My Favorite Conference Is Coming Up – Wild Herb Weekend!

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View of Valle Crucis

Viewing a rainbow from the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Photo from the NC Herb Association.

6/22/2023 – Every summer I look forward to attending the annual NC Herb Association’s conference at the beautiful and historic Valle Crucis Conference Center near Banner Elk, NC. This is a small, intimate conference where you have plenty of time to visit one on one with the speakers and other attendees. The dates are Friday afternoon on July 21 through lunch on Sunday, July 23. Our keynote speaker this year is Justin Robinson, a North Carolina ethnobotanist, chef, and musician. He will also be leading a plant walk, and hopefully, participating in the musical entertainment on Saturday night. We also welcome back Doug and Todd Elliott. Doug is an herbalist, author, storyteller, and musician. His son Todd is an authority on wild mushrooms, particularly native truffles, and also a musician and storyteller. There will be a whole track devoted to commercial grower interests including how to grow ginger and turmeric, running a lavender business, growing and propagating woodland botanicals, and starting a herbal farmer’s market business. Chris Smith, of the Utopian Seed Project, will share his knowledge on traditional Southern vegetables. There are many more classes, yoga, a wild foods dinner, vendors, and big porches with rocking chairs to relax on.

Rocking charis on a porch

Rocking chairs on one of the big porches at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Photo from the NC Herb Association.

Check out the class descriptions and the program. Registration includes meals and lodging at the conference center (be sure to read about the lodging on the association website and on the conference center website. It is rustic with shared rooms and bathrooms, and there is no air-conditioning. If this is “not your style”, you can register without lodging and stay at a local Airbnb, bed & breakfast, or motel). To get a little taste of what it is like at Wild Herb Weekend, check out this short video we made a few years back.

Valle Crucis Conference Center

Enjoying a meal at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Photo from the NC Herb Association.