Teacher Bios


Keynote Speaker

David Winston is an Herbalist and Ethnobotanist with 50 years of training in Chinese,  Western/Eclectic and Southeastern herbal traditions.  He has been in clinical practice for over 40 years and is an herbal consultant to physicians, herbalists and researchers throughout the USA, Europe and Canada.  David is the founder/director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library and the dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, a two-year training program in clinical herbal medicine. He is an internationally known lecturer and frequently teaches at medical schools, professional symposia and herb conferences.  He is the president of Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc. a manufacturer that produces herbal products that blend the art and science of the world’s great herbal traditions.

        In addition, David is a founding/professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, and he is on the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Advisory Boards.  He was a contributing author to American Herbalism, published in 1992 by Crossings Press, and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) , 2000-2018, the author of Saw Palmetto for Men & Women, Storey, 1999 and Herbal Therapeutics, Specific Indications For Herbs & Herbal Formulas, HTRL, 2014 (10th edition) and the co-author of Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief, Healing Arts Press, 2007 (the new edition will be published September 2019), and Winston and Kuhn’s Herbal Therapy and Supplements; A Scientific and Traditional Approach, Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, 2008. David has also published hundreds of articles in medical and botanical medicine journals and conference proceedings.  He is also a member of the AHPA Expert Advisory Council that created the second edition of the Botanical Safety Handbook, CRC Press, published in 2013 (3rd edition in press). 

     In 2011 David was a recipient of the  AHPA Herbal Insights award. In 2013 he received the Natural Products Association Clinicians award and was awarded a fellowship by the Irish Register of Herbalists. In 2018 he was the Mitchell visiting scholar at Bastyr University.


Feature Speaker

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


Feature Speaker

Rodney Webb is a mushroom farmer who lives on a 3 generation family farm in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. He was introduced to the healing properties of shiitake mushrooms soon after his wife’s diagnosis with stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1997. Becoming cancer free within 4 months, they became convinced that growing shiitakes would become part of their future.
Since then, he has continued to study, cultivate and forage other medicinal mushrooms including oyster, reishi, chaga, and mukitake. He has taught classes at Cooperative Extention Offices, Organic Growers School, and is on the faculty of HERBalachia - Appalachian Herb School in East Tennessee.


Feature Speaker

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  http://www.bloodandspicebush.com/.  


The Chef's Farmer/Board Member

On his family’s farm in Cleveland County, he grows heirloom produce and boutique ingredients for chefs in the Piedmont and foothills of North Carolina. Before he became a farmer, Swofford spent nearly two decades as a chef throughout the Southeast and abroad. Equipped with a wealth of experience, a deep culinary understanding and a desire to preserve traditions rooted in Appalachian culture, he continues to explore food in all of its facets; from the field to special events and his own line of artisanal products under the name Old North. His love of food extends far and wide. 


Feature Speaker

Mary Ellen Lough is a writer, wildcrafter, and poetry therapist living outside of Asheville, NC. She works for the Asheville Area Arts Council teaching poetry and creative writing to veterans with PTSD and hosts the Farmhouse Poetry Series at her beloved old house, offering eclectic circles in poetry, dreamwork, depth psychology and earth practices. She and her children grow and wildcraft plants for bio-regional smudges and sacred work which are widely used and sold in the Asheville, NC area.


Associate Professor and NC Extension Specialist

Dr. Jeanine Davis is an associate professor in Horticulture at NC State University located at a research center near Asheville.  For over 25 years, she has been researching and teaching farmers and gardeners about new crops, vegetables, and organic agriculture. Her current efforts are focused on woodland botanicals, hops, truffles, broccoli, organic tomatoes, industrial hemp, and biodynamics. She is also 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 garlic, honey, pastured beef, horses, and mini-donkeys. 


Feature Speaker

Alexander Meander is a self-proclaimed “feral homesteader” and advocate of Wild Nature. He and his partner Stacey live on land nestled in the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Here they forage and wildcraft, grow nutritious food and medicine, and raise animals for eggs and meat. They also teach classes and host community gatherings on

this land. All of this work is done with the primary goal of fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with the land that they call Ardea.


Alex is (mostly) self-taught on a wide range of topics that support human biology through ecological stewardship. This journey officially began with a four year stay in 2006 as a staff member at the Sequatchie Valley Institute, a non-profit dedicated to providing research and education on sustainable living. Alex spent 2011 at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine as

an apprentice to Coreypine Shane, after which he became a certified Holistic Herbalist with over 800 hours of study. In the winter of 2012-13, he acquired his PDC with Permaculture in Action at Earthaven Ecovillage. He teaches what he knows through various outdoor classes and hosts frequent plant walks which elucidate the importance of the natural world and demonstrate proper identification, harvesting, and preparation of wild foods and medicines.


