Upcoming Events

Jan 26 2018

AIMS Orchard Pruning Party

Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (AIMS)

From the Facebook Event: See following link for further info https://www.facebook.com/events/177799886163967/

Have you ever been curious about the art & science of pruning fruit trees? Come on out to the Appalachian Insitute for Mountain Studies (AIMS) and join ethnobotanist orchardists Jim Veteto and Marc Williams in this hands-on pruning workshop in the AIMS JR Dawkins Appalachian Hierloom Apple Orchard. If yoiu are an experienced pruner, please come out so we can pair you with those with less experience. If you are inexperienced, come and learn. This will help increase tree health & apple production for our free community apple pressing days in the summer & fall. To conclude, we will sample a fermented beverage made directly from the orchard, offer some to the apple spirits, join hands around the largest tree in the orchard and recite and ancient poem or two, while participating in the ancient English tradition of Wassailing! the tree in order to promote good health & harvest for the orchard during the upcoming growing season.

120 Prairie Sky Lane, Burnsville, NC 28714

Time: 12 - 5 p.m.
Fee: By donation

Jan 27 2018

Winter Tree ID

NC Arboretum in Bent Creek

Trees take on a whole new dimension in winter. This is particularly true for deciduous species. Identifying and observing trees in winter can be a fun and rewarding activity. In this class, students will view trees in the landscape and woodland and learn to identify them based on silhouette, bark, twigs and other characteristics. Participants will receive the booklet “Winter Tree Finder.” This class fulfills a core requirement for the Blue Ridge Naturalist Certificate.

Go to the following link to register


Time: 1 - 4 p.m.
Fee: Variable pricing

Jan 28 2018

Supernatural Sodas Magical Meads and Local Liqueurs

Villagers in West Asheville

Just in time to make something special for Valentine's Day! Learn or further explore the ancient art of beverage fermentation. We will discuss everything from sodas for the children to magical health supportive formulations and loving libations for your sweetie and friends. The class will include handouts, tastings, snacks and some demonstration beverage crafting too!

278 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806


Go to the following link to register



Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 - 50 Sliding Scale

Feb 04 2018

Imbolc Introduction to Mead Making

Folklore in Boone

Come join us as world renowned Ethnobotanist, Marc Williams, teaches traditional honey mead making using herbal ingredients that honor and celebrate the Imbolc passage of year. Marc has been teaching botany, wild edible lore, and about the many uses and traditions of the rich abundance of the plants around us for many years. His passion of the plant nations comes thru to his pupils in a powerful way that instills a reverance and overall connection to the wild. We are thrilled he is coming as we also celebrate Imbolc, the half way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This is a powerful point in the year that has been an important guidepost for farmers and medicine makers for centuries. Feb. 4th from 3pm to 6pm. There is a $20 to $40 sliding scale on this workshop.

See more information at the following Facebook link


Folklore is located at 2208 US Hwy 421 N, Ste.1, Boone NC 28607

Time: 3p.m. - 6p.m.
Fee: $20 - 40 Sliding Scale

Feb 08 2018
Feb 11 2018

Florida Earthskills Gathering

Little Orange Creek Nature Preserve

From the website. http://www.floridaearthskills.org/

With more than 70 instructors sharing skills for adults, teens and kids, plus morning and evening programming, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! The Florida Earthskills Gathering is a unique blend of enthusiasts who bring abundant skills and a great spirit of co-creation to this homespun gathering. By gathering here, we acknowledge that the time is ripe for modern, “civilized” humans to become more ecologically aware, to reclaim the true meaning of sustainability, and to help grow a culture of thriving which can only be achieved by living in symbiosis with each other and with our beloved Earth.

My classes are below

2/8/2017 (Thursday) Afternoon Florida Woody Ethnobotany
Spend a class learning about trees and shrubs. We will go for a plant walk to learn how to identify a woody plant by the leaves, bark and other characteristics. Common and obscure uses for woody plants of the Floridian flora that may support overall health, well-being and sustenance will also be discussed.
2/9/2017 (Friday) Afternoon Plant Family Patterns: The Key to See
Plant Family Patterns can greatly aid in demystifying the “green wall” of species around us. Approximately 300,000 species of flowering plants are known to global science. These species have been grouped into around 15,000 genera and over 400 flowering plant families. About 200 flowering plant families grow in the temperate world where it annually frosts and or freezes including all but extreme southern Florida. You will know something significant about the majority of plants that you see in the temperate world if you learn the top 30 families around you. It is often possible to guess whether a plant is edible, medicinal, or poisonous simply by the family it occupies. However, some exceptions are important to know as well. We will engage in a walk and talk around the Little Orange Creek park where we will delve into the major plant families of the Southern USA. Students will reinforce plant identification skills by observing family patterns such as leaf, flower and fruit types. Uses including edibility, medicinality, craft, wildlife promotion and landscape beauty will be discussed. Participants will gain a more holistic understanding of the major plants comprising the Southern US flora and their potential ecological and ethnobotanical applications.
2/10/2017 (Saturday) Afternoon

