Plants and Healers International has lead plant tours to countries like Peru and Costa Rica, and in June of 2018 we'll set foot in Asia for the first time. This trip will again be a tribute to the botanical explorer and humanitarian Frank Cook, especially that Frank was planning a trip to China just before his passing in 2009.
China is special also because of Joe Hollis' work. Joe is 75, and has spent 45 years growing Chinese herbs in the Appalachia. Joe and his Mountain Gardens have inspired many, and this trip will be a long waited pilgrimage for him.
In addition to Joe we've organized a dream team of anthropologists, botanists and acupuncturists. The five of us will document disappearing traditions, present at universities and Botany institutes, explore domestic production of certain herbs to offset the carbon impact of importing, teach Chinese villages organic practices for their economic benefits and for better consumers safety... We are building a bridge with Chinese people and their plants. From this more beautiful connections will grow into the future. If you can think of other meaningful collaboration and field work, get in touch with us!
This first trip is by invitation only, but for 2019 and beyond we may open it up to the larger public. Subscribe to stay tuned, also consider sponsorship or donation to indirectly participate in the expedition! Check out what we need near the end of this page.
Week 1: Eastern China /Shanghai
Start in Chinese team members’ hometown, we'll visit Traditional medicine hospitals, tea house, traditional music teachers, Scholar Gardens in SuZhou.
Week 2: Central China /Sha’anXi
The continental divider in Central China has so much biological similarities to southeast United States, that it's called “The Appalachian of China”. The phenomenon is called "Disjunct Distribution". We'll visit two Daoist sacred mountains, Hua Shan and Taibai Shan.
Week 3: Southwest China /YunNan
Yun Nan is the most biodiverse region of China with rich indigenous culture.
We'll visit China Science Academy Institute of Botany, visit Dr. Shengji Pei, who started Ethnobotany study in China 35 years ago, and saved tropical rainforest from rubber plantation... We'll give presentation and meet with students at YunNan College of Chinese Medicine. Our friend Kai Wu, a professor at the college, has arranged folk medicine walk in the Stone Forest national park.
Full map with detailed stops and routes is here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ubY_hfLNNEmq8xI_zRplGRUqrOc&usp=sharing
Team - Joe Hollis
For 45 years Joe Hollis has been developing a 'Paradise Garden' in the Appalachia. Joe received his BA degree from the UNC Chapel Hill in 1965. He founded Mountain Gardens in 1972, which continues to pioneer Chinese herb cultivation in America, also incorporates a herb shop, apothecary, nursery and seed business. Mr. Hollis has lectured, consulted, and taught many workshops, and has been an instructor at Daoist Traditions (Asheville, NC) since the school's founding in 2006, teaching classes in Medical Botany and Herbal Preparations. http://MountainGardensHerbs.com/
Team - Marc Williams
Ethnobiologist Marc Williams has taught hundreds of classes to thousands of people about plants, humans, other life forms and their interface. His training includes a B.A. in Environmental Studies/Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College with a minor in Business and a M.A. in Appalachian Studies/Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University with a minor in Planning/Geography. He is the Executive director of Plants and Healers International and has spent over 18 years working at various restaurants, farms, and travels throughout 28 countries in North/Central/South America, Europe and all 50 states in the USA. http://BotanyEveryday.com
Team - Jim Veteto, Ph.D
Jim Veteto is associate professor of anthropology and Cherokee studies at Western Carolina University. He is director of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies and Southern Seed Legacy and former President of the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association. His research interests include ethnoecology, ethnobotany, sustainable agriculture, food and culture, climate change, and political ecology. He has a long-time interest in cross-cultural ethnobotanical studies of Arcto-tertiary geoflora refugia in southern Appalachia and central China. https://southernseedlegacy.wordpress.com/
Team - Chris Jacobs, L.Ac.
Chris practices Classical Chinese Medicine taught by lineage holder Jeffrey Yuen. Chris has been involved in the field of herbal medicine since the mid 90’s. His uncle owned an herb company selling herbs from Peru including Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), and Maca (Lepidium meyenii). After moving to Asheville he studied at the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism in 2006, the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and completed his Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine from Daoist Traditions in 2012. After graduation Chris spent a month traveling across China visiting Chinese Medicine Hospitals and Flower Mountain (Hua Shan). Chris practiced at Asheville Community Acupuncture from 2013-2017. In 2014 Chris joined Mission Hospital as an Acupuncturist and also continues his private practice. http://FlowerMountain.org
Team - Cheng Liu
Cheng grew up in China and came to the States for graduate study. She earned two Master’s degrees, in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and worked as an IT programmer and manager. Since 2013 she's been an Acupuncture student and dedicated her energy to the healing of the Human/Nature relationship. She does this through foraging, teaching and serving in the Permaculture, Earthskills and Alternative healing communities. Cheng has traveled extensively in South America, Europe, and did a few Habitat For Humanity builds including one in Cambodia. She is the webmaster for Standing Rock Medic Council, Florida Herbal Conference, and Doug Elliott. http://Techie4Hippie.com
Team - Liu Jing (China)
Entrepreneur and Ultramarathon runner. Jing has traveled China extensively including three roadtrips to Tibet, trekking and trail running multiple mountains. He has completed the Hong Kong Marathon, North Face 100 mile and other races. He is volunteering the logistics in China.
Collecting and exchanging seeds and other plant material
Giving a symposium presentation at a university and/or botanical gardens
Bringing knowledge of Western herbs to the East. Substitute herbs in Chinese formulas with plants that are local in the West and vice versa.
Explore domestic production of certain plants to offset carbon impact of importing herbs, and other emerging ideas for collaboration between east and west.
Teach organic gardening to village communities
Produce a short film and report in Frank’s style
Any other field work that sponsors may want that is in alignment with our mission
Airfair $1200 +$60 per day In China /per person = Total $2500 per person
Help us fund the trip!
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor contact Marc or Cheng. We'd love to hear from you!
Marc Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheng Liu email@example.com 257-774-8308
Donations to Plants and Healers International are tax deductible. Indicate China Trip in "Instruction" box.
Chinese version of this page is here 中文版看这里