Photographer, artist and herbalist Alyson Morgan of Earth Star Herbals in Veroqua, Wisconsin
I’m excited to invite you to my conversation with Alyson Morgan, the photographer, artist, environmentalist and herbalist behind Alyson Simply Grows and Earth Star Herbals, based in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Alyson grew up in the Bay Area of California and met her partner while attending college at UC Davis. After studying international relations, she took a job into the nonprofit world and became increasingly alarmed by our imminent climate catastrophe.
Alyson and her husband decided to move back to his home state of Wisconsin because they felt like California’s water crisis, natural disasters and high-cost of living would make it challenging and stressful to raise a family there. After a brief stint living in the heavily segregated city of Milwaukee, they realized their dream of leaving the city and building a life in a rural town.
They set their sights on the small, progressive community located in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. After a few visits to look at properties for sale, they toured a small in-town home with a big established medicinal garden. Although it was smaller than they were looking for, this home allowed them to downsize and work towards greater minimalism in the lives. The former owner walked Alyson through the garden and this began Alyson’s journey into herbalism. She started Earth Star Herbals right before the pandemic, offering a variety of small batch flower essences.
In addition to running her small business, she is also a mother to two, a photographer, writer and ambassador for different sustainable and ethically made brands. It is a constant juggling act with her partner AJ to keep all the balls in the air. With her two young children at home during the pandemic, she has had to carve out little moments here and there to continue working towards her goals for the future.
I am so inspired by Alyson’s incredible ability to tap into her intuition and let that lead her towards a rewarding and fulfilling path in life. She has boundless creativity and curiosity, learning through experimentation. I love that she is using her voice to inspire and encourage others to think more about what they consume and how they spend their time. I just love her photography and the intimate way she sees and captures the world around her. Her passion for plants is ever apparent in her photography.
Last year Alyson and her family bought raw land outside of town to build their forever homestead. It took a lot of research to find land that wasn’t near commercial agriculture where pesticide drift would be a problem. The land has an old orchard, sugar maples, wild black caps and a stream for swimming and splashing. They put in a road this last year and hope to start building their forever homestead in the next couple of years. Like everything in Alyson's life, she is attempting to take her time on this home build and think things through.
In addition to her other endeavors, Alyson is currently writing a book about the healing power of plants for a major publisher that will be released in 2022. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this hardworking creative force as she continues to realize and work towards her intuitive vision for the future.
Thank you Alyson for sharing your story with us!
• Instagram: @alysonsimplygrows