I’m also a grateful survivor-thriver who believes in the power of stories, nature, and creativity to heal the darkest experiences of our lives.
Today I would to introduce you Krista Bjorn. I love how Krista describes herself on her website as a writer, adventurer and tinkerer.
Krista lives on a hobby farm in rural Southern Queensland and runs all sorts of amazing workshops including herbal medicine, home-brewing, cheese-making and other self-sufficiency skills. She makes beautiful wood-burned art and has written several books. Krista and her husband also run a medieval enactment group called Blackwolf.
I am so excited to have Krista as a guest on the blog today. I just know you will enjoy her story!
Living simply looks different for different people. What does living simply look like for you?
For me it is saying yes, as often as possible, to the things that truly delight me and enrich my life.
I am fascinated by history, by the ways people through the ages have nourished the land, grown, raised, and made food, and foraged and crafted herbal medicine, so I follow those rabbit trails through books, documentaries, and practical experimentation on our farm.
I really love making things from scratch. Whether it's herbal medicine, home-brewing, charcuterie, cheese, bread, furniture, etc., I love learning the processes, growing the plants, raising the animals, and making all the things.
Do you have a specific interest that you like to focus on in the area of simple living?
Herbs are my great love and I am passionate about growing them, foraging for them, and collecting seeds and dried herbs from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America. Then I use them to create healing remedies, delicious brews, and scrumptious food, and teach those techniques in workshops in Southeast Queensland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey toward living a simple life. Was there a catalyst that led you to follow this path?
A series of traumatic events in my life nearly broke me in body and spirit and I moved to Australia to start a new life, a life of real love, peace, and healing. I found all of those things through gardening, caring for our animals, and working with herbs and edible plants.
As my body, mind, and spirit were restored, I started sharing these things with others through blog and social media posts, demonstrations, books, and workshops. I love this work so much.
What do you find challenging about trying to live simply?
Living simply is still hard work. It takes time, strength, and lots of studying and experimenting to figure out the best ways to restore our land, raise healthy plants and animals, and, in turn, transform the plants, herbs, fruits, veggies, eggs, and meat into nourishing products.
Sometimes my dreams are bigger than the time and energy I have, so I regularly evaluate and adjust so my simple life doesn't wear me out.
What are some of the benefits of this way of life for you?
I've watched our land and animals weather the drought well and recover quickly, experienced my body become resilient and strong after years of chronic illness and pain, and felt my mind and spirit quiet into a gentle cadence that enables me to navigate the ups and downs of life so much better.
I've also loved the sense of community that has grown and strengthened as I've connected with other kindred spirits who love the land and want to grow, eat, and drink the things that best support us and our planet.
What simple pleasures bring you joy and help you to slow down?
Harvesting herbs is like mindfulness to me. I sit on our back verandah with big baskets of mugwort, spearmint, pineapple sage, elderflowers, and black nightshade and slowly, steadily strip off leaves, flowers, and berries. It is incredibly peaceful work and never fails to calm and settle me.
Sitting by the campfire in our backyard is my favourite thing of all. Watching the sunset through the trees, listening to the fire crackle and spit, there's nothing better at releasing the stress of the day.
Are there any podcasts, books, documentaries or websites that you have found helpful?
Documentary: The Biggest Little Farm.
What is something new that you have done or learnt about in the last year?
For the past few years I've been focusing my research on Indigenous herbal medicine and wild foods. I've specifically been studying Aboriginal medicinal traditions in Australia, First Nations herbal medicine in Canada and the US, and Bedouin traditional medicine in the deserts of the Middle East. I have loved learning and applying their wisdom in using things like cattails, coffee beans, the Darling Pea in herbal remedies.
What would you like to learn about or do in the future?
I am very excited to get my own copper still and learn to make floral waters and herbal distillations.
If money or time were no option what would you like to do?
I would absolutely love to travel the world to learn from Indigenous herbal leaders in person, to go into the forests, swamps, and deserts with them to forage and harvest and create healing things together.
If people would like to learn more about you and what you do, how can people follow you online or get in contact with you?
Hello! My name is Margy. I enjoy living simply, I am trying to slow down and I am learning how to be still. I would love you to join me on this exciting adventure.