Challenges and Opportunities with Exotic Invasive Plants

We will focus in this class on plant family patterns and what they indicate regarding identification and ethnobotanical application of exotic invasive plants for food, medicine and beauty. A review of the ethnobotanical literature helps underpin the opportunities to employ these plants and effectively make use of a problem by turning it into a resource. We will take a walk and pursue an in depth look at some of the prime species of plants occurring on the Little Orange Creek Nature center property

Fee: Variable pricing

Feb 14 2018

Food as Medicine

Nokomis, FL Community Center

Food as medicine is a concept that is rooted in the healing systems of Ancient Greece, China, India, and others. It is well known that various compounds such as antioxidants and bitters are helpful in promoting overall health and well-being. Classes of plants, such as adaptogens, make up a large part of the current superfood trends in our society. Marc Williams will present an overview of plants located in the subtropical and tropical realms around Florida that represent prime examples of how food can be medicine, as well as some fascinating stories of how these plants and humans have interacted over time.

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm at the
Nokomis Community Center 234 East Nippino Trail Nokomis, FL 34275

Enjoy monthly guest lectures on tropical fruit, vegetables and related topics, a free tasting table, plant and seed  exchange while enjoying the fellowship of new friends with similar interests.

Time: 6:30 P.M.

Feb 16 2018

Poisonous Plants of Paradise

Naples Botanical Garden

Florida is home to over 4,000 species of plants. Some of them are beautiful, but deadly if ingested. In this program, you’ll learn what plants to look out for specifically and what patterns to pay attention to even if you are uncertain about a plant’s identity. We will also discuss how some plants that are very toxic are used in crafts and jewelry. Plants that can cause rashes and other discomforts will also be covered. This class is important for anyone who loves to explore nature and especially for those who have small children.

Go to the following link for more information and to register


Time: 2 p.m. - 4p.m.
Fee: $15 - 20

Feb 18 2018

Ethnobotany Walk

Ft. King National Historic Landmark outside Ocala, FL

Spend this class learning about trees and shrubs from ethnobiologist Marc Williams. We will go for a plant walk to learn how to identify a woody plant by the leaves, bark and other characteristics. Common and obscure uses for woody plants of the Floridian flora that may support overall health, well-being and sustenance will also be discussed. This program is free and open to the public.

3925 E Fort King St. Ocala, Florida 34470

Time: 2 p.m. - 4p.m.
Fee: Free

Feb 23 2018
Feb 25 2018

Florida Herbal Conference

Camp Lallanada near Lake Walkes, FL


Spend a class learning about trees and shrubs. We will go for a plant walk to learn how to identify a woody plant by the leaves, bark and other characteristics. Common and obscure uses for woody plants of the Floridian flora that may support overall health, well-being and sustenance will also be discussed.


Plants and Healers International is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to continuing the work of ethnobotanist and humanitarian Frank Cook. The main mission is to foster the further development of society in harmony with the natural world. Frank took numerous trips to Florida as part of his prolific travels around the world. We will explore the resources that are available through PHI to help interested parties learn more about the healing plants and people of Florida as well as places like Jamaica, Latin America, South Africa, India, Nepal, North America and beyond.

BOTANY BASICS: An Intensive ($40 additional fee)

Our botany intensive will focus on the families of plants found commonly in Florida. We will cover the differences in how plants look regarding leaves, flowers, fruits and other parts and how this may help in proper identification. The way plants are classified based on these features and more recently DNA will be discussed relative to how they are referred to scientifically. We will also look at the best book and web resources for the exploration of botany on the peninsula. The class will feature a powerpoint covering the major characteristics of botany in general and then we will examine various forms of plant material to further emphasize the lessons learned.

See more at the following link


2819 Tiger Lake Rd, Lake Wales, FL

Fee: Variable pricing

May 11 2018
May 13 2018

LEAF Festival

Lake Eden at Camp Rockmount outside Black Mountain, NC

LEAF is one of my all time favorite festivals! Great music, food, poetry slams, zip lines, drum circles, contra dancing, healing arts, Earth skills and general all around great group of people to share it with! i will be leading a Wildflower Plant Walk on Saturday for an hour and honoring the legacy of Frank Cook who passed away almost 9 years ago.


