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Prerecorded December 18, 2008
Ila Hatter’s (Website) mission is to tune people in to the many ways they can make Mother Nature’s pantry and medicine cabinet their own. Hatter does not forage the woods in the hope of making a profit. “In my case, I’m not gathering things to sell but instead am using them for education – teaching people what these plants are, how to identify them, what the traditional uses are, what the potential market might be for them. I combine my knowledge of the flora with folklore, telling interesting stories that go with the botany of what I do.” Her work is guided by a quote from writer Henry David Thoreau. “Thoreau wrote that ‘the woods and fields are a table always spread,’. To me, that’s exactly what I do – that’s what I teach.”
Ila Hatter, a descendant of Pocahontas (whose mother was Amopostuskee, a Cherokee of the Kituwah Clan... and whose father was Wahunsunacock (aka "King") Powhatan), was raised on natural remedies along with a love and respect for nature. This led her into exploring the uses of native plants while living in the South from Texas to the Smoky Mountains, the Caribbean, Spain, and Southern Appalachia
Ila, known as THE LADY OF THE FOREST, is an interpretive naturalist, artist, wildcrafter, and gourmet cook with more than 25 years experience teaching the cultural heritage of native plants. She is a staff instructor for the Univ. of Tenn.’s Smoky Mtn Field School, guest instructor for the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, the John C. Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC), The Mountain Retreat Center (Highlands, NC), Snowbird Mtn Lodge (Robbinsville, NC), Charter Board Member of the Yellow Creek Botanical Institute; and Storyteller for Elderhostels in 3 states.
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