Our first Ethnobotany Festival & Symposium – Sept. 24, 2016 – Join us for an exceptional day

by Botanical Dimensions on 04/18/2016

BD will host the first Ethnobotany Festival & Symposium here in Occidental, CA, on Saturday, Sept. 24. The exciting educational event will be held all around our Ethnobotany Library, on the grounds of the Occidental Center for the Arts. NOTE: This event will occur from 10am to 6pm (not 8pm, as the flyer says).

Tickets are available here: http://ethnobotanyfestival.brownpapertickets.com

  • Talks and slideshows by special guests, in the 160-person auditorium or classroom
  • Join open-air classes in making string from plant fibers, dyeing fibers with plants and fungi, spinning, & more
  • Native plant food – how to grow, harvest and prepare it
  • Global ethnobotany practices – healing, shamanism, smudging, limpias, adornment
  • Origin myths of plants to other beings in nature, from indigenous cultures
  • Plant practices and beliefs in various cultures
  • Good food/drink for sale
  • Art on display – all related to plants, fungi and culture
  • Library open, some books for sale too
  • Much more is being arranged now – Stay tuned! Join BD’s email list here and follow us on Facebook.
  • This is an educational offering to the extended community. It is also a fundraiser for BD!
  • For special requests, contact us and we will try to respond soon: info@botanicaldimensions.org

We have finalised the schedule for the Ethnobotany Festival and Symposium (below). Presentations will be held in both the Auditorium and the Classroom so scroll down to see the all the options. Be sure to come early for better parking and especially not to miss any of the great talks and hands-on learning. Besides the events listed below we have a dozen displays with all-day teachings about dyes, mushrooms, salves, Native Californian foods, distilling, and more.

Auditorium Presentations

10:15am-10:30am Welcome & Introduction – Kathleen Harrison

10:30am- 11:30am Seed-Eaters All: Wild Seed Foods of California – Judith Larner

11:45am- 12:45am Tending the Wild: Meet the Elders – Kat Anderson

1:00pm-2:00pm String: A Stitch in Time -Saskia Wolsak

2:00pm-2:30pm Wooden Flutes of the 17th & 18th Century: History & Music – Kathleen Kraft

2:45pm-3:45pm Sandalwood, Ginseng & Seals: At-Risk Species in California Trade History – Susan Leopold

4:00pm- 5:00pmSpiritual Ethnobotany: Rituals, Visions and Origin Tales – Kathleen Harrison

5:00pm Auction results announced


Classroom Presentations

10:30am-11:15am Re-Imagining the World of Weeds – Michelle Vesser

11:30am- 12:30pmWisdom of the Oak: With an Acorn Food Demonstration – Jolie Elan

12:45pm- 1:45pmSumptuous and Sustainable Seaweed – Autumn Summers

2:00pm-3:00pm Growing and Using Natural Dyes- Deepa Natarajan

3:15pm-4:15pm Aroma & Amazonian Shamanism – John Steele

4:30pm- 5:30Reclaiming Cannabis: History and Methods of Ingesting this Beneficial Herb – Mitcho Thompson


Outdoor Experiences

11:00am-12:00pm Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk – Autumn Summers

1:00pm-2:00pm California Bay Laurel Plant Spirit Journey – Jolie Elan

12:45pm-1:45pm  Gyil: West African Marimba- Songs & Stories James Ichitey & Kimberley de

Caires Ichitey


Children’s Activities (in the Amphitheater)

11:00am Making Seed Bombs – Finn McKenna

1:00pm Drop-spindle: Spin Yarn Using Potatoes – Sue McMurty

3:00pm Pounding Flowers – Finn McKenna & Klea McKenna


All day exhibits and demonstrations, including:

Herbalist Rachel Budde will show us how to distill essential oil from fresh plants.

Artist Karen Hess will demonstrate simmering plant dyes from local plants.

Local mushroom cultivator Wyatt Bryson will show us how to grow oyster mushrooms.

Author Olivia Rathbone will engage us in sifitng seeds and she’ll sign her new OAEC cookbook.

BJ Avery of Sonoma County Herb Association will show us how to make herbal salve.

Sue McMurtry will demonstrate spinning and teach kids a way to spin too.

Musician James Ichitey of Ghana will perform music on the Gyil and tell us how he makes this marimba-like instrument from wood and gourds. It’s traditional West African high-energy trance music!




Previous post:

Next post: