Nature’s Embrace: At Home With Erin Lovell Verinder

Images by Bonnie Hall

This week on The Journal we step into the world of Erin Lovell Verinder, a herbalist, nutritionist, author, and mentor living in the wildly beautiful landscape of Northern Tasmania. Erin invites us into her century old cedar shingled home, a space she and her husband, Noah, have lovingly transformed into a warm farmhouse haven. With a keen eye for unique spaces and a deep connection to nature, Erin shares her appreciation for the peacefulness, natural light, and picturesque views that make her home truly special. Through the lens of photographer Bonnie Hall we discover cherished artworks, the cozy simplicity of Erin’s bedroom and stunning natural surrounds of the property. As an accomplished author, Erin also spoke to us about insights from her books, Plants for the People and The Plant Clinic, emphasising the power of herbalism and the enduring relationship between plants and people. Join Erin as she unveils the delights of living in Tasmania, from its raw beauty to its vibrant food scene, and catch a glimpse of what the future holds for her plant-rich offerings. 

“Our home is a 103 year old cedar shingled converted church cottage that sits high on a hill surrounded by the rolling green highlands and open pastures of Northern Tasmania. Bucolic is a word that seems incredibly fitting to this land we live on, the sunsets and sunrises are artworks in motion, creamy seas of grass, snow on the mountains and white frosts on a winter morning with flocks of sheep peacefully moving in formations. There is a true wildness here, the opportunity for a sweet slow life and a sense of resounding spaciousness. This area is where the colonial landscape painter John Glover settled and painted prolifically, the landscapes seem to sing to be noticed and celebrated. 

We have always had a curiosity and penchant for unique houses, spaces that were once something else and have transformed into a home. This little church of ours looks much like something out of a picture book, it drew us in through the most kismet way.

We have always had a curiosity and penchant for unique houses, spaces that were once something else and have transformed into a home.

We moved here just over 1 year ago, and got straight into renovating the house. My husband Noah did the bulk of the renovating himself, which was a huge learning curve for him and seriously so impressive- taking this dated early 2000’s renovation and bringing it back to a warm farmhouse cottage feel and look. Everything is quirky, full of character and history here~ which we have leaned into. 

The church cottage is peaceful, clear and always sunny with the light streaming through all the church windows, I love the light here so much. I noticed in Tasmania, that there is a much bluer tint to the skies- a cooler purple hued light, we had to paint the inner walls of the house twice to get the right warm white to balance the coolness reflected from the sky. 

I love the high pitched ceiling and the little loft nook upstairs. I love the that the big bathroom windows look out to an extinct volcano and when you have a shower you watch the cows and the deer and the sheep all mingle on the land. I love the wooden floors that we unearthed once we stripped them back, they were a very shiny heavily lacquered orange when we arrived and thankfully underneath was the original Tasmanian oak beauty we brought back to life.

The table is adorned with IN BED 100% Linen Table Cloth in Natural.

All of our artworks hanging on the walls are made by dear friends of ours, the weave in the lounge room was gifted to me by my best friend Lula - woven from dried medicinal plants and grasses of the Blue Mountains (a region we called home for many years), our painting in our bedroom feels so peaceful and was created by our fiend Sarah Darling, and the other two abstract artworks are by our dear friend Chanel Tobler.

All of our artworks hanging on the walls are made by dear friends of ours.

The upstairs bed is dressed with IN BED 100% Linen Duvet Set in Lake Blue & Heavy Linen Bolster Cushion Covers in Caramel.

Our bedroom is a petite space just roomy enough to fit our very comfy king size bed. We intentionally keep our bedroom very calm, very cosy and very simple to create a harmonious space that is made just for sleep and connection. We always have book stacks on the bed side table and flowers in a vase to bring nature in. I adore this little bedroom of ours, it feels like a snug cocoon~ the window opens up to a soft green bushy view which matches our wooly green carpet. I was always so against carpet, much more of a smooth wooden floor woman but since moving to arctic Tassie I am a cosy carpet convert!

Erin's cosy bedroom is complemented by IN BED 100% Linen Duvet Set in Chestnut. 

“I have always had a deep appreciation and sense of belonging in nature, as the years unfolded I have been lucky enough to weave this appreciation into the plant path I walk as a herbalist and nutritionist and author. I am in private practice seeing clients and supporting them with naturopathic medicine- it is a true honour to witness and support people to shift their health stories with the plants and gentle interventions. 

I write about plant medicine and healing alongside the plants as an author, I speak on the plants and share herbalism with the community work I feel super passionate about.” 

It is a true honour to witness and support people to shift their health stories with the plants and gentle interventions.

Erin enjoys a herbal tea cosied up in our Undyed Alpaca Throw.

“I created my two books Plants for the People and The Plant Clinic as reliable and supportive resources for people to learn more about herbalism and healing with plants. It felt super important to encourage a remembering of these ancient practices and that I stretch myself as a herbalist and practitioner to document and share these simple yet powerful plant practices in an accessible format. Books live on, they live long! 

I had wanted to write a book for so many years and in a very serendipitous turn of events I met my wonderful publisher and the books came to be. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a translator of the plants! It has been so heart warming watching the books weave their way into so many warm hands and homes, witnessing the undeniable synergy between plants and people.

There are so many simple yet potent medicinal plant rich remedies that are sitting right in your kitchen cabinet or right on your kitchen bench. Kitchen herbalism is seriously heroic when it comes to strengthening immunity. Sliced ginger, lemon and Manuka honey tea, thyme and oregano tea, raw garlic soaked in honey to usher a cold out of the system, a nourishing veggie broth with turmeric, cayenne and ginger to bring warmth to the body. The list goes on and on! I always suggest for people to start their herbalism journeys right in the kitchen, culinary spices are so clever they have woven their way into our everyday lives and diets and so many are not aware of their medicinal powers.

For me, connecting to nature is my greatest compass and non negotiable practice. I am lucky to live in a place immersed in nature, so nature is easy to come by here! Nourishing meals are a big deal in our household, cooking a meal from scratch is a real love language for Noah and I. We take the time to sit, chat, debrief in the morning about our dreams, or in the evening about our day- right around the kitchen table.

Switching off and being present is so important to me, as a person with a very full schedule I have learned to hold firm boundaries around cultivating quietness and the importance of that quietness for my happiness and health!

I love the true beauty of the landscape here in Tasmania, it feels very raw and wild in ways I have not felt before here in Australia. I love all the animals! Every day we see so many sweet furry creatures, wombats, wallabies, quolls, possums, kookaburras, eagles, echidnas and wild deer - we so appreciate them and have reverence that we share the same home with them.

Northern Tasmania has a great foodie scene, much to our delight and discovery! Some of our favourite places in Launceston that you should absolutely add to your next trip are- Havilah for a seasonal local meal and a glass of wine, Pachinko for a very good dinner, Du Cane Brewery for local brews and great pizzas, the Saturday farmers market for all of the beautiful local produce and biodynamic cheese (omg the cheese here) and for your nature fix visit Cataract Gorge in the heart of town for a stroll with beautiful views and be sure to take a drive out to Ben Lomond National Park for a hike in the warmer month or a wintery experience in the cooler months.

I am going through a big growth spurt with my plant rich offerings this year, my two new online courses are landing before the end of year and I am also deep in writing and creating my third book. I moved on a Saturn line here in northern Tasmania (check out astrocartography, so weirdly insightful) and since landing here it has been full of doing big time, with a side of deep rest!”

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