Talal Al Hamad
Talal is a Medical Herbalist with an east meets west approach, who amalgamates his training in Ayurveda and Traditional Western Herbalism. In addition to professional consultations he is also a free lance author and an educator. He offers workshops, medicinal plant walks and classes on herbal medicine. His brain child The Urban Apothecary, is a unique world class dispensary, that prides itself on offering a standard of quality “lost in time”. The Urban Apothecary offers: Professional herbal consultations, Professional formula dispensing, Herbal tinctures, Herbal Oils, Dried Herbal tea blends & more.
Robbie Hanna Anderman
Robbie Anderman has had an intimate working relationship with Trees for several decades, He has planted and tended pear, apple, plum, and nut orchards organically in his farm community and for others; worked for years at a small Tree nursery; handcrafted local woods into hundreds of musical instriuments; as a musician he recorded three music CDs (robbiehanna.com) of him playing wooden and bamboo instruments. After 38 years of research and hands-on experience as a Tree herbalist using Tree medicine for himself, friends and family, Robbie published the book, The Healing Trees: The Edible and Herbal Qualities of Northeastern Woodland Trees. Robbie’s life skills and achievements have also included co-founding in 1969 the 100-acre intentional land-based off-grid community, Morninglory Farm which is still his home; an ongoing learning/teaching/pioneering experiment in co-operative, Earth-friendly living, consensus decision-making, natural building, organic gardening and farming, and home schooling for many of the children, including his own children and grandchildren. Living lightly on, and close to, the land came by osmosis while living in a tipi in eleven various locations in North America for over fifteen months. With winter coming on in 1978, he built a ten-by-ten-foot log and Birchbark cabin, half in the ground, with a sod roof, and lived in there for three winters. Today, Robbie works with his adult son, Ethan, and his wife, Christina, in their pear and apple juice, cider, and vinegar business; shares his organic orcharding and gardening knowledge and experience with visitors; and offers Tree medicine workshops.
For most people there is an essential question in their life. This question is their beacon during times of transformation. Some would even say this question is their karma. Abrah’s question is: how can the intoxicating beauty of life co-exist with depth of despair suffering life can bring?
This question has led Abrah to work in hospice supporting the dying, train as doula to hold women in their labour, travel to all continents on this planet and spend a year in retreat in the Yukon wilderness. Abrah’s practice of herbal medicine, she has been practicing for 15 years, has nourished this question and deepened her understanding of transformation from illness to health, from despair to hope and from disconnection to connection. Her experience with plant medicine has taught her many times that a single plant is much more than a remedy of a physical illness. Plant medicine soothes physical wounds, mends broken hearts and opens minds to the wonder of life. Abrah is the author of The Herbal Apprentice: Plant Medicine and The Human Being and the Herbal Apprentice Workbook. And currently runs a herbal clinic in Ottawa, Ontario and an herbal apprentice program in the Gatineau in Quebec.
