December 2017 Student of the Month Chandra Hartman

I currently live in Panama City Beach, Florida and co-own Wild Root, a community-centered hybrid espresso bar and apothecary with my husband. My passion for herbalism grew out of a lifelong love of plants, rooted in observing and helping my grandmother in her garden. Though my first career was in design, my quest for plant and herbal knowledge was always in the background.

I grew up in Frederick, Maryland and after earning a degree in architectural design; I moved to Florida and worked for several architecture firms before starting my own company designing homes. During this time, I had a profound healing experience through a TCM clinic. That was twenty years ago and those health issues never returned. At that point, I considered changing my career to study TCM.

The feeling that I was supposed to do other work stayed with me. In 2005, I took a natural building class at Ecosa Institute and went on to earn a B.A. from Prescott College in Sustainable Community Development with a focus on creating built environments that honor and integrate the natural world. During this time, I earned a certificate in Permaculture Design and started selling seeds and micro-greens at our local farmers market. My architecture business grew to include permaculture design and edible landscaping. This blossomed into opening a small garden shop and teaching community classes. It was through my shop that I met several women who were instrumental in steering me towards studying herbalism; one of these friends was a student at East West.

I started with East West in January 2016. I plan to attend my second seminar in 2018 and complete the professional course. I am also a student at Hsin Fa School of Herbal and Energetic Medicine. My vision is to continue to nurture and cultivate our shop as a community space for teaching, learning, and healing, and help revitalize interest in local plant medicine. I’m also dedicated to my practice of Baguazhang and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. My favorite things to do are spend time with my family and explore Florida’s diverse ecosystems, focusing on its opportunistic flora. More about my shop and me can be found on Instagram at

Leave a Reply