Yoga Instructor

Katherine was introduced to yoga asana as a pre-teen with scoliosis and fell in love with yoga nidra in college. As she developed a dedicated yoga practice in the late 1990s and began teaching in 2010, she continued to be drawn to the therapeutic and spirit-led elements of the practice. Katherine's teaching style is breath-centered, adaptive, trauma-sensitive, and playful. She integrates mindfulness and her training in Ayurveda into her teaching, as her goal is to guide students into deeper connection to the subtle energy and knowledge in their own bodies.  Katherine is excited to share classes designed specifically for Wild Herb Weekend



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


Professional Photographer/Instructor

A creative powerhouse from Matthews, NC. Inspired by vintage seed packets, Vera Neumann, and Nova, Renee draws from nature. The processes of gardening and building, learning and discussing, are equally important elements she funnels into art making.  A commercial product photographer by trade, Charles enjoys his down time roaming the mountains and beaches of North Carolina photographing nature from bugs and frogs to mountains and seascapes. They make their marks on film and paper at their 1-acre permaculture homestead in Matthews, NC alongside 2 kids and array of furry, feathered, and finned animals.      


PRE-CONFERENCE and Conference

Bio: Chris comes from a green thumbed British family but has lived in the Southeast since 2012. He's a garden writer for local and national publications and is working on a book titled, In Defense of Okra, to be published by Chelsea Green. A student of permaculture, a seed saver (hoarder) and a homesteader committed to sustainable food systems. Chris works for Sow True Seed in Asheville NC, and serves on the boards of Slow Food Asheville and The Peoples Seed Project.



Kelly Holland Azzaro, RA, CCAP, CBFP, LMT: 

Kelly Holland Azzaro is a Registered Aromatherapist, Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner, Animal Aromatherapy Practitioner, Certified Bach Flower Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, Massage Cupping Specialist and Reiki Practitioner. Kelly has served NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) for over 20 years for as a NAHA District Director, NAHA Vice President and NAHA President and is the current NAHA Public Relations and Aromatherapy Journal Manager and co-editor.

Kelly has over twenty-five years of professional experience in holistic aromatherapy, massage, energy therapies and flower essence, homeopathy and herbal therapy for both people and their animal friends. Kelly has channeled all her years of hands-on practical experience and knowledge into her specialized Animal Aromatherapy Practitioner Certification Course(sm), which includes a 300+hr mentorship-based program approved by NAHA and H.A.A. (Holistic Animal Aromatherapy Association) and the CFA (Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists).

Kelly is the Founder and Director of The Holistic Animal Aromatherapy Association-‘Supporting the Holistic Healing Arts for People and Their Animal Friends.’ A presenter at live events, Kelly has spoken on the topic of animal aromatherapy and flower essences at the Natural Canine Health Symposium 2014, and NAHA’s World of Aromatherapy V (2004), VIII (2016), IX (2018) Conferences, and was a guest speaker for The 2018 Shift Network Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Summit and the 2018 Beyond Essential Oil Recipe Summit. She also was a workshop presenter at the North Carolina Herb Association 2018 Wild Herb Weekend.

Kelly’s love for writing and sharing with others can be experienced through her many article topics including aromatherapy, flower essences and animals which have been published in the following magazines and professional journals; NAHA’s Aromatherapy Journal, The International Journal for Holistic Professional Aromatherapists, Aroma Culture, Dogs Naturally, Massage Magazine, Family Circle, and Better Homes & Gardens. In conjunction to her writing, Kelly has also been interviewed on the topic of Animal Aromatherapy for multiple online blogs, publications, and webinars and podcasts.

As an educator, Kelly’s style of teaching is heart-centered with a focus on mentorship and support for the student and their individual goals. Empowering others through education is key in the student’s journey and also inspires those seeking to connect with animals to develop a deeper level of listening and awareness skills.

Kelly, and her husband, Marco, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Qigong Practitioner, have a Holistic Healing Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. To learn more, please visit our websites at www.animalaromatherapy.com and www.ashitherapy.net


Guest Chef

Keia Mastrianni is a writer, oral historian, and photographer based in Western North Carolina. Her work focuses on foodways and food culture through the stories of people and regional ingredients. She is particularly interested in the intersection between agriculture and social issues, and continues to explore these topics as Deputy Editor of Crop Stories, an independent food and farm journal focused on telling complex stories from the agricultural South.


NCHA Executive Director

Camille is the current Executive Director of the N.C. Herb Association. She will be celebrating and retiring in July 2020 -- her 20th year serving on the board of NCHA in some form of capacity. She hopes to continue the tradition of being at Wild Herb Weekend in the years to come. 


Camille resides in Hays, N.C. on her farm, To BEE SOW HAPPY Farm. where she specializes in the growing of medicinal herbs. A tid-bit is that Camille is a direct descendant of the famed herbalist Nicholas Culpeper. Camille is a certified Herbalist and  Hypnotherapist. She received her hypnotherapy certification from the only accredited school of hypnotherapy in the USA. She also received her PhD in Metaphysics ministries and minored in the studies of paranormal psychology. She is a Reiki Master and is certified to teach Shamanism. She worked as a certified Paralegal for 17 years at one of the leading law firms in the USA, specializing in Structured Finance and has written and taught classes for the herbal industry on regulations including cGMPs, DSHEA and protecting your herbal business.

She has a hypnotherapy and alternative practice with DonLin Counseling Services, in Wilkes County, and is currently studying to receive her certificate as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. When not doing work as a substance abuse counselor, you will find her going on many an adventure to marry folk in her capacity as a wedding officiant and Minister of The Embodiment of God Church. 

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