We’re honored to have Michelle Bouton serve as the Lead Juror for our First Annual leaf & root & berry Appalachian Highlands Botanical Art Exhibit and Competition. Her legendary organizational skills—the ones that brought to life the HERBalachia School of Herbalism and the Sassafras Moon Festival—have served her well in facilitating the judging process for this event.  

Michelle founded HERBalachia and the Sassafras Moon Herbal Festival to boost and preserve local knowledge about herbs. She envisions a future with health clinics using locally grown medicinal herbs, families safely using plants from their back yard to maintain health, and individuals protecting their community’s amazing natural resources.

Michelle cites two elements of leaf & root & berry that called her to join us: plants and creativity.  She says, “My inspiration and creativity come directly from my connection with nature. It is a great source of beauty, inspiration, and assurance. I can’t think of a better place for me to enjoy all of that that than Unicoi! To me, this show is about the resiliency of spirit. During a time when all personal, human connections are so limited and fearful, creating new avenues of working together and lifting each other up is so beautiful and so appreciated.”

Michelle enjoys a quiet life in Unicoi County and practices acupuncture and herbal medicine at Appalachian Acupuncture in Johnson City. We’re thrilled that she agreed to work with us on this project!

We’ll be adding some great in-person and online events associated with this exhibit, so stay tuned! For more information, check our website’s events page or follow us on social media.  You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will allow you to keep up with our news, programs, and events.