Marianne Beacon is a Registered Herbalist, in professional practice as a Clinical Herbalist since 2008 and since 2002 as a Bowen Therapist. She also practices and teaches Reiki at the Master level. Her training in these fields go back as far as the early 90’s. Nestled in the heart of Peterborough in the Charlotte Mews, Elderberry Clinic offers the opportunity for individuals to use these modalities to address their health concerns. Marianne is fully engaged in this practice,from growing and wildcrafting herbs, to making herbal products, to consulting with clients and teaching each of these modalities. In the fall of 2018 she launched Elderberry Academy, a full training opportunity in Clinical Herbal Medicine, Bowen Therapy and Reiki. Marianne approaches her practice with heart, and the breadth of decades of experience. www.elderberryclinic.ca
Penelope Beaudrow is an Herbal Educator and Registered Herbalist who earned her herbalist diploma from the Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia. She is Product Development Specialist and Herbal Educator at Faunus Herbs; which manufactures, formulates and develops complex food based supplements for the natural products industry. Penelope is also a board member of the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine, moderator at The Annual International Restorative Medicine Conference and past organizer of this conference for seventeen years. She is also the founder of The Ginkgo Tree, a small herbal business (Education, Teas & Tinctures) located on her family farm, Dogwood & Brambles, where she also facilitates The Ginkgo Tree Herbal Course. They are very proud that their family farm is designated as a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary. She has had a career with herbs for the past two decades; from “the field to bottle” in all aspects of the natural products industry. A passionate herbal educator, Penelope has lectured for The Restorative Medicine Conference, New England Herbal Conference, International Herb Symposium, Back To Your Roots Herbal Retreat, Heartwood Gathering, Canada Blooms, Toronto Botanical Gardens, Richter’s Herbs, Chippewas of Georgina and other various organizations. She also has appeared in the Toronto Star’s Gardening Column, by Sonja Day. www.theginkgotree.ca
Pierre has been running outdoor education and deep nature connection programs for over 25 years. His journey started with a Peterson Guide to Northeastern Plants and many journeys across the continent to wilderness skills gatherings and courses. He has specialised in plant based crafts as well as wild edible plants and medicines. He lives near Wakefield Quebec, and runs his own company, Rivers and Roots. riversandroots.ca and lesarterres.com
Julie will be joining us at the Heartwood Gathering this year, from the Alderville First Nation.
Alexis is a Naturalist, Tracker, Herbalist, Wilderness Skills Practitioner and Canoe Guide from Orangeville, Ontario. He currently resides in the Owen Sound area, spending his days tracking, wild-crafting and running his Outdoor School and Wilderness Canoe Tripping company, Earth Tracks. Alexis is lead guide for the wilderness canoe trips and head instructor for all the programs and classes. Along with his wife Bobbi and two children, they also run a small scale herb farm (Rebel Roots Herb Farm) which specializes in organically grown and ethically wild-crafted herbs. Alexis is committed to mentoring and teaching others the skills that help us to re-connect with the natural world in an ancient and powerful way. By learning from nature through immersion and direct experience we begin to see and more importantly ‘feel’ the inter-relation of all things in the natural world. And from here we can begin to understand the important role that we all can play in protecting and preserving the Earth for future generations. www.earthtracks.ca
Chris has been a plant based chef for 20 years. He trained under Cornelia Aihara at the Vega institute in California where he learned both traditional and contemporary Japanese culinary techniques. He has studied raw cuisine in California, and B.C., been the chef at a variety of plant based restaurants, along with running his own catering company for many years. He has trained in Indian cuisine, worked as a baker and a pastry chef in fine dining. Through studying and working with his partner, Tamara Segal, a Registered Herbalist, he has gained a passion for harvesting and preparing local wild foods. Now living on a farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario, where plant based cuisine is experiencing a renaissance, he is able to combine all of his experience with the “bounty of the county,” and create newly inspired dishes that delight the senses! Get a glimpse of his work @chefchris2112 on Instagram, and hear him hosting the “county cooks” vegetarian segment monthly on 99.3 county fm.
Suzanne Catty works for the plants She is an author, educator and licensed wholistic practitioner with over 40,000 hrs clinical practice and is internationally recognized as one of the pioneers of aromatherapy. Her popular book, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy is available in 5 languages and was the first book written on the subject. Suzanne’s extensive knowledge and unique style have made her a popular speaker and educator in the media and in person in Europe, Asia and throughout North America. She has been in full-time private practice since 1995 offering organic products for health and wellness, health consultations and education. She also offers her consultation advice to companies in the field of product development, sustainability and compliance. Volunteer activities include: Organic Trade Assoc. Personal Care Task Force; President Cannington Horticultural Society; Board of Director’s for the Green Energy Council; President and Board member of the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists (CFA); Vice-president of the National Association of Aromatherapy (NAHA). Suzanne also provides free seminars for libraries, museums and public instituions on aromatic and plant related subjects. “The sense of smell is our most powerful sense, the only one capable of transporting us into memory, emotions and even ecstasy.”
