First Session: Saturday, July 23, 9-10:15 am

Growing Chinese Herbs: NC State University research associate, Margaret Bloomquist, has been growing demonstration and research beds of Chinese medicinal herbs for over a decade. She will present popular species, bring samples to show, and share how to grow them in our Southern environment. Orchard Hall


Growing and Using Sacred Herbs for Home Ritual: Throughout human culture, the home has been a sacred space of ritual woven into ordinary everyday activities. Private practices of devotion served as a small way to approach the unknown and orient towards mystery, from prayers to plain old folk magic. Mary Ellen Lough will share some ways to incorporate flowers, herbs, and practices of inviting the sacred into daily lives and home spaces, whether home is a tent, an apartment, or a castle. We’ll discuss various plants and practices and participate as a group in simple contemplative exercises. Expect to take home a small herbal item for home ritual. Johnson Hall I


Medicinal Plants -- The Human Connection: Doug Elliott will present the connection of traditional herbalists and teachers to plants in what will be an informative presentation in the incredibly engaging manner Doug is known for. Johnson Hall II


Alchemy and Spagyrics P1: Alchemical Ops for extracting medicinal components from matter. Learn the ancient alchemical herbal preparation methods through the practice of spagyrics in the first part of this two part session with Alchemist James Brock


Wild Herbs for Your Garden Plant Walk: Take a stroll with Abby Artemisia to meet the wild herbs that surround us every day. We'll learn how to identify them and their benefits for us, our loved ones, and communities. We'll pay special attention to their habitats and discuss encouraging or growing them on the land where we live. Meet outside Johnson Hall


Keynote with Mimi Prunella Hernandez, Saturday, July 23, 10:30-12:00 pm 

Botanical Sanctuary Dreamer: The mission of United Plant Savers is to preserve, conserve and restore native medicinal plants and their habitats of the USA and Canada while ensuring their abundant, renewable supply for future generations. To this end, United Plant Savers established one of their most important projects: The Botanical Sanctuary Network, a network of sanctuaries dedicated to restoring and preserving habitat for wildlife, both plants, and animals. For the last two years Mimi has been taking active steps toward becoming a member of the sanctuary network. Join her as she presents her journey as a new land steward to realize a dream that inspires others in the community to follow suit. Apple Barn

Second Session: Saturday, July 23, 2:00-3:15 pm

Growing Woodland Botanicals at Home: Having a personal medicinal shade garden filled with black cohosh, blue cohosh, Solomon’s seal, goldenseal, and maybe even a little ginseng can be a reality. NC State University Research Associate Margaret Bloomquist will teach you how and offer a little hands-on propagation experience so you can take a plant home. Orchard Hall


Sacred Herbs of Appalachia for Home Ritual: The sacred is right underneath our feet. Despite the popular trends of importing exotic incense and rituals as spiritual pathways, the ancient crannies and hollers of Southern Appalachia have been gestating sacred herbs and practices for eons. Join Mary Ellen Lough to  look at the everyday pathways of tending the sacred in Appalachia as well as abundant wild plants to build relationships with. Expect to make and come home with a small herbal smoke bundle.  Johnson Hall I


Herbs and Spices and How to Use Them: Herbalist Brenda Huffman will provide an overview of a variety of herbs and how to use them in your everyday cooking. Each person attending the class will receive a free herbal spice jar (that they will make in class with the herbs & spices of their choice) to take home with them. Additionally, they will receive a herb & spice chart on how to use many herbs in the kitchen. Extra herb & spice jars will be available for purchase for $3.00. Johnson Hall II

Rue, Rose, and Resin with Keynote Mimi Prunella Hernandez: These herbs are sacred and revered in Latin American Folk Healing and beyond. We will explore the incense resins of Sangre del Drago (Dragon's Blood) and Copal, the protection of old world Rue herb, and the healing enchantments of Rose blossoms. Learn the ethnobotany of these healing plants, peoples, and traditions and come away with new affirmations in healing. Apple Barn


Mushroom and Plant Walk with Todd Elliott: Take a walk through the trails of Valle Crucis with Todd Elliott, author of Mushrooms of the Southeast.  Learn about the local fungi and fauna of the area. Meet outside Johnson Hall


