The Lonsdale Avenue corridor in North Vancouver is one of the most health conscious and fitness orientated places to live. As you have access to the waterfront for running and walking, the mountains for hiking, biking, skiing, and more and all of the other activities in close proximity. On top of that there are many health stores and gyms throughout the area.
With that said, we sat down with Terra Mentz of Terrasoul Herbs to learn about her business using herbal remedies and concepts to help people have the best quality of life. The interview below will give you a look into what she offers and if you like what you are reading contact her as she loves to help.
Q. How did you get started with your business?
Terra. As a child, I spent much of my time outdoors, playing at my cousin’s farm and camping with my family during the summer. Even though I felt a deep connection to the natural world as an adult, it wasn’t until I became a mother that I began to look at the plants around me in a different way. It began with me growing a small garden patch at our first home in East Vancouver, learning more about the growing processes of vegetables and herbs and then finding an interest in treating the minor physical and emotional needs of myself and my young family with herbal medicine. From there, my interest deepened and I began to learn from books as well as study with local and international herbalists to learn more about herbalism and its long standing traditions. I also gained a deep appreciation for incorporating herbal medicine with ceremony and daily ritual in order to reconnect myself to mama earth and practice emotional, physical and spiritual healing for myself and others, and initiated as a traditional animist healer in 2018. I began my self-run business, Terrasoul Herbs, in 2015 with a handful of products that were well-loved by my family, and every year since then becomes a little more organized and definitely more fun!
Q. What are your long term goals with your business?
Terra. I have a membership program, called Community Supported Herbalism (CSH), which is built upon the model of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and have been running this for the last 3 years. This is my favourite herbal offering, as I get to create products every month that I would use myself, but others get to enjoy them too. They are always made by me in small batches, and often they are grown in my garden or foraged locally, and they are always seasonal. Each package comes with four fresh products, as well as a write-up with information on each product and how best to enjoy it, as well as an optional Self-Care Ritual that incorporates the season and the included products. My goal with this program is to reach more individuals who might be interested in signing up for a membership and helping them to realize that self-care truly is health care.
I will be running a Winter Wellness Workshop this winter at a few locations, including Bluhouse Cafe in Deep Cove. This workshop is a great way to come out and learn about the medicinal benefits of various local and culinary plants, how our ancestors used them and how to incorporate them into a winter wellness regime. We will get hands on in blending our own Mulling Spice Mix, Winter Bath Salts and Immune Essential Oil Roll-on and each participant will make 2 of each product, so they can keep one and give one away if desired. Information packages with health benefits, as well as recipes, will be provided to take home and make again!
In the next year, I plan to offer quarterly seasonal workshops where individuals will have the opportunity to learn about different plants aligned with the seasons and what is needed to support the body at that particular time of the year to encourage wellness and balance. These will all be “make and take” workshops, in order to encourage deeper connections with the natural world and with the old traditions of herbal medicine making that have been lost to many over the years.
Q. What do you like about being an entrepreneur in North Vancouver?
Terra. I love the community sentiment in North Vancouver, and the opportunity to work with local businesses and other entrepreneurs to collaborate on projects that serve the community. I am very pleased to be working with other North Vancouver entrepreneurs in the near future, offering workshops and self-care retreats that will be posted on my website once the details have been finalized. I feel that the community in North Vancouver is quite open to a mix of different genres of businesses and supports those inclined towards physical and spiritual wellness, which in turn radiates outward in a positive way, benefitting the entire community.
Q. What kind of training do you have in regards to your practice?
Terra. I consider myself a folk herbalist, meaning that while I do have training from certified herbalists, I don’t hold accreditation as a clinical herbalist. I am mostly self-taught, learning from the many books I was able to read as a busy mother with young children and the online courses I poured over once my children were asleep. Many years ago, herbal knowledge was passed down from grandparents and parents, but unfortunately most of us in our current culture have not had that luxury, though I wish this were the case! I feel quite strongly that a person should always be open to learning and growing, and as such, I plan to continue to learn all that I can about herbal medicine, my own healing and being a good steward to this land upon which I am a guest. I imagine this will take me a lifetime or longer, but I am up for the challenge.
Q. Is there anything else that you would like for our readers to know?
Terra. I would like to encourage readers to find courage in following the tug that leads them down a path less travelled. We all need to pay the bills, but life is finite and every soul has its unique gifts and true purpose.
Get outside more often, and turn to nature with uncertainties, remembering to sit with patience and listen without expectation or demands. One doesn’t necessarily need a garden or forest to connect with the natural world. Even though we have built our lives on top of nature in more urban areas, signs of green life are everywhere, and house or deck plants count. Spend a few minutes every day sitting quietly with your plant. Sometimes just slowing down and sitting with a non-human being who doesn’t ask for much is all that it takes to help a person make the right decision or find peace after a long day at the office. Honour the plant beings that support human life, and remember that healing always begins with the self.
Terrasoul Herbal products can be found at Bluhouse Cafe in Deep Cove, the Vancouver Waldorf School in Lynn Valley, Muckabout Gift Gallery in Burnaby and Soul Sanctuary in Lower Lonsdale.