Pat Crocker is a professional Home Economist (BAA, Ryerson U., Toronto), photographer, Culinary Herbalist, and author of 22 cookbooks including The Juicing Bible, Preserving, The Healing Herbs Cookbook and her most recent books, The Herbalist’s Kitchen and Healing Cannabis Edibles. She has grown, photographed, and worked with herbs for over 4 decades. Pat has led wild herb discovery walks, taught practical courses on growing and using herbs, and she now teaches people how to cook healing foods using Cannabis.
With over 1.5 million books in print and over a dozen translated into eleven languages, Pat has been honoured twice by the International Herb Association and she received the Gertrude H. Foster award from the Herb Society of America for Excellence in Herbal Literature. Two of her books received “Best in the World” awards from the International Gourmand Culinary Guild.
Christine has a Master of Science (MSc.) degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales in the UK. She is a current Professional Member (RH) and past president of the Ontario Herbalists Association as well as a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (MNIMH) in England. Having a balance of bio-medical, traditional and energetic herbal medicine training, Christine considers herself to be an eclectic herbalist. She has a great deal of hands-on experience in the field with 20+ years seeing patients and facilitating herbal and health classes. Understanding the importance of both modern science and ancient healing systems, Christine feels that often it is best that people walk with a foot in both worlds. Living on an organic farm allows Christine the perfect opportunity for her home-based office, and giving herbal walks and talks as well as at other locations around southern Ontario. www.christinedennis.ca
Esstin is Anishinaabe Kwe member of the Mississaugi First Nation and has been studying and practicing Aboriginal Healing Methods for the past 30 Years. Through her years of study and experiential learning she has designed and facilitated “Wisdom Healing” workshops, to promote the healing benefits of Spiritual Plant Therapy. Her design includes the Medicine Wheel as a Wholistic Approach to health and healing. Through her role as a Traditional Medicine Practitioner she provides clinical consultations to various health organizations in northern and southern Ontario. Her practice for herbal medicine stems from a spiritual energetic perspective influenced by ceremonial practices and Elder Teachers.
Taylor Eveson & Remy Meyer
Taylor has always had a natural inclination towards the study of philosophy and astrology, and in the course of studying the traditional perspectives of health and nature, has become more and more aware of the importance of incorporating an understanding of traditional herbal medicine into his world view. For the last 6 years Taylor has been studying with John Redden at Viriditas Herbal Products and is a graduate of the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing with Terry Willard.
Remy is a Chef by trade and currently works for John Redden at Viriditas Herbal Products. He has been studying Traditional Herbalism with Michael Vertolli for 4+years @ the Living Earth School of Herbalism. Remy grew up in the outskirt forests of Waterloo and spent his youth exploring the suburban jungle plots. His passions include indigenous mysticism and lore, hermetic philosophy, Aikido and all methods of understanding the use of plants for medicine. Remy hopes to practice as a Clinical Herbalist in the future.
