Ash Tree Publishing
Complementary Alternative Medicine
Women's Health, Women's Spirituality
P.O. Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Green witch and wise woman.
Voice of the Wise Woman Way.
"What an absolutely absurd account. Susun weed lavishes incredible food on her apprentices. In no universe would she ever drug anyone. The toilets and bath tub are stained by hard water lol not piss and feces. For all Americans wanting to be coddled and go to a retreat center with "organic breakfast" ya susuns is not the place for you. But the eggs from the farmer down the road and super amazing local bread was pretty damn good. How would I know? I spent 6 weeks there not being drugged or starved. Let's talk about how hard it is for people to be responsible for themselves and be held accountable for their own existence."
Samantha Caplan, 2016 apprentice
"I am astounded by the obvious lies and perversions in this person's story. They are either lying, extremely unstable or both.
Here is my experience...
I lived with Susun Weed as her Shamanic apprentice for 13 weeks. I have never been better fed or cared for in my entire life. To this day I still cook recipes that Miki and Susun taught me to prepare. There was always an abundance of food and nourishing infusions. They are absolutely not drugging people on their farm, this is utter nonsense. In fact no drugs or alcohol of any kind are permitted during apprenticeships. There is no forced manual labor. There is the option for paid work on the farm during your apprenticeship. I chose to work during my apprenticeship. I was required to keep track of my work, and then upon graduating I submitted my invoice for which I was promptly paid. It's not for everyone, farm chores are hard work! Sometimes I preferred to hike in the woods or work on my apprenticeship projects. It was entirely up to me how much or how often I worked. Susun often encouraged self care while I was living there. My favorite instance of this was being paid to stay home and have a "Moon Day". She pays her apprentices to stay home and relax on days that they are menstruating. I wish my current boss provided paid menstrual leave. Alas! The real world is not yet as nourishing or progressive as Laughing Rock Farm. She encouraged me to nap if I needed it, to really care for and listen to my body.
Because I was living on Susun's property I had the privilege of meeting her family during my stay. Her granddaughter Monica-Jean came to the farm with a friend weekly while I was there. Susun and Miki doted on them. I remember lots of giggling, lots of story reading, tons of playing and the cooking of special foods in honor of the little girls coming to the farm. Once while apprenticing I was invited to Monica-Jean's birthday party at Justine's home. It was extremely generous of them to invite me to a private family function and I had a lovely time eating the exquisite food prepared by Justine's husband- who coincidentally is a 5 star chef! They are a loving and generous family who invited me to participate in boat rides, birthday parties, even the occasional restaurant outing. Why am I sharing this? Because what struck me most about this person's story is that they attacked Susun's family. That seemed particularly cruel to me, to try and hurt someone specifically by hurting their family.
I could go on at length describing the incredible days I spent with Susun on her farm. It was a fully immersive experience that was both demanding and challenging. There are very few people brave enough to do this work with their students. There was yoga taught by Miki, Taichi, cooking classes, herbal classes, shamanic classes, ritual classes etc. She had an incredible library which apprentices have access to. She answered my questions patiently and at length. It was exhausting and exhilarating. I learned a great deal. I always think of myself as an extra lucky apprentice because for the last two thirds of my stay I was the only apprentice there. So I had the entire program to myself. I'm still flabbergasted by my good fortune. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to Susun Weed and her incredible team for providing me with the best education I will ever receive".
Green Blessings! - Vanessa P.
"I feel compelled to share my story here. I apprenticed with Susun Weed in Spring of 2018. Based on that experience, I find the claims of this woman to be quite frankly ridiculous. There was an abundance of food there, Michael cooked beautiful meals for us every single night, and I was provided with groceries to make myself breakfast and lunch every day. All of the work that I did on her farm was recorded, and I was paid for it at the end of my stay. I received daily lessons according to a detailed syllabus that was given to me upon my arrival. In addition to this, I learned how to garden, milk goats, make cheese, make infusion, and of course loads upon loads of information about herbal medicine. I received 2 lessons a week in Chi Qong and 1 yoga session each week. I attended 2 workshops, included in the price of my apprenticeship. The experience was intense? yes. Was Susun shocking? Yes. Did she express her anger freely? Yes. But at no point did I feel punished or disrespected. Nothing was ever done to me without my consent. The claims that apprentices are drugged and trafficked are absolutely false. This woman's report in that regard honestly feels very strange and suspect. This woman has also started a Facebook account, from which this graphic was taken, with really erratic patterns of behaviour, posting obsessively on January 17th, clearly to flood Facebook with her prerogative. You can view that account here and judge it for yourself : https://www.facebook.com/whyissusunangry/
I can only share my experience, for it is the only thing I know to be true. I left the apprenticeship the healthiest I had been in years due to the excellent foods I was fed, sound in body and mind. I recently went back for a weekend retreat in 2021, and again had a good experience and was happy to reconnect with Susun.
