Conversations + Colour: Erin Lovell Verinder
Erin Lovell Verinder, tell us who you are and what you want us to know about you: I am a plant loving woman, herbalist, nutritionist, author, and sincere garden enthusiast who loves to cook, bake and modern homestead.
Where do you live and why do you love it? I live up in the rainbow region of the Byron Bay hinterland in an old converted church home. It is a sweet place to call home, that’s for sure. This area is full of creative energy, abundant nature and so many dear like-minded souls. For me, living here over these last years has been a wonderful thing, a super nurturing experience. I am in love with the constant farmers markets, brimming with colourful, locally grown produce and friendly faces, the turquoise rivers and oceans, constantly bringing home sand and salt in my hair.
You have a new book ‘The Plant Clinic’ - what’s it about? It is such a chunky book with 150+ recipes for over 100 health concerns and is bursting at the seams with supportive information. We journey through different sections of concern throughout the book, from the gut to immunity, hormone health, to mums and bub support, emotions, mind, spirit, hair and skin, vitality, detoxification and more. These sections are the backbone of the book, and there are protocols in each section to guide you through how to support yourself. Such as in the immunity section there are protocols for a cold, or the flu, or in the vitality section there is a protocol for burn out or low libido, each of these daily protocols link to the recipes in each section. These recipes guide you on how to make the herbal medicines needed! But it is also as simple as choosing a recipe that resonates.
How did you find your career? And did that lead to your love for plants - or was it the other way around? It began with a love of nature as a child, I held a wonder and deep curiosity of the plant world. But I really was drawn into esoteric healing first, and through many years of study and unfolding I came to study the more grounded systems of healing of herbalism and nutritional medicine. I believe the plant path beckoned me to me as a wee one, and my path wove its way to this very place. My career has had all these very definitive chapters, and so far it has been such a wild ride, so happy to be riding this earthly rollercoaster.
The Plant Clinic is an accessible resource for supporting your body and being with the power of the plants! It was created to guide people through tapping into the rich wisdom of healing with medicinal plants, to cover your needs in a deep and whole way. As citizens of this great green earth, we have the opportunity to learn the remedies that nature offers us.
Do you have a favourite herb? Oh gosh honestly this is an ever-changing answer and a question that makes me sweat! How can I possibly choose one?! Today it is Calendula, I am growing so much in my garden and their cheery orange blooms are such a sight to behold right now. I will pop out to gather them this afternoon and dry them for herbal oil infusions and medicinal tea blends.
Given you love plants - would you say you have a green thumb? Proud to say my thumbs are super green! I am very much a self-taught gardener, from such a young age I have had a knack for plants and an affinity for all things nature related. I adore my garden, and over the last 18 months of the pandemic I have a whole new appreciation for the therapy of my garden.
How did you approach writing your books? It took me many years to gather the knowledge, confidence, and wisdom to write both of my books. So although I released two books in two years, they have been a full on labour of love for many years. I have written them in my head for many moons!
I had to sort of give all of myself to both projects, they were fairly all consuming and I knew they needed that much to bring them to life. So, I wrote like a mad woman, concocted recipes, plotted plant rich imagery and researched. I was all in, and when they finally came to life and were a tangible book in my hands - it was the best feeling (both times around).
Who inspires you? Anyone who is blazing their own trail for the greater good! I am greatly inspired by the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer, her book “Braiding Sweetgrass” is my all time favorite. My well-worn copy is never too far from me.
Favourite toasted sandwich set up? Oh well we aren’t much toastie people in my little family but we are big toast lovers! My husband (who is a meticulous Virgo and very good in the kitchen) mastered baking gluten free sourdough bread. Honestly it is heaven, gone are the days of gummy GF bread! This sourdough is much like regular sourdough and when it is baking and comes out of the oven it smells like heaven. So wholesome, breaking bread feels ancestral, like a remembrance of the simple things such as coming together for a meal.
So my favorite toast dressings would be- creamy avocado spread all over, layered with garden greens (think rocket, lettuce, baby spinach) topped with wild caught smoked salmon, home pickled red onions, fresh dill, sprinkled with capers and edible flowers! Dream toast situation.
What does a regular day look like for you? All my work is run from our home, so we start our days with a lot of gentleness before diving into work. We kind of have an unspoken no rushing rule, mornings are slow and considered. My day always begins with my garden, I pop out to greet the day and listen to the bird songs. Breakfast is mellow and full of togetherness, chatting and hanging out with my husband.
My work days can look very different, it really depends on what I am working on. Whether I am running my clinic and seeing clients 1:1 (via my digital practice) or blending custom herbal tinctures and teas, or deep in writing books, teaching, or mentoring. I truly love wearing all these hats and having great variety in my days.
My days can be super full and heady, so I break for lunch, and make my lunch mindfully, pop out to the wooden table in the garden and eat in the sun. I try to even swing in my hammock for a good break to decompress from screens!
After work, we swim, we walk the dogs. We wind down. Night times are super chill, low lights, conversation, dinner around the table, reading and creating a little sleepy cocoon.
At a dinner party I am likely to be… Either super engaged deep in conversation with a small group of people, in the kitchen making something fancy or moonwalking out the door if I am feeling introverted. Ahh the duality of being an extrovert/introvert!
Favorite Little Tienda piece? I have so many dresses by Em from over the years collecting dear Little Tienda pieces, they are all treasures and pieces I return to again and again. This Martha dress though, is so cozy and reminiscent of a free-flowing dress from the 70s, I may never take it off.
Someone you love following on Instagram? My current favourite is @loriastern and her beautiful floral rainbow baking creations.
What’s your favourite place in the world? My bed and my garden. There are so many landscapes, forests, canyons, beaches and homes of people that I adore - but truly my home is a deep balm, so that is gonna top my list!
Song that makes you want to dance? “Call your girlfriend” by Robyn. Never fails!
If we could do one thing better for the planet, what would it be? Direct all of your actions towards sustaining life for all beings. But you could begin with growing a garden with regenerative practices, let it nourish you and share the bounty with your community!
Tell us - what’s coming up next for you? So much! I am working on a podcast soon to be released as well as expanding my digital offerings to open up new ways of working with and learning from me. Oh and making time to plant my summer garden.
Erin wears the Little Tienda limited edition Martha dress throughout.