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Our Herstory 

The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest tradition of healing and one that is rarely recognized. Herbalist Susun Weed’s extensive writing on this tradition is a portal into health, healing and wholeness. The Wise Woman Tradition of our foremothers invites compassion, simple ritual and local herbs and food for healing and nourishment.  Flexibility, being grounded in the cycles of life, death, and rebirth and remaining open to transformation are valued in this tradition. Midwest Women’s Herbal offers opportunities to explore this tradition of healing while finding creative ways to incorporate and weave it into our modern lives. For more information see Susun Weed’s book Healing Wise and visit her website to read more about the Three Traditions of Healing.
Our Herstory

The entirety of the Midwest Women’s Herbal platform was founded by Linda Conroy, a Wise Woman Herbalist that is currently residing on a small homestead in Southwestern Wisconsin.  Linda has lived all over North America and has over 30 years of experience in women’s health and community,  herbalism, social work, and wild food harvesting amongst many other things. Linda is also the owner of Moonwise Herbs, a heartfelt business offering herbal products, a colorful array of educational apprenticeships, workshops, and herbal medicines. Linda has been a mentor to many women and continues to empower her community to live full and nourished lives.

Midwest Women’s Herbal was planted when Linda saw a need for women to gather, learn, and deeply nourish themselves and the community through a deeper connection with the plants, fungi and overall, the Earth. From this seed she wove together her dreams, connections such as United Plant Savers, and resources to then plant some seeds and dig deep. The Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference was born from her efforts to keep the Wise Woman tradition alive, and gather with an intention of food in the belly, support in the community and curiosity in the mind. 

From the first ever Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference (MWHC), the energy and enthusiasm was there. Women’s needs were being met in a way that they hadn’t really been before in the Midwest. With winters being long and at times community being sparse, the MWHC was a truly beautiful mycelial network of women coming together and bringing their strengths to the table. This is still a large part of the inner and outer workings of the conference. Women who are called to do so, come forward and offer their strengths and their time to help put together this deeply nourishing conference for women of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and levels of knowledge. 

After 12 years of evolving, the MWHC has grown into a curated and intentional village-like platform that holds so much more than could have ever been imagined. The list of offerings ebbs and flows with what needs are being expressed. MWHC now offers two in person conferences annually, an online series over the winter season, teleseminars, and an herbal classroom that presents excellent and trusted educators, topics, information and structure so you can learn at your own pace and on your own time. Honoring the elders in the community and documenting their work in a more permanent form has also become a passion point for MWHC. 

There is no doubt that herbalism is the heartbeat of the conference, but those who came before us gave us our hearts to begin with. Passing down sacred knowledge and songs, tips and tricks, meals and mendings, MWHC desires to honor the elders in the community the best they can, giving them a voice, a face and a name; a true sense of timelessness.

Over the years there have been countless world-renowned Keynote speakers and elders alongside brand new herbalists just getting their footing in the field. This co-created community holds the space for women of all knowledge levels to lovingly show up and bring forth the knowledge that they are burning to share. In this sacred space being held, women have the ability to foster life-long, deeply rooted relationships. Incubating growth and redundancy, there is both a role for everyone to blossom in and the opportunity for needs to be met more lovingly. This is a nourishment in and of itself.

Nourishment is a major focal point of the MWHC. This is a word you will hear used again and again. This entails both the depth of the quality of food being served as well as the quality of the time being spent. The food is prepared caringly with primarily local, whole and nutrient dense ingredients by women and in turn, women owned businesses. The idea is that women who are well nourished will learn well, go home to lead healthier lives and therefore contribute to creating a healthier community. They will show up and be the best version of themselves. They will pass this knowledge to those around them. This is the spiral that we are ever turning on. This is the spiral that is the core of the conference. 

The only way to truly know this community, the web of interconnectedness and empowerment, is to be present. To walk into the space and allow yourself to be fully held. To dive in with curiosity, an open heart, and a good sense of humor.

