings ready for next year.
The most important element for any festival: the food!