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Meet Candace Taylor of Conscious Homestead Botanica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Taylor.

Candace, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2010, I began my journey of self-study in both herbalism and urban homesteading. I was inspired by my ancestral wisdom and practices as well as a strong yearning to live consciously with, not over, the land. I felt called to this work as a pathway to wholeness, liberation and healing. I decided that I would prioritize living in a way that centered urban homesteading; a more commonly used term that speaks to the subsistence farming practices of my African ancestors. Living this way rejects living at the pace of capitalism, colonialism and instead aligns with living at the pace of my ancestors and nature itself. This shift changed me for the better and opened me up to sharing these ways with my community, especially BIPOC.

So I began Conscious Homestead & Conscious Kitchen. At the time, Conscious Homestead was an urban homestead offering donation-based classes, d.i.y. workshops and the Sadhana of Cooking apprenticeship. Conscious Kitchen was a full-circle catering and ancestral food business choosing to collaborate with and cook for organizations and events changing the world for the better.

Now, Conscious Homestead has grown and is in the midst of a major fundraising campaign to redesign and expand our urban homestead into a BIPOC Urban Farm and Wholeness Retreat space that offers land-based classes and workshops centering BIPOC ways of being with the land. Our goal is to offer not only education but healing retreats, our Recalling our Landcestors mentorship program, free homestead food & herb shares to BIPOC, Conscious Kitchen learning kitchen and community meals as well as Conscious Homestead Botanica, a homestead grown herbal apothecary offering small-batch herbal medicinals and products to the community.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been easy because of all the barriers small, black femme owned businesses face, especially in a predominantly white state like VT. Institutional and systemic racism and sexism are very real. Getting buy-in and visibility in the community was hard. Additionally, being a small business that chose to both live and do our work from a “non-traditional” business lens of valuing people over profit, mutual aid and community care over capitalism, centering BIPOC foods, philosophies, practices and people over colonial ways, philosophies and practices was not as much a part of the mainstream as it is becoming now. Even prioritizing running a business and doing my work at a pace that centered rest and living in alignment with the rhythms of nature was, and still is, met with a lot of resistance, pressure and misunderstanding.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Conscious Homestead Botanica – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Currently, I’m most known for my work through Conscious Homestead Botanica. I make small-batch medicinals and products from ingredients primarily grown on our urban homestead. Some of my most popular offerings are Rest Easy elixir, Soothing Root elixir, Rose Peony Face Serum and Facial Toning Mist, Oshun CBD Body Butter and Calendula Salve. As a black femme urban farmer, chef and herbalist, I’m honored to offer products that I have nurtured from seed, grown by my own hands and with the deep love I have in my heart for the land and my people.

This past Fall I launched an offering that has been in my heart for some time; seasonal BIPOC Care Packages. So far we have been able to co-sponsor under 200 FREE care packages filled with our own homestead grown Botanica products. Each care package also features products from other BIPOC makers like House of Lukaya hand twisted incense and Juniper Creative’s Sacred Love tea. I’m proud that these care packages are made with love and reverence for BIPOC by BIPOC.

I’m also known for my work as a co-creator and healer at my other business partnership Rebel Womxn. Rebel Womxn is co-owned by myself, Mercedes Mack (an Atlanta resident), Briana Martin and Naomi Moody. Prior to Covid, we held healing retreats for BIPOC womxn, femmes and gender non-conforming folks. Since Covid, we have begun Rebel School, a virtual healing space where we offer all sorts of classes and workshops for BIPOC covering astrology, yoga, herbalism, food sovereignty and much more.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Atlanta 4 times. I LOVE that it’s a black city! I know there are people of multiple identities there but when you’re black and living in VT like myself, being in Atlanta is like coming home! Black people, black creatives, thriving black businesses and institutions all make me feel joyful and empowered when I visit Atlanta!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Isora Lithgow
IG – @isoralithgowcreations

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