Wild Herb Weekend 2022
Back to Our Roots

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Keynote speaker Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH (AHG) draws upon her rich ethnic background and the influence of her Granny Healers to inspire her work as a clinical herbalist, educator and ethnobotanist. She believes strongly that keeping plant wisdom alive is essential and has dedicated her life’s work to serving as an advocate for both traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding.

Mimi is the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild and formerly served as the Director of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies at Frostburg State University in Maryland

Founder of the WANDER (Wild Artemisia Nature Discovery, Empowerment, and Reconnection) School, Botanist, Herbalist, & Professional Forager Abby Artemisia lives on the edge of Appalachia in South Carolina. She learned about plants playing in the Midwestern woods of Ohio, working on organic farms, an herbal apprenticeship, a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Miami University, and running her own tea business. She teaches about plant identification, native plants, and working with plants for food and medicine throughout the country. Her mission is to offer nature and herbal education, creating healing through connection with the natural world and each other, to create local and global health and prosperity. She is the author of The Forager’s Wild Edible and Herbal Plant Cards and The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders, host of the Wander, Forage, and Wildcraft podcast, and co-founder of the new Sassafras School for Appalachian Plantcraft. Find out more at www.thewanderschool.com

Rebecca Beyer is a farmer, forager, herbalist, woodcarver, and witch from Asheville, NC. She holds a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont and has been learning and teaching in the Primitive Skills community for the last 8 years. She teaches foraging professionally as well as at the University level at UNCA, AB tech and at Appalachian State University where she is completed her Masters in Appalachian Studies. She also runs a folk herbal school, the Sassafras School of Appacahian Plantcraft with friend and fellow herbalist Abby Artemisia. Her passions include botanical illustration, the folklore of Appalachian plants and writing her blog: Blood and Spicebush. She is currently stewarding land at the Hawk & Hawthorne, a community of magical people growing food and teaching classes on foraging and esoteric arts in Western North Carolina. You can read more about Rebecca and her work at  bloodandspicebush.com.  

Margaret Bloomquist is a Research Associate with the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences at NC State University. Based in western North Carolina she engages with production based woodland botanical, organic vegetable, hemp, traditional Chinese herb, and other specialty crop research and extension efforts. Margaret received a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia, and a graduate certificate in Rural Project Management from Makerere University in 2006. She homesteads with her family including dozens of animal, plant, and fungal friends.


A dedicated world musician of more than 20 yrs and an herbalist of 15 years, James Brock has diligently delved into the secrets and processes of nature and practical laboratory plant alchemy for the extraction of powerful natural medicine for human benefit.


Originally from Upstate NY, Lorri Bura has been (working) with medicinal herbs and energy medicine for over 30 years. She is a Reiki Master who holds an M.S. in Training and Development. Her Upper Hominy Valley herb farm Green Heart Gardens was a viable company for 6 years before she grew the first Certified Organic Hemp in North Carolina, and it's really taken off since. She currently serves as the Steward of the land working in the Wise Woman Tradition and is a founding board member of Carolina Cannabis Cultivator Coalition (C4). Also she raised 3 kids.

Travis Cornett established High Country Ginseng in 2007 when he planted his first 50 lbs of seed on a forested property just outside of Boone, North Carolina. As wild ginseng became more scarce over the years, he realized that sustainably planting ginseng would allow him to cultivate this important Appalachian medicinal plant and allow him to sell seed and rootlets to others interested in establishing this plant on their own lands and to Asian clients who value this plant. Today, he and his associates with High Country Ginseng have over 15 acres of established wild-simulated ginseng ranging from 1 to 8 years old.

Dr. Jeanine Davis is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. She is located at a research and extension center in western NC near Asheville. For over 30 years, she has researched new crops, vegetables, and organic agriculture and shared her knowledge on these topics with farmers and home gardeners across the country. Her current efforts are focused on woodland botanicals, hops, truffles, organic vegetables, and hemp. She is the lead author of the book “Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals”. Jeanine and her family operate Our Tiny Farm where they raise bees for honey and board mini-donkeys.

Wildwood Herbal is a family farm that has been serving WNC with organically grown products for 30 years. Darsey Driver and Seth Salmon now grow cannabis and using all organic practices to produce a wide array of CBD products.

Brenda Huffman is a Naturopathic Doctor and Herbalist. She owns Huffman Herbs, a herb shop in Morganton, NC and has practiced for over 30 years.

Pam and Charles Leonard have owned and run Gentle Harmony Farm, a three-and-a-half-acre herb farm, since 2008. They grow high quality USDA certified organic medicinal herbs and through carefully applied hand cultivation and processing offer fresh and dried herbal products to both individuals and businesses. Gentle Harmony is located in the Yadkin River valley not far from Winston-Salem, North  Carolina.

NCHA Vice President Mena Killough is the founder and heart of the Green Faerie Apothecary, a project that has allowed her to bridge her knowledge of herbalism into the realm of cocktails and spirits, focusing on the combination of booze and extractions as a tool to shift consciousness. Killough became the first woman to win on the Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners: Master Distiller” with her absinthe. 


Taylor Lo Grasso offers individuals the space for freedom of expression through yoga and doula practices. Promoting self-exploration, self-discovery and the return to wholeness by providing unwavering physical and emotional support, education and recognition of appropriate resources.


Gabe Noard of Pangaea Plants has over a thousand years of farming ancestry in his blood, and has has been working the land in Old Fort since 2015. Gabriel has a commitment to not only the organic, biodynamic farm he manages, but also to the local ecology; he’s reserved over 10% of his land for the diverse wildlife that helps to create the perfect, sustainable environment for growing his superior agricultural products.

To be closer to the land, the idea of growing the herbs that were not so readily available locally, evolved into the idea of starting a home-grown business. Inspired by national trends and increased interest in herbs for food and health, Margaret Shelton began her agricultural journey with just a few dozen herbs the first year, in 1986.  Shelton Herb Farm is now open year-round with plants for the changing seasons.