Bonita aims to inspire people, giving them tools for healthier living. She gives courses and workshops in permaculture (ecological design), Nonviolent Communication (cooperative communication), Reiki (energy work), and wellness in the garden. She has led groups around the world for over 17 years. Bonita facilitates community design projects, and does life and spiritual coaching with individuals. At the heart of her work, is the cultivation of harmony with ourselves, our communities, and Mother Earth. Bonita grows a lot of her own food and medicine. The land she calls home is on 1/5 of an acre in Perth, Ontario, which is unceded Algonquin Territory on Turtle Island. Bonita co-founded Permaculture Eastern Ontario (formerly Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario) and Transition Perth. She has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen’s University, a M.A. in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University in California, and a diploma in Permaculture from l’Université Populaire de Permaculture in France. She has co-presented at conferences at Harvard University and Trent University, and has been a guest speaker at the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, John F. Kennedy University, and Merritt College. She has contributed several articles to the Permaculture Design Magazine (formerly the Permaculture Activist). To learn more about Bonita, visit www.livinghEARTH.net
I am a herbalist of over 10 years and owner of Tincture and Tonic Apothecary located in Toronto, Canada. I have a extensive education and have studied with some of the most respected herbalists in Ontario throughout my educational years. This knowledge stretches into the esoteric practices and ritual uses of herbs as they relate to specific spiritual practices and I enjoy the thrill of seeking more knowledge, both clinical and otherwise and have a strong affinity to folklore and the use of herbs in historical texts as reference and am eager to share what I learn. http://tinctureandtonic.ca/
Monika Ghent, RH, PSMA, is a Western Traditional Herbalist and Plant Spirit Medicine Healer with a private practice in both Toronto and Maple, Ontario, Canada. Monika was blessed with the opportunity of growing up in the countryside of Southern Ontario where she spent a lot of her time in nature observing, listening, being. In her 20’s she heard the call of the plant people and began the study of herbal medicine. She started her professional practiced as a Western Traditional Herbalist in 1997. She is an advocate of being in respectful and humble relationship with the earth and all the beings that inhabit her, and so all the herbs she uses in her practice she either ethically wild harvests herself or are grown organically. As a healer, Monika has most desired to help people come to know the beauty of their uniqueness and live in their truth to its fullest expression in health and wholeness. Monika also has a school of herbalism, Living Earth School of Herbalism, with her husband, Michael Vertolli, which offers general interest workshops and online classes, and certificate and diploma programs in Western herbalism and related fields of study. www.livingearthschool.ca www.dreamingwillow.ca
Lauri Hoeg is Anishnaabe qwe and a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. She has been serving her community for the past five years on band council and holds the culture, language and education portfolios. She obtained a degree in Public Administration and Governance from Ryerson University and is a board executive with the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body who governs the largest education self-government agreement in Canada.
Lauri’s first love is art and anything that inspires her creativity. Her crafting began as a child when her mother taught her traditional beadwork that she continues to enjoy to this day. Lauri also enjoys quilting, jewelry making, ash basket making and moccasin making, and also works with pen and ink and and watercolour. Her first choice of medium is acrylics. She creates florals and Ojibway paintings that are influenced by eastern woodland and west coast First Nation art.
Lauri is a mother of three children and two spoiled dogs. She practices herbalism and forages for wild foods on the east side of Georgina Island where she lives and creates in “Eagles in the East Studio” https://www.facebook.com/LauriHoeg/
I am a Medical Herbalist graduated from the College of Phytotherapy UK in 2000. In my 18 years of clinical practice, my focus has been in Functional Endocrinology and over a decade of work in a private Menopause clinic with 5 Medical Doctors. I spent many years presenting internationally and in North America on topics including detoxification pathways, use of fresh plant juices and pharmacology of plants. More recently, I am a part of the Botanical Medicine department at the Boucher Institute for Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC. I have also taught many multi-day workshops on the topic of Functional Endocrinology, or as I refer to as the “Hormone Symphony” at the Kootenay Herb Conference and Vancouver Island Herb Gathering in BC. Prior becoming a Herbalist, I graduated with a degree in Chemistry and worked as Research Chemist in Research Companies in Ontario.