Third Session, Saturday, July 23, 3:45-5:00 pm:

Processing Medicinal Herbs on a Small Commercial Scale: Pam and Charles Leonard of Gentle Harmony Farm will share how they process medicinal herbs on their small, certified organic farm in the piedmont of North Carolina. Orchard Hall


Herbs for Homesteaders: Whether  you’re a beginning or advanced gardener, homesteader or herbalist, there are some mainstay herbs that you can’t do without! Abby Artemisia will take what she believes to be the top herbs from her book, the Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders, and tell you why you should be growing them and how. From first aid, to spices, tea, bug repellants, and more, these herbs are essential and easy to grow. Find out how and why! Johnson Hall I


Ethnomycology: Todd Elliott dives into human relationships and associations with fungi. This course will cover food, medicines, and more. Johnson Hall II

Prickly Pear Cactus: Medicine and Food. The cactus, renowned in Mexican cuisine and culture, grows wild even in regions around North Carolina! Learn everything you ever wanted to know about how to use cactus pads and prickly pear fruits in your kitchen. Mimi Prunella Hernandez tells the story of their medicine while sharing kitchen recipes along with tips on caring for a cactus stand. Apple Barn

Woodland Photography (Plant Walk): Take a walk with photographer Charles Lybrand and learn tips and tricks to improve your photography on the trails around Valle Crucis. Meet outside Johnson Hall


First Session, Sunday, July 24, 9:00-10:15 am:

Organic Record Keeping: Running an organic medicinal herb business requires LOTS of record keeping, and Charles and Pam Leonard of Gentle Harmony Farm have worked out a system that they would like to share with you. Orchard Hall


Making Plant Vouchers: We will take pressed plants and learn how to make Identification Vouchers, including how to key out plants and how to press plants with Lorri Burra and Margaret Bloomquist. Johnson Hall I


Selling Herbs to Restaurants and Caterers: Learn the ins and outs of selling straight to the chef with Shelton Herb Farm owner Meg Shelton. She’ll share what she’s learned in her 30+ years of experience as an herb farmer here in NC. Johnson Hall II


Alchemy and Spagyrics P2: Building on the knowledge gleaned in Part 1, learn more about the Alchemical Ops for extracting medicinal components from plant matter with Alchemist James Brock. Apple Barn


Choosing Foraging Instead Plant Walk: Let's face it, gardening is a heck of a lot of work! Sometimes it seems like there's more input than output. What if you could get all your herbs from the wild, with no bed prep, seeds, weeding, or pest control? Take a walk with Abby Artemisia to see who we see growing wild that we could substitute for herbs we cultivate or buy. We'll learn plant identification skills, sustainable harvesting techniques, along with discussions on processing, storing, and medicine making. Meet outside Johnson Hall

Second Session, Sunday, July 24, 10:30-11:45 am:

Growing Medicinal Herbs on a Large Scale: Learn from Pangaea Plants founder Gabe Noard practical advice on the best herbs to grow on a large scale and how to make  income with them. Ideas based on 1-10 acres, including field requirements, varieties, and business ideas. Orchard Hall

Oils and Salves:  Lorri Burra will guide you through modern ways to make herbal oils quickly and how to turn them into salves. Johnson Hall I


Headshots for your Website: After a weekend of inspiring content, take the opportunity to have a professional headshot taken by Charles Lybrand in the beautiful scenery of Valle Crucis. Bring a prop or two from your business to personalize your photo for use on your website. Johnson Hall II


Medicinal Berries and Anthocyanins: Immerse yourself in the amazing world of medicinal berries in this colorful and engaging workshop with Mimi Prunella Hernandez. We will explore an assortment of different herbal berries and study their healing potential while learning the latest research about anthocyanins and their impressive regenerative and antioxidant properties.  Apple Barn


Weeds, Woodslore, and Useful Wild Plants Walk: Doug Elliott will lead a ramble around the area focusing on edible, medicinal and otherwise useful wild plants - their botany and folklore, as well as their traditional and contemporary uses. Meet outside Johnson Hall