Chwynyn Vaughan’s Garden Stand, located on Culp Court in Point Roberts, is the culmination of her holistic approach to life; a blending of her love of sustainability, organic goodness, natural remedies and of living in community.
How did it begin? “I had extra produce that I wanted to share. And I love flowers.” She had a reason to plant extravagantly and reap benefits for others in Point Roberts. Her salient goals are quality and affordability. At the Garden Stand, organic vegetables are within reach, as are soaps, tinctures, creams and balms. “And they work,” Chwynyn says.
Overarching the enjoyment she takes in preparing products in a sustainable way, Chwynyn’s love of having conversations with her customers is the bonus. “There’s so much depth. I have no clock on me … I can visit for as long as I want. It’s a gift to me.”
In this way, Chwynyn has become familiar with the people of the Point. She believes that here there is the opportunity for self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, for living the life you choose. “There is lots of space for people to become who they really are – there’s not a cultural mold that people need to fit into.”
The genesis of this ethos was a log cabin in rural Ontario on the banks of the French River. From the beauty of this wilderness, Chwynyn moved to Houston when she was eight and experienced the culture shock of numbers. “I went from a one-room school to 200 kids in my grade alone.”
After several years of this, she remembers the relief of her family’s move back to the Toronto area.
In the early ’90s, Chwynyn moved to Vancouver and began her studies in midwifery. “I chose my own courses, and basically crafted my entire education because at this time midwifery was still on the cusp of becoming a discipline.”
Ten years of hard and intense work included long hours of academics and stints in private birthing centers in Dallas and El Paso. “Centers that trained midwives. I delivered 90 babies in three months. I didn’t sleep.”
To nourish her artistic nature, she took a course in fashion design at Vancouver Community College. “I’ve always been creative – beadwork, sewing, knitting.” This creativity was expansive and since her early 20’s, Chwynyn has been developing herbal tinctures, and balms from what she was able to sow. “I’ve always had a garden when I could.” She also sews, as is evident in her colorful fabric napkins.
It was at a Vancouver art show that she met her partner, artist Etienne Zack. They moved to Montreal then to Los Angeles. “The coast calls me back, and in LA, Etienne had the stimulation of the art world.”
There they had two children, Winter, aged 10 and Naeve, 7. But the California coast wasn’t the answer.
“I wanted to be back on the Northwest coast. I’m fully alive here. I wanted to raise my kids in nature.”
And so, the family chose Point Roberts. “There’s an eclecticism here you don’t find in most rural communities.” With a young family and her expanding interest in natural healing, Chwynyn left midwifery for a home-centered life.
But her medical skills are transferrable of course, and inform her work at the Point Roberts Clinic where she runs the phlebotomy lab. She is also responsible for the vaccine ordering and reports to Federal and State governing bodies on the status of our vaccination progress. “With my holistic approach to medicine and my belief in natural remedies, coupled with my belief in the vaccine, I hope to reassure people about the safety and validity of the vaccine.”
Life in Point Roberts provides for Chwynyn’s breadth of interests – creating things, gardening, caring for the environment and home-schooling Winter. “I like being at home with my family. We grow 95 percent of our produce for the year.” A dehydrator and two large freezers allow for the independence she loves.
Chwynyn sums it up this way. “I’m here in Point Roberts because I always wanted to get back to that place – the log cabin on the river. And with the Garden Stand, I am able to fit all parts of my life together. People have been so supportive of me.”
The appreciation is evident in her smile. “Relationships are strong here, giving us the opportunity to help each other with whatever strengths and knowledge we have.”
For information on her products and to read Chwynyn’s blog, go to https://www.slowbotanicals.com/.