Marc Williams is an ethnobiologist. He has studied the people, plant, mushroom, microbe interconnection intensively while learning to employ the different kingdoms of biology for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business 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 spent over a 15 years working at a multitude of restaurants and various farms. His travels include adventures through 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 of the United States. Marc has visited over 100 botanical gardens and research institutions during this process while taking thousands of pictures of representative plants. He is also Executive Director of Plants and Healers International www.plantsandhealers.org and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. He has taught hundreds of classes about the marvelous world of plants, people and their interface while working with over 60 organizations in the last few years and online at the website www.botanyeveryday.com. Marc‘s greatest hope is that his efforts may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation. Marc is a former resident of Florida and travels regularly to Florida to teach.
Marc’s 2017 Florida Herbal Conference classes:
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.
Plant Family Patterns
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 close to 400 flowering plant families. About 200 flowering plant families grow in the temperate world where it annually frosts and or freezes. 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. We will walk and talk around the conference site where we will delve into the major plant families of the Southern USA. Participants will reinforce plant identification skills by observing family patterns such as leaf, flower and fruit types. The phenomenon of exotic invasive plants will also be covered in relation to their family membership. Participants will gain a more holistic understanding of the major plants comprising the Southern US flora and their potential ecological and ethnobotanical applications.
Food as Medicine
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 wellbeing. 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 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. Dietary regimes, i.e. Paleo, Macrobiotic and Raw, will be addressed as well as acid/alkaline balance, benefits of fermented foods and plant phytochemistry.