Did you know cough syrup can be made from herbs found in your own backyard? There’s plenty to learn about the plants that grow around us, especially here in the mountains of Tennessee. You can learn even more about herb foraging in the Appalachian area at the Herb Foraging event presented by the Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center.

Marketing Consultant for Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center Amber Ramsey said participants can expect to have the opportunity to forage for medicinal and edible herbs nearby, learn to process these herbs and even taste preprepared herbal foods.

“These treats are not only tasty, but many have beneficial health qualities as well,” Ramsey said. “Recipes will be provided so that participants can create herbal foods at home with the plants foraged at the event.”

East Tennessee’s first herbalist training school, HERBalachia, is led by director Michelle Bouton and will host the event. Bouton also practices acupuncture and herbal medicine at Appalachian Acupuncture in Johnson City. As a herb foraging expert, she highly values Appalachian herbal traditions.

“Appalachia abundantly offers edible and medicinal plants during all seasons,” Bouton said. ‘September is an optimal time of year when plants’ energies have withdrawn from flowers and leaves and returned to roots, seeds, and nuts—making it the perfect time to forage for herbs even in your own backyard.”

The Herb Foraging event is the first of 12 events Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center will be hosting this year as part of their Functional Artways of Appalachia program. “Functional Artways” refers to art that is both beautiful and created to be useful. The events will allow participants to experience a range of activities from photography to basket weaving.

This event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. at the Town of Unicoi Visitor Information Center. This event is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is recommended. For more information visit www.tanasiarts.org or their Facebook page. Other inquiries can be sent to tanasiarts@gmail.com.