What's In My Bag With Herbalist Corinne Denomme
There is a real beauty to the art of slow living. Corinne Denomme inhabits that art form through the medicine she makes and the stories she shares on her Instagram. Corinne's photos feel like a walk through the some fairy tale forest. She has a way of capturing her foraging adventures that make you feel like you're right alongside her.
Luckily, Corinne bottles these adventures and sells them through her shop White Pine Rising . I really adore the medicines in her shop because I know that Corinne harvests wild plants with care and respect for nature. This is vital in a time when foraging has become a trendy thing, that is often not carried out with respect. Corinne is careful not to perpetuate that greed and laziness of over harvesting, which is a truly beautiful thing.
Ever since I left my old city of Detroit years ago I've been as close to the woods as possible, picking up where I left off as a kid. Nature has always served as my safe haven since I can remember; a profound healer in my childhood days as well as today. My heart and spirit medicine. I'm less of an outdoor recreational participant and more of a lone forest wanderer who practices heart language with the wild through intimate interaction to deepen my understanding and connection to Gaia. Over the years I've tailored my gear to support a tree climbing, herb-lovin', wild-harvesting lifestyle. I have different bags for my many rambles, like this adorable 'Plant These To Save The Bees' tote by Hannah Rosengren for simple wood walks or visiting friends. I lean on the practical side when it comes to what items I carry and tend to switch up essentials according to what's needed for the chosen adventure, especially rotating plant medicines.
1) Wild water. || I'm one of those people who have a strong attachment to their water bottle. I'm always thirsty! This stainless steel bottle holds wild water harvested from one of few remaining decent artesian wells in Michigan. Most of our natural springs have been filled or contaminated by farm run-off leaving too few safe ones for consuming. With the closest drinkable spring over three hours away, this life-giving water is not only a necessity to my health but a sacred honor to harvest.
2) A book! || The newest to join the many I'm currently reading is What The Robin Knows by Jon Young. This one is up in rotation now because I've been studying under Jon Young and the 8 Shields Institute to bring greater Nature awareness in my corner of the world (Southeast Michigan) through the Hawthorn Wilderness Connection, a group founded by myself and three other nature-smart women. Our dream is to mentor multi-generations in deep connection to Nature, self, and others through awakening the senses, inner tracking, community repair and much more. Other books I tend to carry are field guides pertaining to my area.
3) A reused paper bag, pocket knife, and random nature finds || I live a gatherer's lifestyle -- for food, medicine making, or beautiful adornments & projects. I stay ready for nature gifts to find their way home in my bag just about anywhere I go. This often looks like various pine cones or even feathers plucked from a road-killed turkey. For every day outings, I like to carry an extra bag and a pocket knife gifted to me by my partner (also serves as protection). For intentional days of foraging I may switch up my tools to carry a hori hori, scissors, belt-looped satchel, fixed carbon blade by MoraKniv, or sometimes my trusty Gränsfors Bruk hatchet.
4) Snacks! || I've become so accustomed to having Endangered Species 72% dark chocolate in my bag at all times that I become feisty when I run out. It's my favorite quick pick-me-up treat.
5) Homemade digestive bitters, lip balm, and cannabis muscle rub || Have you ever taken a dropper of citrus-y bitters after eating dark chocolate? Oh the mouthgasm you will have! With my attitude toward food (and life in general) being "restraint not restrict" I'm bound to indulge in foods that inflame my gut from time to time. Gotta have a bottle of digestive aid on hand for those Aries impulses. Speaking of necessities, lip balm is an obvious must. Applying it gives a divine aroma from white pine resin that puts me in my happy place. The tin with the cross (or upside-down cross - it's all perspective) is my personal savior that has contents to sooth over all my aches & pains, especially saving me from tension headaches or menstrual cramps.
6) A bandana || A bandana is warmth, coverage, style, a make-shift bandage or carrier, and just plain practical. Especially on forest rambles where the mosquitoes can get pretty thick, a bandana scarf makes the perfect "tail" for swatting biters. Picked up that little trick from early camping adventures with my Pops.
All photos belong to Corrine.