Jackie began “bio-hacking” her own life-long brain inflammation (autism) in 1976. Within 7 years, she had stopped rocking and droning, learned to tell time and navigate, and shifted brain availability from about 10% of waking hours to over 60%, enabling friendships, employment, and ever-higher degrees of social integration. And her quality of life is still getting better! For over 20 years, she’s shared the shortcuts to increasingly stabilize volatile emotions, optimize brain function, and minimize (or eliminate) pain & other costs of inflammation, and is highly motivated to spare others unnecessary despair, debility, discomfort, and disease. Her guiding principle is, “If you know things have to change, you might as well enjoy it!” www.thrivewithautism.ca
Caleb Musgrave/Kinew Nini
Caleb Musgrave is an Anishinaabe woodsman that has spent the last twenty years of his life learning from elders and woodfolk of all types. His focus is Ethnobotanical relations between the plants and his people. www.canadianbushcraft.ca
Gudrun was born and raised in Germany where she completed her post-secondary education with a M.Ed. and M. Physical Education. Since her immigration to Canada in 1981 she has focused her professional education on complementary medicine. She resides in the country near Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. Gudrun enjoys the outdoors and being close to nature either by herself, with friends and family or riding her Icelandic horse. Her deep interest in learning about other cultures and their healing traditions led her to travel to many places across the globe including India in 1974/75 where among others she was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Mother Teresa. More recently her travels have taken her to Central and South America where she has been focusing her attention on some of the traditional forms of healing. Gudrun’s commitment to the Earth and humankind prompted her to create Bach Flowers Unfolding, an innovative publication on the Bach Flower Remedies, the instructional DVD Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone, A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Herbal Preparations and two award-winning books, Healing Spirituality: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Working with Bach Flowers and Healing with Bach Flower Mandalas. She recently did a TEDx talk: Flowers that Heal Us – Plant Communication and Flower Essences. Her clients see her as a compassionate professional, mentor and friend who provides them with support on their journey to health. Leading by example, Gudrun inspires others to live their lives to their full potential. www.rainbowhealing.ca www.herbalinstructions.com www.healingspirituality.com
John Redden is a Medical Herbalist with an eclectic background.He has over forty years’ experience growing and wild crafting herbs and manufacturing remedies. As a founding member of the Ontario Herbalists Association, (OHA), he co-founded A Celebration of Herbs, Toronto’s largest herbal event. John was the editor of The Canadian Journal of Herbalism for seven years He is a hands-on teacher of numerous aspects of holistic herbal medicine. John teaches courses in Botanical Medicine at his laboratory & clinic. These courses include A Practical Herb Course, involving the planting, tending and harvesting of herbs to produce a variety of products. Medical Herbalism: Advanced Therapeutic Protocols, offering a holistic model of health and treatments for an intermediate to advanced clinically oriented understanding of herbs. John also leads herb identification walks all over Ontario for various organizations. He has worked for the Canadian government as a founding co-author for Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) document for regulating all organic farming and manufacturing in Canada, and is an Advisor for the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association (OGGA). John is recognized as a Herbal Elder of Canada by the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations for his many years of service to Herbal Medicine. https://viriditasherbalproducts.com
Andrea and Matthias Reisen
Andrea and Matthias Reisen have been community herbalist for over 30 years, co-founding Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center located in Wallace, New York. Healing Spirits Herb Farm have been producing high quality certified organic medicinal herbs both fresh and dry for shipment throughout the United States and some foreign countries. Andrea has created their our line of valued added products under the Healing Spirits label. Both are former Peace Corp volunteers in the Philippines. They have studied numerous body therapies and are certified as Zero Balancing Therapist. Andrea and Matthias had encouraged many farmers to consider herb growing and working with the land in new and different ways. Matthias works with Farmer to Farmer organizations and has volunteered for projects in Nepal, Belarus, Jamaica, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Together they have raised five children, there are three generations living on the farm. Their goal is to live and work in balance and harmony with mother nature and humankind. www.healingspiritsherbfarm.com
