Tuesday, April 29, 2014
20 years of Flower Power in the East Village
Photos and story by EVG contributor Stacie Joy
Last month, Flower Power Herbs & Roots, Inc. celebrated its 20th anniversary in the East Village.
The shop has had two storefronts in the neighborhood, beginning with East First Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, and now at its current location, 406 E. Ninth St. between between Avenue A and First Avenue.
Flower Power, which bills itself as "an indispensable resource to superlative organically cultivated herbs, roots, flowers, leaves and seeds," provides herbalist education (they do not diagnose or prescribe) on working in accordance with nature.
As Lata Chettri-Kennedy, the shop's founder and owner said, "It's not a religion or creed, it's a way of life, incorporating Earth-awareness and integrity; using local, organic, wild and well-sourced material."
The shop has more than 300 plants for sale, all stored in glass jars (the shop encourages avoiding plastic).
I asked her what has changed about the area since she first opened her doors. She recounted tales of drugs and cash stored under loose wooden planks in the floor and shooting galleries on the block.
As for who shops at Flower Power today, Chettri-Kennedy offered a lengthy list: Midwives, peace corps officers, musicians, wise women, witches, artists, herbalists, families and neighbors, visitors from all over the world.
The shop's staff, all educated herbalists, discuss teas, infusions, tinctures, salves and baths with the customers. The day I dropped by, I was greeted with a cup of garcinia cambogia antioxidant infusion (it was tart, like rose hips tea, but with a less astringent aftertaste) as Chettri-Kennedy sewed lavender and herb dream pillows and talked about green witchcraft and traditional herbalism.
The shop is open every day from noon until 7 p.m. Workshop and education, as well as internship info and schedules can be found here.