Chestnut Herbal School

Hope embodied in buds, Faith pulsing in seeds

Wishing you a joyous return of the Sun!

At a time when flowers perch silently,

embryonically nestled in their bud scales on leafless icy twigs

or  patiently waiting beneath,

in dark soil warmed by the fiery pulse of the Earth’s core.



Seeds succulent with winter’s rainfall,

imperceptibly inhaling and exhaling,

beneath the nurturing blanket of last summer.



Life carries life through the darkness

All is born from the breath of death.

The flowers may be invisible

but still, they are here.



Many people erroneously believe that buds are formed

in the warming days of early spring

but they have been present all along

through the darkest nights.


“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

-Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


What nurtures hope in your heart, in your mind, through the darkest night?

Meet The Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea

Juliet Blankespoor

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Interested in becoming a contributor?


© Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and, 2011-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Learn more about cultivation, identification, and uses for medicinal herbs in our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program, which is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course out there.




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