FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/20/2019
Contact: Michelle Bouton
ERWIN, Tn. – The first ever Sassafrass Moon Herbal Festival will be held on Saturday, September 7th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Unicoi County Library, 201 Nolichucky Avenue, Erwin TN, 37650. The event is free and open to the public.
To honor the herbal traditions of Appalachia, native plants will be available for sale and attendees can visit a wide variety of vendors including herbal soap makers, tea blenders, artisans and more. Free presentations on topics related to herb growing and the environmental stewardship of at-risk plants will be offered by local residents and industry experts: Joe Hollis, Mountain Gardens; Jeannie Dunn, Red Moon Herbs and Chester Crain, ginseng specialist.
The Unicoi County area is long known as a cradle of herbalism in the United States due to its extensive biodiversity, which rivals that of the Amazon. Local Appalachian ‘root diggers’ provided approximately 75% of the crude herbs for medicine trade in the United States in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Michelle Bouton, HERBalachia Founder explains, “The idea for this festival began as a vision to restore and preserve the herbal traditions and plants in Southern Appalachia. With grant support from Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Central Appalachian Network (CAN), the festival can be offered for free and will allow people to come together and learn more about growing, harvesting and using native herbs.”
HERBalachia, the first herbal training school in east Tennessee, has connected herbalists, growers and educators by promoting safe usage of herbs since 2016. With a faculty of 13 professionals, their community-based education balances traditional Appalachian herbal wisdom with modern evidence-based scientific knowledge. Now it its fourth year, HERBalachia offers classes such as plant ID walks held in fields and woods, as well as hands-on medicine making classes designed to teach students to create their own home apothecary of tinctures, teas, salves, lotions and syrups. To meet increasing demand from local medical providers, HERBalachia has partnered with ETSU College of Nursing to offer Continuing Education Credits for their Advanced Herbals series of classes. To learn more, go to: herbalachia.com or visit @herbalachia on facebook.