Fee: Variable pricing

May 25 2018
May 28 2018

Wild Crafting and Medicine Making Intensive

From the website...


Do you want to take the power of healing into your own hands?  Are you skeptical of conventional Western medicine and pharmaceutical drugs?  Do you want to learn to recognize and work with plant allies?  Are you drawn to wildcrafting, but feel intimidated?  This is the class for you!  It’s an herbal medicine training that will empower you to identify and utilize plants — both wild and cultivated — for healing and vitality.   

Join our inspired and experienced team of herbalists, artesans, and ethnobotanists for this 4-day intensive.  You will leave with a basket full of homemade medicines (made by you!), plus the knowledge of how to make more — from plants growing all around you.  

i will be teaching about botany and making pesto from 2 - 5:30 on 5/25

Fee: Variable Pricing

Jun 23 2018
Jul 14 2018

Rainbow Gathering

Southern Appalachia

The Rainbow Gathering is in some National Forest in a different state each year. The location this year will be somewhere in New England but the exact site is still to be announced. The actual location will be on the welcomehome website by mid June. Rainbow is certainly the most economical opportunity to learn plants in a deep way…All classes at Rainbow cost no money and there are of ton of different opportunities…We walk and talk about plants everyday and try to identify whatever we see. i will be there roughly from around 6/30-7/7

See more at the website link https://www.welcomehome.org/main.html

Fee: Priceless and by Donation

Sep 28 2018
Sep 30 2018

Sharing Nature's Abundance

Sunnybank Inn at Hot Springs, NC

Come join Marc Williams and others at the historical Sunny Bank Inn located in Hot Springs, NC. This will be a learning opportunity in the tradition of Frank Cook who taught thousands of people how to enjoy the abundance of nature all around us. Our experience will begin with a dinner, greet, meet and orientation on Friday night. Saturday we will hike to a number of choice spots for foraging around the area while preparing and eating what we find through the day. After dinner Saturday we will head for a nice hot soak at the famous hot springs. Sunday we will do a review of what we have learned as well as a discussion of how to cement the knowledge and pursue further study. This is a great way to immerse oneself in the art of foraging while also enjoying a marvelous locale and the fellowship of good people.

Cost is $250 all inclusive of 2 nights at Sunnybank, 6 meals and a soak in the springs

Arrangements are available for day students and camping potentially as well…


Fee: $250

Oct 12 2018
Oct 14 2018

Ethnobiology Playshop

Hostel in the Forest outside of Brunswick, GA

Ethnobiology Playshop Extravaganza

This educational opportunity brings great knowledge and excitement to the Hostel in the Forest. Marc and Mycol return to one of their favorite classrooms with practical ecological identification of plants and mushrooms, as well as permaculture and fermentation techniques. We will share in the fresh local bounty, eating and drinking deliciously all the while elevating our collective wisdom around the wonder of biology!

Presentations will include:

Botany/Mycology 101 presentation, Wild Foods/Medicines walk, Super Food preparation presentation, Botanical beach/estuary Walk, Fermentation Overview with Honey Mead Making and a Permaculture Ecological restoration talk. Botanical slide shows of various parts of the world including Latin America, Africa and Europe are also possible given interest.

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Teachings will begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

Mycol Stevens has a Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology and worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL from 2004-2014. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook and Robert Hunsucker. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to eat your food as medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol hosts (Willing Workers On Organic Farms, (WWOOFers) at his Finca. Contact him if you are interested in visiting. He also is the host of the annual mushroom teaching in July on the Finca. https://www.facebook.com/FincaMycol

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied plants intensively while learning to use them for food, medicine, biological conservation, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous lives of plants and their respective uses. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. Marc first came to the Hostel in the Forest in March of 1998 and was immediately transformed through a first time sweat lodge experience with Tom Dennard the hostel founder. Like Mycol many of the principles that make the Hostel in the Forest such a special place have informed his expression of life in this world ever since. Further info can be found at www.botanyeveryday.com where an online botany class in the tradition of Frank Cook is conducted by donation.


COST:  $200 per person which includes accommodations at the Hostel for Friday and Saturday night as well as a basic breakfast porridge, potluck lunches and beautiful vegetarian dinner on both nights. Please bring a food item or two you would like to share. Worktrade may be available for interested participants with limited funds. Write to marc@botanyeveryday.com with stated need and proposal.


BRING: Your notebook, any relevant books you have, a camera, a loupe (portable magnifying glass) if you have one, water bottle, rain coat etc. Handouts will be provided. 

To register contact by phone or the following website Phone: 912-264-9738 http://www.foresthostel.com/

Fee: $200