Our Program – Our Speakers
HERBS: Heritage, Traditions & Discovery
Connie Hanson, Program Coordinator
The April 26, 2017 Michigan Herb Associates 30th Annual Conference will be held off-campus this year in our ongoing effort to locate a conference facility that is barrier free, easy to find and offers parking just outside the door! The Eagle Eye Golf Course and Conference Center, 15500 Chandler Rd, Bath Twp., MI has everything we have been looking for – and it’s only six miles from the MSU campus! You will be able to sit at round tables for the presentations, enjoy a wonderful gift bag as part of your registration, and have the vendors, education exhibits, plant sales and silent auction all close by. Along with a fabulous list of speakers, you will enjoy a continental breakfast, mid-morning refreshments, a luncheon served at your table with several dietary options, and afternoon refreshments!
As always, the conference will feature a wide variety of speakers and topics of interest to individuals wanting to learn about and incorporate herbs into their daily lives. Here is an overview of the wonderful line-up of speakers you’ll see at the 2017 conference:
Herbalist, author and speaker Holly Bellebuono comes to us from Massachusetts where she founded Vineyard Herbs, an award winning natural apothecary serving Martha's Vineyard, New England and beyond with high quality herbal medicines and body care products. Holly will share information from her over 20 years of practice and study on how to use the plants that are all around us in easy, healthy recipes. In her two presentations described below, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, Holly will share with us her wonderful experiences as she has traveled throughout the world meeting with people from many cultures who share our love of using herbs for a more natural and healthy life. After her presentations she will be available to sign her most recent book, Women Healers of the World.
Herbs for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Botanical Possibilities for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and More
Herbs and foods are showing promise for helping us keep our memories sharp, our muscles strong, and our nervous system healthy. Learn the fascinating way neurons work and exactly how herbs and foods can impact nerve health. Discover the latest research into which herbs support (and possibly prevent) Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other nerve-based illnesses, and get herbal insights for how herbs affect depression and memory. Leave with recipes and simple ideas for including these herbs and foods in your daily routine.
Women Healers of the World This lively and colorful presentation is based on Holly’s double-award winning book, Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine. Holly spent seven years traveling and interviewing women from all over the globe whose work with plants carries on centuries-old traditions of healing. From Holly’s personal interviews and research of more than 31 healers from 20 countries and 16 healing traditions, you’ll “meet” community activists, midwives, pharmacists, ethnobotanists, herbalists, alchemists, nurses, researchers, shamans, conservationists, and physicians—and hear their extraordinary stories of plants and perseverance. Come explore the roots of herbalism and celebrate herbs, medicine and culture.
Tina Dawson Scott is an environmental educator and the Director of Education for the Boone County Conservation District in Belvidere, Illinois where she has worked for the past 17 years. The BCCD has had a heritage garden and living history program for over 30 years. Tina educates school children about the Native Americans that were present in the area and about the Europeans who came as settlers in the nineteenth century. She also teaches natural history to children, scouts, families and adult groups. During the summer months, Tina runs an environmental education camp and an outdoor adventure program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Illinois Wesleyan and her master’s from Loyola of New Orleans.
Ethnobotany: Unique Uses of Common Herbs Among the Native Peoples and Early Settlers of the Midwest
“The seeds of our past are literally among us.” This quote from author Fritz Springmeyer in Willow Bark & Rosehips is an excellent starting point in understanding how the cultural history of both the Native Americans and the European settlers intertwined and spread throughout the centuries to connect us to our roots and common heritage. Tina has chosen eight unique and unassuming plants to highlight during her presentation. They are spiderwort, mullein, yarrow, horsetail, plantain, bloodroot, dogbane, and Indian paintbrush.
Susan Betz is an author, teacher, lecturer, and conservationist specializing in herbs and native plants. She is a charter member and past president of the Michigan Herb Associates. She has been actively involved in promoting gardening with herbs for the past 30 years. Susan is a member of the International Herb Association, Garden Writers Association and the Ecological Landscape Alliance. A life member of The Herb Society of America, Susan serves on HSA's Native Herb Conservation Committee and Green Bridges, the Society's sustainable garden initiative. Author of the book Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles Stop Look-Listen Stepping into the Circles of the Seasons. She lives and gardens in Jonesville, Michigan.
Susan, along with Connie Hanson will be doing a program on the Herb of the Year 2017, cilantro/coriander. Their program, Coriander: The Benefits of Seed, Leaf, and Flower, will cover all aspects of this dual duty herb. Susan will be covering a brief history of coriander, and will then move on to cultivating the plant in both the leaf and seed form, and discuss its value to pollinators and organic gardeners.
In Connie’s part of the presentation you will learn many new ways to cook with both cilantro and coriander including appetizers, sauces, main dishes, and even dessert!
Connie Hanson is the owner of Grand Shire Farm in Sand Lake, MI, where she and her daughter Tiffany specialize in organically grown herbs and heirloom tomato plants, along with making a variety of herbal blends for cheeseball’s, teas, grilling, and soup mixes. Connie is the Susan Betz Connie Hanson
author of two books, Herbs: Recipes, Crafts and Gifts from Grand Shire Farm and Seasonal Salads and Sensational Homemade Dressings. Connie serves as Program Chairperson on the Michigan Herb Associates Board, along with being an Advanced Master Gardener and a member of the Herb Society of America. She is passionate about gardening and garden education and teaches at Frederic Meijer Gardens along with doing herbal programs throughout the state.
Our MHA Board feels our guests will be very pleased with the new look of the conference! Access will be very easy with no long walks or stairs needed to get to this new facility. With a late April conference there should be no concerns with snowy drives. The staff at Eagle Eye will take care of all the meals and refreshments, so there is no need to bring along items for a hospitality table. Just come, relax, and enjoy the beautiful setting, herbal centerpieces, gift bags, programs, vendor and plant shopping, and the meals this new venue offers!