Our Speakers



Are you passionate about nature, plants, and healing and interested in speaking at the Botanica Festival? We’d love to hear from you.


Erin Smith

Erin Smith is a clinical herbalist and ethnobotanist and has been studying medicinal plants for over 25 years. Bringing together her passion for plants and cultures, she received her MSc in Ethnobotany with distinction from the University of Kent in Canterbury, where her thesis focused on women’s knowledge of traditional medicine in Morocco. For ten years she worked internationally with indigenous communities on various issues surrounding traditional medicine, natural resource management, community-based conservation, and traditional knowledge. She was Head Researcher for a joint project with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and Wageningen University in Netherlands on a project that explored livelihoods, female-headed households and the use of plant resources in Tigray, Ethiopia.  She worked with Global Diversity Foundation in the UK and Morocco and is the former Managing Director of Global Diversity Foundation – North America. She was an independent consultant and worked internationally on diverse projects and for diverse organizations, including The Organic Center and Global Initiative for the Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health and is currently Education and Sustainability Manager for WishGarden Herbs. She has taught internationally on herbal medicine, ethnobotany, and the human/nature relationship for over ten years and has spent more than twelve years living and working abroad in more than twenty countries. She is the creator of Plant-Passionate Living™, an interactive program designed to help people find greater health and vitality through a deeper relationship with plants.


Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with almost fifty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, and The School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Arise, Envision and Unify Festivals, and The Mayo Clinic. She blogs for the Huffington Post and Care2. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild.  Brigitte is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Home Reference to Holistic Health and HealingThe Country Almanac of Home RemediesThe Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal TeasRawsome! and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. DVDs include Sacred Psychoactive, Herbal Wizardry for Kids of all AgesNatural Remedies for Childhood Ailments, Overcoming Addictions, and Natural Remedies for Emotional Health. Her latest project is a phone app called iPlant. Brigitte and her daughter, Sunflower Sparkle Mars run Herb Camp for Kids in Boulder, Colorado. Brigitte’s other daughter is world famous activist/yogini-actress/ international model, Rainbeau Mars. Please check out www.brigittemars.com.


Mindy Green

Mindy Green has founded and owned several herb and essential oil businesses focusing on botanical therapies, aromatherapy education, skin care and product development.  She is a nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and esthetician, and served as committee chair for botanicals in cosmetics for the American Herbal Products Association. She has worked in the Integrative Resource Center of the Anschutes Cancer Center at the University of Colorado Hospital, co-led a botanical expedition to the Amazon for the American Botanical Council of Austin, TX and lectured in the south of France.  Mindy teaches clinical aromatherapy to medical professionals at the Center for Integrative Medicine (U AZ.) and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (CA), She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, U MN, and Metropolitan State University, Denver.  A prolific writer and international lecturer, she has authored several books and over 65 magazine articles on herbs essential oils, healthy lifestyle and holistic skin care. Mindy studied the advanced uses of essential oils at Purdue University, and has worked in the botanical research division of R&D as Clinical Aromatherapist for the Aveda Corporation. She is a long-time environmental activist and served two terms on board of the non-profit United Plant Savers; she thrives by constant learning and teaching. You can learn more about Mindy at her website  www.greenscentsations.com.


Ian Sanderson

A member of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, Ian hails from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Ian has been involved in Outdoor and Experiential Education for 15 years, working for various organizations including the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, the Santa Fe Mountain Center’s Native American Emergence Program, the Denver Indian Center, the Environmental Center at CU Boulder, and Naropa University.  Currently, Ian is devoted to providing facilitation, education, and training through custom programs that inspire reconnection to self, community, and the rest of the natural world by utilizing the convergences in Indigenous, Eastern, and Western traditions as a means to realize empowered personal development and socio-ecological change. When he’s not fretting about how the term “Decolonization” can arise into the common vernacular, he can be found doing the following, sometimes simultaneously: Trying to figure out the urban homesteading thing with his partner Rachel Balkcom, honing his skills in the woods, building something, cooking something, or at the Boulder Quest Center, where he teaches and trains in the martial art of To Shin Do ninjutsu.


