Meet Sonoma County Maker, Erin Wilkins of Herb Folk

Sonoma County is a destination full of incredible makers and artisans with unique backgrounds and expertise. This couldn’t be truer than with Sonoma County’s wellness experiences and wellness boutiques. For evidence of this, we needn’t look any further than Erin Wilkins, a Sonoma County  herbalist and owner of Herb Folk. Erin Wilkins’ Japanese-American family has lived in Sonoma County for almost five generations, except for the generation-and-a-half when they were displaced to internment camps during World War II. She embraces this complex history, both in her identity as an Asian-American, and in her work as the herbalist and owner of Herb Folk.

One set of Erin’s grandparents grew up in Santa Rosa as laborers on different Sonoma County truck farms, which grew vegetables on a large scale intended for grocery markets. Generations later, Wilkins is now raising another generation of her family in Sonoma County, a son and daughter, who now go to the area school their great-grandfather once attended. 

A practicing  acupuncturist for a decade before finding her life’s work in herbalism, Erin Wilkins now honors her grandparents’ labor, as well as Sonoma County’s abundance of produce and herbs, through a distinctly Japanese lens. “At Herb Folk, I like to carry through the farm-to-table concept of yakuzen, which translates to ‘medicine meal,'” says Wilkins. “So often, herbalism really just goes back to how to incorporate more herbs and medicinals into everyday meals.” 

Herb Folk sells a wide array of herbal teas, broth blends, elixirs, powders, and mineral soaks, hosts educational workshops and events, and can also prepare custom herbal formulas. Because Wilkins feels that Asian culture is often exoticized, especially in the wellness space, she focuses on selling responsibly sourced products in an honest, straightforward spirit of helping others. “I really want Herb Folk to reflect a true, authentic Asian-American experience,” Wilkins says, “which I find is down-to-Earth.

Colorful herbs in glass jars on an outdoor table, at a farm event put on by Herb Folk in Petaluma

“There’s such a rich history of Asian-American and Asian culture here in Sonoma County, and it’s something I don’t think has really been shared or talked about enough,” she goes on to say. “It’s been incredible to be a part of this community, working together with the next generation of Asian-American business owners and creatives in the area to really amplify our voices and share our histories.” Visit herbfolkshop.com for upcoming workshops and special events. 

Erin is one of the many wellness practitioners in Sonoma County. Here in Sonoma County we like to think we have our unique brand of wellness, where travelers can restore their mind, body and soul at more than 40 spas and wellness centers, from luxurious resort spas to unique day spas. Or, simply grab your yoga mat and enjoy a few moments of zen amidst towering redwoods or while overlooking the Pacific.

Discover more Sonoma County maker stories at sonomacounty.com/cultivated.

You Might Also Like

Hamel Family Wines, wine tasting and non-alcoholic tasting
Wineries

With a massive flood of zero-proof beverages recently hitting the market, it’s become fairly easy to find nonalcoholic alternatives on…

handmade pizza at Glen Ellen Star
Trip Itineraries

As a Sonoma local, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Sonoma County’s finest offerings and generally end up with the…

Movie Prop Car On Display at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Occidental
Activities

As you meander the wee 60-yard block of downtown, strolling its wooden sidewalks past 19th-century, false-front buildings, you’ll feel as…

Winter scenery at Luther Burbank in Sebastopol CA
Outdoor Activities

Lush greenery, foggy coastlines, seasonal harvests and unique wildlife sightings – Sonoma County in winter is a place where visitors…

Hot air balloon ride in sonoma county
Sightseeing & Tours

Without a doubt, Wine Country is one of the world’s most breathtaking regions to travel through whether you are looking…

Girls Getaway in Sonoma County
Food & Wine

Winter might be considered the off-season for many of the world’s hottest travel destinations, but a Wine Country visit between…

Wine tasting at sunset.
Trip Itineraries

Fall is a busy time in Sonoma County — from colorful hikes to the perfect pumpkin patch, discover what locals…

Pig at Charlie's Acres
Sustainable Travel

Need a pick-me-up? These nonprofits offer ways to spend time with cute animals — you could even try some goat…

Yellow wildflowers covering field
Outdoor Activities

Springtime offers a brilliant array of things to see and do in Sonoma County, from wildflower walks to cheese crawls!…

Wingo, California, Sonoma County’s Ghost Town, photographed by @chrisjkam
Outdoor Activities

Traveling mindfully to Sonoma County allows us to have experiences that can be savored in a place focused on and…

See What’s Happening

Share your experience using #SonomaCounty or #LifeOpensUp