Tamara Segal is an herbalist, wild crafter, herb grower and medicine maker. She runs a clinic at her farm in Prince Edward County where she gathers and prepares plant medicines, teaches classes and leads plant identification walks, all under the umbrella of her company called Hawthorn Herbals. She also hosts wild food walks and meals at the farm in collaboration with her partner Chris Byrne, who is a plant based chef. With gratitude for nature’s gifts and teachings, Tamara aims to help empower people with the tools and kinship available in plant medicine so that they can take charge of their own health, and deepen their relationship with the earth. To learn more about Tamara’s work, you can visit www.hawthornherbals.com
I am Registered Clinical Herbalist, Certified Yoga Instructor and Licensed Holistic Massage Practitioner. Over the last 17 years I have cultivated a wellness business which is committed to helping people take better care of themselves. I currently offer private in-home Holistic Massage, Yoga and Clinical Herbal Medicine services in Toronto, Ontario. Herbal Medicine was my very first passion as a teenager because it gave me an excuse to spend hours outdoors, wandering about in wild spaces and learning. Over the years I have come to understand that herbalists are people drawn to the important task of preserving traditional knowledge. Knowledge which is fundamental to the survival of the human race. As medical herbalist Christopher Hedley once said, “A herbalist’s first duty is the to the earth. Everyone who becomes an herbalist does so for the love of nature.” www.urbanhealer.ca
Alex Thomson & Gina Marucci
Alex Thomson lives in the territory of the Chippewas of Mnjikaning outside the town of Orillia, Ontario. Alex has taken many courses with Earth Tracks Outdoor School, including two years with the Wild Plants Apprenticeship. She is the Co-Facilitator of the Vivian Outdoor Centre’s Nature Connection Circle (YRDSB). She has taught at Lakehead’s Orillia campus Education Faculty for ten years.
Gina Marucci is the outdoor education teacher at the Vivian Outdoor Education Centre, part of the York Region District School Board. Her passion is giving students hands-on experiential opportunities that support them in developing deeper connections to the land they live on while making links to the ON curriculum.
Tracey TieF is a Certified Natural Health Practitioner and founder of Anarres Natural Health Apothecary in Toronto. She graduated from The School of Holistic Studies, Jan Benham’s Institute of Aromatherapy, and as a Green Witch with Susun Weed. Tracey completed a Permaculture Design Certificate and Earth Activist Training with Starhawk and Charles Williams, and a Rainbow SerpentIntuitive Herbalism Apprenticeship with Julie Feddes Gaia. Tracey offers hands on Aromatherapy Certification and Apprenticeship, as well as a variety of introductory and professional level workshops in the community. She comes from the perspective that plants are our ancestors and that we need to re-skill ourselves so that botanical medicine can be part of everyone’s life in healing mind, body and spirit. http://www.anarreshealth.ca
Nicole Varney is a multidisciplinary artist telling stories of ecological consciousness through her works. She fuses herbal medicine, healing arts & storytelling into her textiles which tell elemental tales of the landscape. She works under the label Spontaneous Atelier, crafting natural healing pigments and operating a nomadic bioregional dye studio, which serves collaborative clients, community gatherings & experiential based learning. Her personal practices of vipassana meditation, ayurvedic healing & sound therapy are highly influential in her works and life.Nicole has a associates degree in Fashion Management from George Brown College, BA Fine Arts from Richmond University, Chartered Herbalist Diploma, Dominion Herbal College & Ayurveda Clinical Foundations, Dhyana Center. www.spontaneousatelier.com
Michael is a Western traditional herbalist who has been practicing since 1986. He is the founder and director of Living Earth School of Herbalism, which offers in-class and online classes and workshops and a clinical diploma program in Western herbal medicine. Michael developed Four Elements Herbal Therapy, a system of Western herbalism that integrates the physiological approach of modern European and North American traditions of herbalism within the broader holistic and spiritual paradigm of traditional earth-centred healing traditions. He has also done extensive research on medicinal herbs that are native to and naturalized in northeastern North America, many of which are no longer in common use.Michael has long been an advocate for herbs and the practice of herbalism. In the 1990s he was appointed by the federal Minister of Health as a member of the Advisory Panel on Natural Health Products and the Office of Natural Health Products Transition Team. He has served on the boards of directors of many practitioner and industry associations and is and is a past director and president of the Ontario Herbalists Association and the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations. Website: www.livingearthschool.ca Blog: michaelvertolli.blogspot.ca
Amber Westfall is an herbalist and owner of The Wild Garden. Her passion is sharing the wisdom of plants with others through herb walks, workshops and consultations. She is an instructor for the herbal certificate program at the International Academy Health Education Centre. Through her Young Herbalists’ Apprenticeship program, she connects youth to nature and healing plants. She also offers local, organically grown, ethically wildcrafted and carefully handcrafted herbal products through a monthly herbal box program.