Tammi Hartung

Tammi Hartung is an herbalist and organic farmer of more than 38 years. She and her husband, Chris, own Desert Canyon Farm in Canon City, CO where they grow more than 1800 varieties of certified organic plants. Tammi speaks internationally and is the author of four books, including Homegrown Herbsand her new book Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine. She blogs at desertcanyonfarm.wordpress.com

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Cat Pantaleo

Cat Pantaleo, a Certified Clinical Herbalist, Nutritionist, Forest Therapy Guide, has been a practicing Integrative Health Practitioner and Wellness Educator for 18 years, and has joyfully served as faculty at several Colorado vocational schools in the Boulder/Denver area, offers Holistic Health Consultations/Counseling, Field and Classroom Education, and Nature Connection experiences for adults and youth. Through her many years as a holistic practitioner, educator, amateur naturalist and field botanist, she has learned that true health and vitality is possible with a combination of wellness practices, including: compassionate connection with oneself and others, mindful time in nature, optimal nutrition, community, and plant medicine.  She skillfully weaves these aspects into her practice and teaching with the intention of empowering people to create optimal wellness and beauty for themselves and their communities.  In alignment with her passion, values and expertise, her current focus includes a combination of strategies that facilitate resilience, restoration, deep nourishment, cultivating inner peace and bridging the gap between the human and more-than-human worlds.

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Rebecca Schwendler

Dr. Rebecca Schwendler is a professional archaeologist, amateur Celtophile, and lover of things old, wild, and botanical. She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology/archaeology at the University of New Mexico in 2004, studying personal adornment and social competition of Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in western Europe. Subsequently she learned to make mead from a graduate school friend while helping him with an archaeology project in Albuquerque, New Mexico more than ten years ago. If she had not gone into archaeology she probably would have built a career in ethnobotany so she was immediately drawn to mead making. Becoming intoxicated by mead’s taste, connection to the ancient Celts, ease of creation, and mutability, she has experimented with different botanically-based flavors since then. After moving to Colorado in late 2007 and spending over three years working for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, getting fired up about more recent history, in 2012 she became a principal investigator and project manager for a Denver archaeological consulting firm. The following year she fulfilled a childhood dream by adopting a formerly wild mustang, which led her to Three Leaf Farm.


Wendy “Butter” Petty

Butter is a wandering weed lover, wild foods consultant, and worshipper at the altar of tasty treats. For her, foraging is the sweet spot where spending time outside in her beloved Rocky Mountains intersects with good eats. She is the author of the popular wild foods blog, Hunger and Thirst and a contribute to Zester Daily. She frequently consults with local chefs on how to incorporate wild foods in their menus.

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Rebecca Luna

Rebecca Luna is an herbalist and the proprietor of Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply, a bustling retail store with attached production and classroom space. Rebecca has been steeped in herbalism since the early 1990s, having worked as a community herbalist, post-partum doula and botanical medicine-making teacher. She opened the apothecary in 2004, with the aim of connecting the community with botanical medicine and providing a thriving work environment for herbalists.

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Faith Rodgers

Faith is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and owner of the Little Herbal Apothecary in Lafayette. Little Herbal Apothecary is a community herb shop offering a wide range of herbs, oils, teas and handcrafted skincare products. As an herbalist, Faith’s biggest passion is botanical skincare. She has spent years formulating and developing her own techniques to create natural, botanically-infused skincare products. Faith loves empowering people to create their own herbal products at home and has been teaching medicine making workshops in the boulder area for over 10 years. You can learn more about Faith, find great recipes on her blog, browse her shop, or check out her upcoming workshop schedule at thelittleherbal.com.

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Sara Stewart Martinelli

Sara Martinelli is an herbalist and professional tea blender.  She  graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991 with a degree in Anthropology, with emphasis on nutrition and the culture of food around the world.   Learning about how different foods become integral in the development of society, religion, and culture led Sara to explore the historic uses of herbs and their folkloric meanings.  After university, Sara graduated from The Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder, Colorado. Sara, with her husband Lenny, also owns a number of Boulder area restaurants, including the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, The Chautauqua Dining Hall, The Huckleberry, and Zucca.  Sara also owns Three Leaf Farm, a small organic farm on which they grow produce for their restaurants, as well as many medicinal and magical herbs.  In 2013 Three Leaf Farm was bestowed the designation of a Botanical Sanctuary by the United Plant Savers due to their efforts to cultivate at-risk and endangered  species of medicinal plants as well as offering education opportunities through workshops, internships, and events. Sara has also created a Three Leaf Farm line of herbal products for both animals and humans. Sara teaches numerous workshops on both medicinal and spiritual uses of herbs throughout the year, and has written many published articles about herbal health and wellness.

