Gifts From Mother Nature

Make every day Earth Day
gathering spruce tips
Spruce is one of many plants that Nomadic Harvests uses for their organic concoctions. Photo: Nomadic Harvests

Earth Day is approaching. The annual event is held every year on April 22 and is celebrated by over one billion people and spans across 140 countries.

My earliest memory of Earth Day goes back to when I was in Grade 2. We were asked to build something using only recycled materials. I found some empty plastic containers and paper rolls and managed to construct what I thought Barbie’s garage would look like. Lucky for me, Barbie was not around to see the finished result because I didn’t quite hit the mark on the symmetry. But it was a fun project, regardless. It was also eye-opening to see how I could take everyday products and repurpose them.

As an adult, I take great pride in recycling and try to avoid using excess plastics. However, there is so much more to being a good Earth citizen than just recycling. The Earth is filled with thousands of different plants—many with healing properties and many with properties that can be used to make products that we buy in stores, such as creams, teas, oils, medicine, etc. In this day in age, we have become so used to purchasing products and overlooking the fact that many of the things we need can be found in the plants that surround us, even more so living up north in the Yukon where nature is in abundance.

If you would like to know more about the amazing benefits of plants, there is a company called Nomadic Harvests that works towards promoting education about plants through a series of workshops offered year-round. Nomadic Harvests was started in 2017 by Angelune Drouin and her partner Jalfred Deichsel, the duo who work together to harvest plants, to be used to make healing balms and original essential oil blends and to host fermenting workshops.

“I love making my own organic essential oils. Some of my favourite plants to work with are yarrow, poplar and spruce,” Drouin said. She also hosts two different types of educational workshops. One is called Enchanted Walks, a three-hour walk held along a 10-kilometre trail in Whitehorse, which is designed to bring people closer to nature, through a sensory walk, as well as to help them learn more about seasonal changes in plants and the different plants along the trails.

The second educational workshop is called Plant Encounters, which is about specific plants and how to recognize them, harvest them, use them and connect with them. “Product education is very important because herbalism used to be a way of daily life,” Drouin said. “I feel it has become a lost knowledge in the West, which is too bad because plants provide so much of the core essentials for daily life.”

On April 30, Nomadic Harvests will be hosting a three-hour afternoon workshop on the poplar tree. It is being held an hour south of Whitehorse near the Wheaton River. The workshop will give participants an in-depth look at the poplar tree. “We like to take people around on the land so they learn how to identify the plant, as well as use their senses to know the plant better and meditate with it,” said Drouin. After connecting with nature, participants will learn how to harvest the poplar and will then learn how to craft a product with it.

If you are looking for something fun and educational to do to celebrate Earth Month, attending a plant series workshop is a great way to become introduced to a plant and to learn how it can be used to benefit humans. “Every day is Earth Day for me. We need to be more present with nature and the gifts that we are given through plants,” said Drouin.
If you are interested in seeing more products from Nomadic Harvests, you can visit their stall at the Fireweed Market in Whitehorse. And for more information about their Plant Encounter Series or Enchanted Walk Series, you can visit their web page at

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