I feel it is a shame and unfair to discount the many stories of women who have benefitted from her as "freaks", "Susun Weedheads", and the like. This is abusive, dismissive language. I share to ask (undoubtedly in vain) that people turn a more critical mind towards these recent allegations, as I am not the only one that finds them to be evidence of an unstable person who's stories should not simply be swallowed down. I believe in personal freedom and to not work with Susun Weed is a personal decision, not one that needs to be policed or controlled by others."
I have an interesting story to tell, don’t know exactly what to make of it yet because it’s unraveling and ongoing. It seems urgent that I go on FB now and write publicly about the truth of what I know and experienced repetitively concerning my friend and her business.
I began a formal study of herbs and plant medicine in 2010 having a life long interest attraction and passion for this vast subject. in 2012 I was a visiting foreign student at a different herbal college in British Columbia where a big-time famous celebrity herbalist/author was there teaching on a particular weekend. this person had a smug joy and seemed to take delight telling our large class a blatant and clear cut down lie about my friend and mentor, world renowned herbal medicine educator Susun S Weed
I spoke to this “teacher” privately after the class and introduced myself as personally knowing Susun and having never recalled hearing her say any of these dubious things. They barked at me defensively “It’s written clearly in her books!” feeling immediately gaslit, i maintained a modesty, gave them the benefit of the doubt and moved on with my inquisitiveness.
This experience stuck to me. For the next few years, I actively looked in Susun’s books for this clear as day thing i didn’t know i was missing ignoring about her herbal medicine teachings. I found nothing, nothing. Fast forward a couple of years and this same false teacher was a featured headliner along with Susun at the biennial Green Nations Gathering. Approaching this individual at their book table, I told them that i’ve searched high and low all of Susun’s published books and articles and had found zero references of what they had told the BC crowd in 2012 and that they were clearly mistaken and thus spreading plain bullshit about another fellow in their profession.
I proposed that Susun is only 20 feet away at her own book table and that they should go on over right now and apologize to her for spreading a lie and bearing false witness. When i continued to persist with my simple request to them, they began hysterically screaming in a high pitch GET AWAY FROM ME, GET AWAY FROM ME! as if i was threatening them with bodily harm. I walked away quietly and later that same day this person apologized to me in private that they had overreacted earlier, yet were obviously unrepentant and not aware of how or why they need to lie about and defame others.
Are famous accomplished herbalists capable of being evil scumbag false witnesses? Yes, and i don’t need to point any of them out, because they already know deep down who they are and plainly show everyone who they are by their actions and words spreading these first and second hand lies.
Today in 2022, I see this same shitty person on facebook publicly repeating and spreading an absurd story going around that Susun is imprisoning, drugging and starving her clients who seek out the challenge of completing a shamanic apprenticeship with her at her home in New York which IMO as an in person witness, at times resembles a sadistic sorority hazing/paris island style boot camp, YET after being closely around this scene of women for the past 12 years, I’ve ONLY seen miraculous self confidence transformations with a good to the core emergence of women who find their true self AFTER they endure and complete a mysterious and sometimes cruel process that they of their own free will had signed up for, scheduled a block of Susun’s valuable time and paid for with their own $ in advance.
What Susun offers and transfers to these women is something that was given to her by her own elders and mentors, and I sincerely believe that she and her methods are not innovative in the least, only a continuing lineage which will continue to continue.
Critics and enemies seem intent on shutting Susun’s business down, yet there are thousands of people around the world like myself who love and respect her and will defend this work whenever and wherever we can. The righteous suffer, enough said.
I apprenticed with Susun in 2006, when I was 55.
I make no bones, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Susun's fierce teaching, laced with loving kindness, has an essential honesty and truth to it that I have not met anywhere else. No artifice, no stage dressing, no bullshit .
I was not drugged, I was not starved , I was not abused, but I was nourished and that nourishment sustains me still, 15 years later.
With love, as always.
Adrienne, Aotearoa/ New Zealand.