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Michael Heim

Michael is the founder of Enso Farm & Forage. He has lead forays for the Denver Botanic Gardens, Center for Integrative Botanical Studies, & the Boulder Living Arts School. He was even so fortunate to take a group of chefs from all over the United States on a culinary foray on behalf of the 2014 annual Chef’s Collaborative Summit. That same year he was invited to present at the annual Bioneers Conference at CU Boulder exploring the exciting topic of myco-remediation & what possibilities fungi has to offer for building soil integrity & it’s overall importance to successful ecosystems. In 2014 he produced and facilitated a 2-day medicinal mushroom workshop with Robert Rogers, author of The Fungal Pharmacy and revered herbalist based in Alberta Canada. In 2015 Michael studied lab technique and mushroom cultivation under Dr. Daniel Tura at Aloha Medicinals in Carson City, NV. He has taught mushroom cultivation classes for Boulder High Country Mushrooms, The Growhaus, & Cow Town Grangers. 2016 was his busiest year to date; leading identification workshops for the Denver Botanic Gardens, The Living Arts School, Hatch Lab, the Walking Mountain Science Center based in Avon, Colorado, & Swedish based Fjallraven Outdoor Gear.  If that isn’t enough, Michael has worked in the culinary field for over 16 years with many years of experience working with wild mushrooms in that context. He is a proud member of the Colorado Mycological Society.

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Phylleri Ball

Phylleri is a fiber artist with a passion for natural dyeing and farm-raised wool and Mohair. Her love of plant medicine began in 1979, when studying with Rosemary Gladstar at the California School of Herbal Studies. Phylleri and her family moved to Pennsylvania in 1998 and established Steam Valley Fiber Farm, where they sustainably raised 100 head of Border Leicester Sheep, Colored Angora Goats and Nubian Goats for 17 years. Their livestock were raised organically, with botanical and homeopathic medicine for herd health care. Phylleri’s fiber arts skills include, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crocheting and felting. In 2014, Phylleri and her husband, Dr. Gregory Pais, N.D., sold their farm and moved their dairy herd to the mountains near Nederland to live with their two sons. Phylleri’s Colorado business, Three Sisters Weaving, reflects the strong sisterly influence and support of her two sisters who also are weavers. The long hours once spent farming are now dedicated to making goat cheese, high elevation gardening, weaving, dyeing and playing Celtic music.

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Ann Drucker

Ann Drucker has taught shamanic and herbal healing traditions for over twenty-five years. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and is well known for her joyful, dynamic, experiential teaching style. Ann honors her children and her teachers: Miss Beatrice Waight, Susun Weed, Sandra Ingerman, and Maureen Murphy, and gives thanks for their heart-centered, timeless wisdom. Ann has a thriving private practice in Boulder, Colorado. These healing sessions may include soul retrieval ceremonies, shamanic body work, uterine massage, herbal steams, healing remedies, plant brushings, shamanic journeys, Maya healing traditions and more.

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Astrid Grove 

Astrid Grove celebrates life with her husband, her two daughters, her two cats and her many chickens. She is a community midwife, Maya abdominal therapist and herbalist.  She has close to 20 years of experience serving her community.  She finds great joy in supporting women and families to find optimal health as well as to access their own deep intuitive knowing. She loves witnessing people become parents and babies being welcomed onto the earth through a gentle birth.

Please visit her website at www.astridgrove.com to learn more about her offerings. Astrid also organizes and produces the mountain west's own annual women's herbal gathering held in Boulder, CO September 13-15th, 2019. To learn more, go to www.redearthherbalgathering.com

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Malia Thompson

Malia’s interest in foods and herbs as medicinals developed during her college days in Durango, Colorado. Malia loves learning about the many healing uses for foods, herbs and spices commonly found in most kitchens. She received her training in the Vitalist tradition of western herbalism at the Colorado School for Clinical Herbalism in Boulder, Colorado and hold Certificates in Clinical Nutrition and Clinical Herbalism. Growing her own herbs to make formulations and products is a very important part of her herbalist process. Malia’s other creative outlets include making art, sneaky healthy cooking (“kick-a** drumsticks” to name one), plant identification and admiration, medicine making, hikes in the mountains, and taking photos of flowers, bugs and anything interesting. Learn more at www.alatebloomer.net.

