Our Story

About Winterbloom Farm

Winterbloom Farm occupies over thirty acres of fields and woodland along the Eastern River in Dresden, Maine, though only a couple acres are currently under production. We founded the farm with the intention of creating a space of refuge and instruction, where visitors can learn about farming; herbalism; meaningful teaching and learning; yoga; and Qigong, or simply linger to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

As of 2019, the farm is still in its infancy. We are currently designing the organic gardens that will soon grow medicinal herbs, vegetables, and native plants. We hope to be able to host guests and students in the years to come. Keep watching this space for more details.

About Curtis Jirsa, Co-Founder

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Curtis quit his career as a professor of medieval literature after finding himself drawn more to gardens and forests than desks and lecture halls. He left Virginia to join Kathryn in Maine and started pursuing organic farming, herbalism, and Qigong in earnest. He currently studies traditional Western herbalism at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, and has been fortunate to spend time in the company of herbal teachers such as Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals and Joe Hollis of Mountain Gardens. He is also a graduate of the Resilience Hub’s Permaculture Design Course. Curtis still draws upon his roots as a medievalist when combing through old texts in hopes of gleaning some insights into the history of plant medicine. (See the blog for more on this subject.)

Curtis has also pursued martial arts since childhood, though he developed a much deeper connection to the practice once he took up Taiji (T’ai Chi) in his 20s. After learning short forms in the Yang and Wudang traditions, curiosity about the subtle energies at play in Taiji shifted his focus to Qigong and classical Chinese medicine. Curtis has spent the past five years studying with Master Lisa O’Shea, a student of Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming, at the Qi Gong Institute of Rochester. In 2017 he also began training in a different Qigong healing modality, Pangu Shengong, with Paul Fraser in Asheville, NC.

Curtis has also studied Wing Chun and holds a first-degree black belt in American Freestyle Karate.

About Kathryn Kennedy, Co-Founder

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Kathryn was first introduced to yoga by her sister at the age of seven but started to pursue the art more seriously in 1996. Yoga and meditation have been — and continue to be — places of refuge, solace, peace, self inquiry, reflection, and exploration for her. Kathryn pursued yoga teacher training in order to share this transformative practice with others. Kathryn and Curtis met around the same time as they both were beginning to shift away from their academic careers to focus on more holistic, health, and wellness-centered approaches to living, being, and serving others.

Kathryn completed her 500-hr Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with Aiyana Athenian & Krishna Peter Perry of ShivaShakti School of Yoga & Healing Arts, which includes but is not limited to ayurveda, Yoga Nidra, pranayama, meditation, mantra, Bhakti, asana, chakras, alignment, modifications, applied anatomy and physiology. In addition to ShivaShakti, Kathryn has certifications in Kundalini Yoga (KRI-certified Level 1 with Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa, Ajeet Kaur Khalsa, & Gurucharan Singh Khalsa), Restorative Yoga (Margo Rosingana), and Yin Yoga & Mindfulness (Sagel Urlacher).

Online, blended, and traditional teaching and learning research and practice is another passion for Kathryn. She owns and operates an education consulting business through which she conducts research and consultant services for schools, programs, and organizations. She also serves as Director of Online Learning at ShivaShakti School of Yoga & Healing Arts. She’ll be offering courses in the near future to help you design your own teachings. More information about her other passions can be found at the following website: http://www.kathrynmkennedy.com