Essence of Thyme Team Leader Wins Environmental Stewardship Award

Sep 23, 2022

Whether our property is vast or diminutive, we all have a role to play in the protection of our Earth. Angie Kennedy, CAAP, Essence of Thyme Case Study Team Leader, embodies these words as she cares for her land. She won the 2022 “Woodland Owner of the Year” award for the Western Region of Nova Scotia, and we couldn't be more proud! Angie generously shares her journey to land stewardship, the deep pleasures of living on a 102-acre hobby farm, and helpful tips for taking care of a woodland.

I wasn’t always a woodland owner. In fact, I used to be a city dweller, living in an attached row-home with a postage stamp for a yard.

But 13 years ago, my husband and I decided that we needed more land to roam and more wooded areas to sprawl. Since we love the ocean, we moved from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast of Canada. We settled in the beautiful and farmy Fundy Coast of the Annapolis Valley, where we enjoyed exploring the highest tides in the world and the patchwork beauty of the most fertile farmland you can imagine.

Eventually, we bought 17 acres of our own, where we retired our 2 older horses who had made the cross-country trek from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. We produced their hay ourselves, provided a 3-acre pasture, and avidly grew big gardens full of fresh produce that I painstakingly preserved to enjoy over the winter months. I learned all about organic gardening, poultry raising for both meat and eggs, best farm practices for biosecurity, and how to manage a household in a rural community. Imagine this city mouse moving from less than an acre to owning just under 20 acres! It was strange but beautiful and freeing in the best possible way. I was a landowner. I had acreage and crops and livestock, and I was in my happy place.

Although we deeply loved the richness of the Annapolis Valley, we longed to be closer to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the South Shore on the open Atlantic Ocean. After 5 years in the valley, we finally found our dream home just outside the mid-sized township of Bridgewater. We were home!

Now, we proudly own a 102-acre hobby farm filled with diverse woodland, cleared pasture land, and breathtaking views of Hebb Lake, while being just 15 minutes from the most gorgeous beaches in the province. We have been gardening our land organically and filling the property with a pollinators’ haven of flowering herbs, nectar rich plants and aromatic perennials.

We sustainably harvest hardwood for heating our home in the winter and hot water throughout the year. This work is a family affair: my husband, three children, and I work together to cut, split, dry, and stack our firewood season after season. Our children are keenly aware that their efforts provide the warm nights we enjoy during the colder seasons on the East Coast.

On a crisp spring day, nothing is better than listening to birds chirp in the forest as we laugh and giggle in their habitat, lugging logs, and filling the tractor-trailer in preparation for the journey back to our house. There is something pure and surreal about the exquisite contrast between the vibrant green leaves plastered against the bright blue of the sky above. I count my blessings as I recall the tiny yard we used to frequent in our old home in the lower mainland of BC. Don’t get me wrong; BC is beautiful, but owning 100 acres of land — and the gifts it has given us — would never have been possible.

As we learned, we grew into becoming responsible woodland owners through our love for and connection to nature. For this reason, one of the biggest sources of pride in my life so far is winning the title of “Woodland Owner of the Year” for the Western Region of Nova Scotia 2022.

Here are the steps we take to support a healthy woodland:

  • We carefully avoid seed-bearing trees when harvesting our hardwood, such as white and yellow birch, sugar and red maple, beech, and ash with small pockets of hemlock and poplar.
  • We clear out all damaged, weak, or diseased trees first to remove some canopy in favour of preferred hardwood varieties.
  • We harvest in paths to accommodate winter recreation such as sledding and snowboarding through the forest. (Can you imagine having your own ski hill? 13 years ago, I couldn't imagine this reality, and now I’m living it!)

We now have so much space to roam and sprawl, and we will proudly move forward supporting and protecting the diversity of our woodland.

Mother Nature, as powerful and nurturing as she is, needs our help and commitment to safeguard our shared future. We must be good stewards, and we must set good examples for the stewards of the future. There is still time to turn this ship around, but it will take all of our effort and persistence to keep this earth habitable and healthy.

As aromatherapists, our role as stewards of the Earth simply must include how we source our essential oils and how we blend with them. Download our free guide below so you can make informed choices about purchasing your essential oils ethically and sustainably.

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Article by: Angie Kennedy, CAAP

Angie Kennedy, CAAP, is a Certified Advanced Aromatherapy Practitioner and graduate of Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies. As our Case Study Team Leader, Angie combines her knowledge of aromatherapy and passion for connecting with others to guide our aromatherapy students through their case study process. An avid gardener, in her free time she grows a multitude of fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers on the 100-acre hobby farm she shares with her husband and 3 children.

About Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies offers 300- and 630-hour professional aromatherapy certification programs that help you grow a successful, fulfilling career by specializing and creating your market niche. Professional Level Certification prepares graduates to become aromatherapy consultants, launch product lines or retail businesses, or provide services as an adjunct to existing holistic health specializations. Master Level Certification and electives are ideal for certified aromatherapists seeking higher education or a path to clinical aromatherapy practice.

All Essence of Thyme programs focus on aromatherapy product development and advanced formulation, evidence-based research, spa and business management, international industry regulatory guidelines, and sustainability and conservation of essential oil and carrier oil-bearing plants.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by 5 international professional aromatherapy associations. Learn more about our aromatherapy certification programs.


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