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Kate Miller

Kate is a bioregional community herbalist, Permaculture Design Teacher, & herb grower. She is passionate about and teaches on various topics including Dry-land Herb Farming, Biodynamic & Regenerative Soil Stewardship, Mountain Ecology, & Ethical Wildcrafting. She is a Certified Herbalist from the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Lafayette. Kate began studying alternative medicine, herbalism, and nutrition over 15 years ago, after spending much of her life dealing with chronic illnesses. Based in Nederland, Colorado, Kate owns and manages the artisan herbal apothecary Alpine Botanicals. In addition to offering an assortment of house-made herbal & body care, her store stocks local herbal artisan brands from around Colorado specializing in beyond organic and ethically crafted products. Integrated within the scope of the retail apothecary is a community healing clinic that rents to local holistic practitioners, an attached 900 square foot forest garden greenhouse & plant shop, and an herbal production kitchen & classroom. Find out more at www.alpinebotanicals.com and keep up to date by following Alpine Botanicals on Facebook and Instagram.

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Laura Elvira Clemmons 

Laura is a certified herbalist and graduate of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. She studied under Dr. Gu Ding in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Shen Nong Center in Philadelphia, PA, the Mayan Traditional Healing Practices and Uterine Care with Ms. Beatrice Waight, Belize, and Ann Drucker Boulder, CO. She held apprenticeships with Linda White Dove in herbal medicine, Claudia Rosewolf in traditional North American indigenous healing practices, and Pei Fen Yan in Chinese Medicine in Boulder, Colorado. Laura also studied Shamanic Journeying with Chris Davidson at the Ancient ways Shamanic Training in Nederland, CO.

Laura comes from a strong lineage of Italian healers, known as the Strega. Reclaiming that name, Laura named her business Strega Gardens to honor the women in her family that held the role of the herbalist and healer. She has practiced herbalism for 17 years and prefers to grow or wildcraft most of the herbs used, as well as make her own tinctures, tea blends, glycerites, oils, and any other concoctions that are needed. Laura focuses on women’s reproductive health and childhood wellness. Her work attends to physical, psychological and spiritual issues, knowing that these systems are intertwined and inseparable.

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Amanda Scott

Amanda is owner of 63rd St Farm in Boulder.

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Tess Whitehurst 

Tess believes life is magical. She teaches magical arts in live workshops, and via her online learning hub, The Good Vibe Tribe School of Magical Arts. An award-winning author, she has written eight books, which have been translated into 18 languages. She has appeared on Bravo, NBC, and FOX, and has been featured in Writer's Digest and Spirit and Destiny magazine.

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Ian Capps

As Head Cidermaker since October 2015, Ian is charged with turning all the juice into all the cider. Hailing from Grand Junction, Colorado, and now a long-time Denver resident, Ian’s extensive and unique background in brewing, cider making, and distilling aligns beautifully with the traditional cider making processes we know and love. Having once made booze from a few ingredients in a trash bag while deployed on a U.S. submarine deep in the Persian Gulf, experimentation and trying crazy new things is what makes Ian’s cider making game best in class. When he’s not making cider, you’ll find him out on his bike, at a soccer match or enjoying some family time.


Amber Graziano

Amber is a community herbalist & nutritionist trained in a clinical setting at NAIMH. She is a teacher, writer, lover of plants and General Manager of Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary in Boulder, Colorado. She also works with a collective of herbalists called Vital Alliance. Her herbal practice reflects her enthusiasm for helping people take charge of their own health and well-being through nutrition, lifestyle changes, plant spirit medicine, flower essences and aromatherapy. You can find her teaching classes throughout Colorado on a variety of interests including Mineral Make Up, Herbal Bitters & Cocktails, Introductory Herbalism & Medicine Making, Herbal Hair Care, Medicinal Mushrooms, Botanical Body Care and more.


Feather Jones

Feather is a  practicing herbalist in Western Herbal Medicine and integrates herbal remedies, holistic nutrition, flower essences and stress reduction guidance.  Her 35+ year career in teaching herbal medicine and clinical practice, coupled with a background in Native American (Mandan) tribal teachings, provides her clients and students with a synergistic approach to health and healing.

She is a Botanical Field Guide at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and has served twice on the Board of Directors for the American Herbalists Guild.  She holds a certificate from the Santa Fe College of Natural Medicine as Clinical Herbalist from 1982.  Feather is an herbal consultant for the natural products industry and has an ongoing year-long herbal apprenticeship program.  

Living in Sedona, Feather is inspired by the red rocks and energy centers on the land.  A desert woman at heart, she spends many hours on the trails.  She owns and lovingly creates the organic herbal formulas for Sedona Tea Blends that provide a wellness tea for body, mind and spirit.