I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with and spent time with the formidable Judith Hoad. I first met this woman in 2003 when I was studying Naturopathy at CNM in Dublin.
She made a strong impression and years later I tracked her down once again and this time committed myself to a long drive up to the wilds of Donegal for a long weekend every month for six months.
Myself and four others were amongst the last to attend Judith’s “Natural Medicine for Householders” course around her kitchen table, next to a warm wood burning range at her off grid cottage way up there in the wild lands of rural Donegal.
It was a transformative experience for me, and one that I can say with certainly changed the course of my life. The exposure to her intentional off grid and simple living was eye opening and sparked my passion in living in alternative ways.
We spent many afternoons around Judith’s kitchen table, learning from her hard won wisdom of experience. Judith was nearing 80 years old and had learned all she knew the hard way, experience, intuition, books but limited access and certainly no internet.
She generously passed on her knowledge to us, as we sat in rapt attention. She is a tough taskmaster and you have to have thick skin at times if she gets cross! And at the same time, we learned about the food that grew in her garden, both cultivated and wild. We learned how to make salves, creams, lotions, tinctures and decoctions.
We were served delicious healthy soul food full of love and care and received her cookbook of favourite recipes at the end of the course.
Ill always be grateful for having had this opportunity.
I have very few photos of that time but here are a few: