Herbalism + Permaculture
Mutable Earth Botanicals supports community access to local, organic, herbal remedies cultivated and prepared on site at the Whole Life Learning Center. We are a collective of people with our hands and hearts in the soil and plants. We come together to learn and grow, to remember that we are an important piece of this thriving, diverse garden ecosystem.
Whole Life founder, educator and herbalist Caroline Riley, created the apothecary in 2018 after 7 years of transforming a pasture into a forest garden full of food and medicinal plants. The gardens are a living classroom and the heart of our community.
Cultivate Community Garden Center is our onsite plant nursery that focuses on organic edible, medicinal and support species to create a thriving garden ecosystem. It also sells all of our Mutable Earth herbal remedies. when you choose local pickup for your orders, you will pick them up at the cultivate yurt shop. Cultivate Hours change seasonally. Check their website for details.
100s of people have helped design and tend the forest garden over the decade that we have been here. Caroline has facilitated countless Permaculture Design Courses and workshops through Austin Permaculture Guild over the years. These experiences have made this place what it is now and for that we are grateful.
Check out our community calendar and subscribe to our monthly emails to stay in the know. We look forward to getting to know you!
Caroline prepares her extracts the Alchemical way of Spagyrics. Each plant is harvested at an optimal time and prepared in a way that creates the most potent medicinal that works with the Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. Our herbal remedies utilize what the forest garden offers us seasonally.
Everything here is organic and small batch. Our seasonal tinctures and elixirs are available with the flow of the seasons. Caroline harvests and dries 100s of small batches of herbs a year for custom blended teas. The apothecary is stocked with over 100 organic plant extracts from organic sources that are available through the shop.
Hey hey y’all. I’m Caroline Riley and I’m passionate about growing deeply rooted, resilient community. The ever-changing expressions of the seasons are solace for my heart and spirit. Witnessing the simple yet profound impact reconnecting with sacred Land and Spirit have on others is a big piece of the medicine this place carries. I have a knack for seeing both the big picture and the parts of the whole in most facets of life. When partnering plants and people to support our health and wellbeing the depth of healing folks experience never ceases to amaze me.
I come from the Vitalist tradition of herbalism having studied Clinical Herbalism, Alchemical Herbalism and Astro Herbalism with Sajah Popham and The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. I have both studied and teach with Ginger Webb and Sacred Journey School of Herbalism. In 2020 I began studying Botanical Medicine for Women's Health with Aviva Romm.
I grew up in the garden with her family and free ranging on the Texas coast with a fishing rod. At a young age she fell in love with the workings of nature and has always walked through life with awe for the interconnection of all things and living in sync with the cycles of the seasons.
In my early 20’s I became a single mama. After West came I went back to UT to finish a Liberal Arts degree in Education and later completed a Lower Elementary Montessori Training. I felt that this framework was a great container for nature and place-based education. In 2004 while living in Colorado, I was introduced to Permaculture Design. This framework for regenerative agriculture and living awakened the desire to create resilient community for myself and my son. Through this experience I discovered the joy of partnering with plants as medicine to to support herself and kiddo - such a life changer!
In 2009 the unthinkable happened - my son and father died in an accident. Searching for support and healing I leaned deeply on herbal medicine and alternative healing. Through this experience I grew her connection to an ever growing community of medicinal plants growing all around. I remember the moment I realized that medicine is growing all around us. We have what we need when we have eyes to see it.
Michael Carberry came on the scene in 2011. We decided to open The Whole Life Learning Center, a holistic school with a mission to foster self-awareness and sustainability. That same Fall she also began teaching Permaculture design at Austin Community College. Fun fact - we opened the school, I started teaching at ACC and we got married all in the same Autumn. We were living life in the flow!
As the school grew so did the gardens. Caroline began teaching with Austin Permaculture Guild, hosting the courses at The Whole Life Learning Center in 2014. To date there have been countless Permaculture and herbalism classes and gatherings onsite. The gardens are a product of loving hands and hearts in this space.
Y’all can find me in the gardens, apothecary and plant nursery most days. Creating opportunities for people to learn and grow together with our hands and hearts in the plants and soil is my happy place. I look forward to getting to know you!