Updated: Mar 2
Plants and herbs have always filled me with a sense of wonder. My grandmother was a master gardener and her passion for living an earth-conscious lifestyle inspired me deeply. A stroll through her garden meant learning about the "personality" of each plant. Rather than sculpture or painting, her medium of creative expression was gardening. She was the matriarch of my family and an inspiration to us all, especially my mother who became a landscape designer.
Outspoken, smart, and a proud feminist, Holly Love (she always insisted we call her by her first name) attended UC Berkeley in the 1940s after surviving the Great Depression by picking pears on a farm. Then, much later in life, she pursued a doctorate in archaeology at UCLA and traveled to Costa Rica where she studied how indigenous people's diets affected the development of their culture. The bookshelves of her study were filled with dusty artifacts, animal skulls, and books on topics ranging from witchcraft and herbalism to modern art and gender studies. Dr. Holly Love was a free-thinker and a bold feminist who defied the status quo and always challenged her four granddaughters to do what we love.
At about the age of 10, Holly signed me up for the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Newsletter, which provides the latest research in health. When legalization started to gain momentum, I was exposed to cutting-edge scientific studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. I found it fascinating—the seed had been planted.
(Pictures of Dr. Doris Holly Love's garden in Malibu, California)
That fascination grew during high school in Palo Alto, California as the early struggle for cannabis legalization played out before my eyes in the '90s. The community was full of progressive, free-thinkers living earth-conscious lifestyles. The strong, vocal nature of advocates for medical marijuana showed a pathway for plant medicine that’s stayed with me to this day.
When the federal legalization of hemp occurred, I knew it was my time to turn my passion into action. For many years, I'd been sensing a void among the concrete avenues of NYC. Hectic, city-life left little to aspire towards. Holly, now in her 90's, encouraged me to pursue what makes me happy.
Not long after she passed, something called me back to the countryside. My husband and I left behind NYC and moved to Texas where we bought a 10-acre ranch in a small town called Wimberley, just outside of Austin.
With the memory of my grandmother in my mind, I enrolled in a 6-month Permaculture Design course through the Austin Permaculture Guild. During that time, I learned how to distill essential oils and formulate various types of plant medicine like mushroom tinctures and herbal oil infusions. It was a natural progression to incorporate cannabis into these teachings.
From 2016-2017, we transformed the property into a bohemian, hippie oasis devoted to beekeeping, permaculture, and the calming power of nature. It's become a popular event center and is the birthplace of Her Royal Hempress. Most recently, we had the honor of hosting the first Taste of Texas Hemp Cup as seen on KVUE News.
In September 2020, we obtained the license to grow hemp at LaLa Park, and we can't wait to start planting in Spring when the weather warms up. I love working with cannabis because quite frankly—I’m obsessive when something fascinates and inspires me. One of my favorite pastimes is studying plants, not just their scientific implications, but also their spiritual, cultural, and historical significance. That’s why my collection is so focused on synergistic blends that utilize specific botanicals to enhance the therapeutic benefits of CBD. It comes from a love of learning about plant relationships and how different organic compounds complement each other. When I formulate a new product, I think of my grandmother and our walks through her garden where she taught me all the names and talents of her plant friends. I'm so thankful for her influence and how those childhood memories fueled my desire to return to the garden!
(Dr. Doris Holly Love pictured in her twenties.)