Soak in the wonders of nature as we sit down with Alexe, founder of Apprenti Ôr'ganik, in her Montreal home.
We wander through the ever-changing pace of life that raising a little one brings, how to appreciate trees growing in your own backyard, and the lovely mead she has brewing on her kitchen counter.
HH: The rhythm/routine of the day is something that can feel mundane to those who live it, and be an adventure or fantasy for those looking in. We’re curious, what charts the rhythm of your days? And what are you craving, if anything, to add to or take away from your routine?
ALEXE: We have many seasons that influence the rhythm of our day. I’m in a very busy, sleep-deprived season in my life. Hahaha. I’m a new mom, I think that alone is self-explanatory.
My days are flowing with the needs of a little human, and when he’s asleep my time is spent studying. Currently, I'm enrolled in a naturopath and psychotherapist program. So yeah, it’s a busy spring in my life, full of new roads and new blossoms.
I do see myself daydreaming about a warm and slow summer, where things are settled, where time seems leisurely and steady. I’m craving more self-care and time for myself, but this season will pass and my summer will be bright.
HH: We’d love to imagine ourselves curled up on a cozy perch in your home drinking some tea. If we were, what are some pieces you would share with us to better describe who you are?
ALEXE: I would invite you to my kitchen. It speaks for itself, with my very large plants, plant-based cookbooks and mason jars full of dried herbs. I love cooking - it’s where healing happens. We are what we consume and assimilate, our gut is our second brain. What tends to tickle my guests curiously is my big gallon of fermented mead (that is still fermenting) made with the blossoms of the Japanese lilac growing in my yard. It shows the relationship and connection I have with nature.
HH: Nature is an obsession we can see come through in the choices you make for ingredients - olive squalene, sea moss and prickly pear oil to name just a few. What places and environments inspire you and how do you keep your connection to them?
ALEXE: Nature itself. Even in the city. I believe there’s always a reason why certain herbs/plants grow where they grow. We have so much to learn from nature, I believe that even the herb that happened to find its place between the pavement has its reason to be there and has something to offer. I truly think that there is a bigger synergy and effectiveness when we eat/use what is growing before our eyes. We live and thrive in the same environment.
I see myself asking wild herbs around me what they have to offer, asking how we can connect and interact. A rowan tree in my yard has been whispering to me that the birds can share some of its berries so I can make a special small batch of soap. I’m very tempted to see the benefits it wants to provide to my skin.
HH: We have such a love for good food over here at HH, what’s a meal on rotation at your house and who is cooking?
ALEXE: My partner is plant-based and gluten-free, it makes for very creative dishes full of colour. A staple in our home is my own interpretation of channa masala, I like to add tofu, broccoli and sweet potato to the traditional recipe, with turmeric-infused basmati rice.
HH: Adrienne Maree Brown, author of Emergent Strategy writes,“Science fiction is simply a way to practice the future together. I suspect that is what many of you are up to, practicing futures together, practicing justice together, living into new stories. It is our right and responsibility to create a new world.” What is a vision or aspiration you hold for yourself? Your family? The Earth?
ALEXE: I love this, "practicing” the future together, it lets us know that there are places for mistakes, and improvements, but mostly forgiveness.
I’m currently practicing in my small, city backyard. I aspire to live somewhere in the countryside with a lot of land where I can use what nature offers locally. I want to heal others with my products and my soon-to-be naturopathic practice.
I believe that we lead by example more than with words. Hopefully, this way of living will inspire others, and my son, to cultivate their relationship with nature. The Earth only wants us to see her, but really SEE her.
SHOP ALEXE'S HH PICKS
- HH Sea Sponge
- Living Libations Best Skin Ever - Frankincense
- Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser
- Tata Harper Clarifying Mask
- Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
- HH Dry Brush