~Co-Founder, Traditional Herbalist, MH, Midwife, Aromatherapist CCA
Sam’s commitment to holistic living and sustainable health education is based on the idea that true healing and health begins by cultivating knowledge and wisdom which lie deep within the spirit of all individuals.
As a traditional herbalist, midwife and educator. Sam is focused on community-based family-centered approaches to holistic wellness. Her first apprenticeship began 15 years ago with Traditional Appalachian herbalist and Granny midwife Kathryn Yard; through their relationship a deep foundation of traditional medicines from the Blue Ridge Mountains was set. After serving as a student and apprentice with midwives, herbalists, homeopaths, EMT’s and obstetricians in both the USA and the Dominican Republic her mentors encourage her to open her own practice and serve in her community. Since 2007 Sam has worked with local families through Mountain Song walking with them as they empower themselves with holistic healthcare and wellness education.
Be it preventative health care, reproductive health, pregnancy, birth or youth empowerment; Sam brings a focus on the need for nutritional wellness, core physical strengthening, balancing stress and looking to the root of the imbalances experienced.
“I enjoy engaging youth and adults in a way that inspires them to explore their own ability to promote inner strength, kinship and sustainability for themselves and their communities.“
~Botany specialist, Apothecary Consultant
Naomi has always loved plants. Even as a small child, she was fascinated with the green, growing world around her. From planting her first perennial garden at age 9, to graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2001, Naomi has been immersed in the botanical realm. Plants are her guides and gurus, her teachers and source for divine inspiration. Working with these green beings is a great blessing. Their inborn gifts for healing our bodies, hearts, and minds are truly everyday miracles.
Naomi first met Sam in 2008 at a Birth Expo in Roanoke, Virginia. At the time Naomi was living in Roanoke as a stay at home mom, spending her time caring for her daughter & infant son. As Sam and Naomi began visiting, talk quickly moved from breastfeeding and natural childbirth to the healing wonders the plant kingdom offers. Even during their initial conversation, Naomi felt a connection with Sam and hoped that their paths would lead to future herbal work together. By 2010, Naomi and her family had relocated to Floyd, and Sam and Naomi reconnected. They joined together to create the Floyd Market Collective, a local group organized to help economically empower women through cooperative action. After two years of Market work together and participating in Sam’s herbal CSA, it seemed very natural for Naomi to grow into being a part of the Mountain Song Team. In 2014 Naomi began working at the Blue Ridge Center for Chinese medicine, in 2015 she and Sam teamed up again through BRCCM and their program of Appalachian Herb growers consortium. Working with the healing properties of plants is a wonderful fit for her and she is very happy to be able to now share these skills with the broader world through the work of Mountain Song Herbals and BRCCM.
Papa Sam Steffens Aka Herb
~Co-founder, Farm manager, Apothecary production
Papa Sam is co-founder of Still Spirit Family Farm. With a love for Animal husbandry from years of traveling the country with a 200 animal petting farm; he knew bringing animals to the farm was a must. When the farm transitioned from mostly animal husbandry and vegetable production into a primary focus of herb gardens, Papa Sam got to renew his own interest in herbal medicine which has been steadily growing. His passion for growing organic food and raising happy healthy animals has helped in working towards Mountain Song Herbals long-term goals of more permaculture education opportunities at the farm and an increased use of biodynamic principals. With a desire to support a vibrant and healthy ecosystem and a love of dynamic construction styles, he along with some fantastic carpentry friends designed and have been building Mountain Song Herbals new energy efficient geothermal apothecary and education space . If you happen to see Sam off the farm you are likely to meet him in our tea shop at one of our summer festivals where he also goes by the name Herb, a fun loving tea coinsurer that is happy to share a good conversation and a cup of tea with you.
Valerie has been fascinated by holistic medicine since she was a child, exploring her own mom’s cabinets, filled with homeopathic remedies, tinctures, teas, and Macrobiotic foods. It wasn’t until she grew older and experienced her own health issues with her skin, digestion and depression that she understood the importance of true holistic healing on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. Throughout this journey of self-healing she has pursued Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Western herbalism, kitchen witchery and fermentation alchemy. It was this journey that called her from city life of Minneapolis to the magical community of Floyd. She strives to live her entire life in a way that delves beneath the surface, seeking each taproot, rather than covering up symptoms or uncomfortable feelings.
” I am so thrilled to have found such an amazing herbalism mentor in Sam and to get the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with healing plants.”