For 12 years, MWHC has been committed to using creativity to bring unique offerings to this community. There is a lot of love and time put into this village that has been created, but the offerings aren’t complete without your presence! Come join the ever-growing sisterhood that has become the MWHC. Bring a friend, a mother, a sister or grandmother and submerge yourself in this deeply nourishing, ever changing spiral of the self alongside our greatest green allies! 

Herbalism is our heartbeat. As our sisterhood grows, we beat louder.

Midwest Women's Herbal Organizing Team

The conference was founded in 2012 by herbalist and community organizer Linda Conroy. Since that time, many other women work on and coordinate a wide variety of programs including kids camp, teen camp, a vibrant work exchange program and much more. As our offerings grow, so does our team. We are incredibly grateful to all of the women past, present and future who contribute their talents and enthusiasm.


In 2015 the conference team held a visioning retreat and designed an organization based on permaculture principles. The core organizing team is the hub and the programs are an interconnected web, supporting program participants at the conference, as well as the other events that we host. Our team practices nonviolent communication in our interactions with each other as well as those we come in contact with. We also implement principles of shared leadership and are continually increasing our understanding of what this means.

The Midwest Women's Herbal organizing team is a group of women who have experienced previous conferences and/or have been steeped in wisdom through herbal apprenticeships in the Wise Woman Tradition. The team is passionate about the energy and connections that arise when women gather to share traditional wisdom. We are spread far and wide, as is typical for the Midwest, so we connect on weekly conference calls  - where we thoughtfully, deliberately co-create the conference.

“Purge that which is ‘bad’ and you inevitably weaken yourself
and make yourself less whole.  But nourish the best, and the
least falls away.  Focus on what is optimally functional
and what is not working will change.”
~ Susun Weed


Several of our events are held at Camp Helen Brachman, a camp that offers kids from the inner city of Milwaukee the opportunity to spend time outdoors. We are proud of how our resources are used to make the world a better place. From the camp, to the caterer who supports local farmers and wild harvests nettle for our meals, to the local handcrafts offered in the marketplace and a strong focus on the plants that grow around us, the conference continually commits itself to a mission of creating community and fostering the health of the earth and the women and children who participate. Women often share with us that they are excited to share with their families and communities the wisdom they harvest at the conference.


We were nominated in 2017 for the Victoria Fortner Award in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This is a special awareness offered through the American Herbalist Guild and recognizes our ongoing work on diversity. We were one of 5 strong candidates for this North American Award.  In addition to broadening the diversity of our organizing team and instructors, we have offered diversity scholarships and extended invitations to women who would not typically be able to access the conference. They often return to their communities and share the knowledge they gain, which creates a beautiful ripple effect.


Midwest Women's Herbal has twice partnered with United Plant Savers by bringing a day long co-gender conference to this region. This partnership has served as a grassroots launching point for more herbal events in this region. It has not only brought the annual Midwest Women's Herbal Conference to the area, but also offered herbal immersion trainings to deepen access to advanced herbal education.


Other event coordinators in the region have recognized our strong organizing skills and asked us to consult with them on the logistics of putting on a large event. We have supported and partnered with the region's newer herbal events and our long term program coordinators, have applied what they learned by working with the conference, to launch events in their communities. The Midwest is becoming a very rich place for herbalists to congregate and we are proud to be paving the way!

"The upcoming Midwest Women's Herbal Conference looks powerful and exciting. Congratulations. The effort you've put in tending and growing this gathering of women has changed people's lives; I know, it changed mine."


“The kids camp is completely invaluable and maybe the single most important factor in deciding whether or not I would be attending. The chance to have my daughter in an environment where women come together and learn with and from one another is priceless.”


“The speakers and workshops were excellent. The quality of information and the knowledge of the presenters was really outstanding. It is evident that an enormous amount of time and effort went into the planning of this event and it did not go unnoticed.”

If you feel inspired to help further the great work of Midwest Women's Herbal, consider becoming a sponsor or donating a scholarship. 

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