Twinflower was started by Fairbanks twins Sarah and Liz Furman to share the natural, healthy, healing power of boreal plants with the community. We are farmers and foragers, activists and dreamers, sisters and friends.
We view our relationship with the land as one born out of love and reciprocity. It is a generous sharing, a give and take, always with the utmost respect and appreciation. We are inspired by the indigenous ways of honorable harvest, as described by Robin Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass, “To take only what is given, to use it well, to be grateful for the gift, and to reciprocate the gift.” We hope that in sharing the healing properties of plants, we can also help foster a stronger connection to the land and an understanding that we are all in this together- people, animals, land, and water. Our well-being is inextricably linked, and we have to take care of each other.
The sharing of powerful plant products is our small contribution to building the world that we want to live in. We watch with heavy hearts as our profit-driven culture continues to strip the land, acting out of a mindset that sees the gifts of earth as something to be taken for personal gain. This drives a disconnect from the land, an economy that places profit above all else, and the physical, emotional, and spiritual sicknesses that plague our society. We know we can do better as a community. We can care for each other, care for the land, and use healthy, sustainable products to holistically support our minds, bodies, and spirits.
We hope that you'll take our products, use them, share them, smell them, taste them, and each time you do, give thanks to the plant that gave of itself so that you could heal. Then take that gratitude and let it inspire you to take good care of the land on which you find yourself.
Illustration by Somer Hahm
Liz discovered her love of plants in El Paso, Texas, where she maintained an urban garden. She moved up to Fairbanks a couple years later and started putting down roots working for a local farm. Liz quickly expanded her understanding of northern plants and fungi on and off cultivated lands, including enrolling in herbalism classes and taking Ethnobotany courses at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Since then, she hasn't stopped learning the myriad of local plants that have traditionally been used as food and medicine and sharing that with others. Liz often says that her spirit lives in the boreal forest, where this beautiful, harsh climate lends itself to powerful, healing plants and a sanctuary to settle the mind.
Sarah found herself working on a farm in Fairbanks in 2011 for “just” the summer. She quickly fell in love with the people of Fairbanks and the boreal forest and within a year had decided that Alaska was home. Sarah learned the ins and outs of cultivating food in the far north and, armed with the Boreal Herbal by Beverley Gray, began wild harvesting plants for food and medicine. Since then, she has continued to study, practice making medicines and deepening her understanding of natural medicines as well as the role of food in healing and maintaining health. She is currently studying herbalism, specifically looking at Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medecine for insight into ways to heal the whole person: body, mind and spirit.