Tiffany Wyse is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Medical Herbalist with a large family & paediatric focus. Tiffany’s role is to facilitate and augment our inherent self-healing processes by identifying & removing obstacles to health and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal & external environment. Tiffany came to Naturopathic Medicine from a primary school teaching background. She was first introduced to the concept of holism when working within a First Nations education model. Then, during a four-year sojourn teaching children and adults in Europe & Asia, she was made aware of the incredible healing power of nature, the importance of nutrition and discovered Eastern healing techniques and meditation.This awareness led her to study medical sciences upon her return to Canada, and to enrol in the Naturopathic program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). In addition to studies at CCNM, her ongoing training & interests include herbal medicine, nutrition, paediatrics & child development, women’s health, fertility, pregnancy & birth, autoimmune conditions, homeopathy, acupuncture & auricular medicine. Tiffany is a member of The College of Naturopathic Doctors of Ontario & The Ontario Herbalists Association.
Facilitators for Morning Activities
Still being finalized/updated, check back again as we update this page.
John Bacher & Paul Overy – Saturday afternoon – Walking the land through the restored Ganaraska Forest
John intensely studied the natural world since his childhood as a member of the Peninsula Field Naturalists in which he remains an active member. His concern for promoting realistic policies to protect the environment led him to author the biography of Edmund Zavitz, “Two Billion Trees and Counting.” This remains a great success story for environmental restoration in southern Ontario. This has aided municipal tree protection, massive reforestation, and more recently after his death in 1968, its safeguarding from urban sprawl through the Oak Ridges Protection Act and subsequently, the Greenbelt. John has also worked to protect the Greenbelt through his work with the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society (PALS) and the Sierra Club of Ontario.
Paul has been a student of the natural world since his studies in geography. Paul currently works as a policy analyst for the Ontario Ministry of Education, in support of environmental education in the French-language school system. He has shared his interest in the relationship between the human world and broader natural world of which it is a part through leading natural history walks with the Toronto Field Naturalists since 2016.
Lianna Vargas – Saturday afternoon – Wild Arts Hour
Lianna is a herbalist and artist whose focus has been on getting to know the local plants, connecting with Nature, and getting back to the basics in hopes to help forge a more sustainable future. She received her formal clinical training under Diane Kent’s Clinical Herbalism Program, and studied in the field with Living Earth School, where she learned to identify and harvest wild plants, and connect with them on a deep level. Lianna continually seeks to deepen her understanding of working with plants through engagement with the natural world. She has many interests and skills she has been developing alongside her training in herbal medicine such as wildlife tracking, organic gardening and traditional crafting methods. She also does websites and renovations! www.growingwild.ca
Wild Foragers Society – Becky Lamb & Lee Earl
The Wild Foragers Society has been cultivating the plant curious since 2013. Co-founded and facilitated by Lee Earl & Rebecca Lamb, the WFS hosts free monthly ‘frolics’ in the urban jungle of Toronto or the rural landscapes of Prince Edward County. Lee brings a wealth of knowledge with her background in biology, outdoor/nature-based education, and mad tracking skills – she is easily distracted by birds. Rebecca brings experience in community development, horticulture/urban agriculture, and adult education – she is always trying new wild food recipes. As plant enthusiasts – not experts – Lee and Rebecca strive to connect people with nature by creating a safe space for the community to share their knowledge, experiences, and questions around wild food.