Instructor Biographies

jessie beldenJessie Belden

Jessie Belden grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and spent most of her free time exploring the woodlands, creek, and surrounding hills of the home she grew up in. It wasn’t until a high school environmental science class, that she learned of the possibilities of edible and medicinal flora in her immediate areas, (although she had been eating clover, cedar, and dandelions in secret for as long as she could remember).

Once armed with this knowledge, her passion for plants snowballed. She is now a mother, community herbalist, botanical product creatrix, facilitator, and forever student of the plants in Minneapolis, MN. She has studied with such amazing and inspirational teachers as; Rosemary Gladstar, Kiva Rose, Matthew Wood, Darcy Blue, jim mcdonald, Martin Bulgerin, Dina Goodwill and more! Jessie adores dancing, cuddling her family and friends, singing, roller skating, hiking and adventuring, and of course, being with the plants! She facilitates an accessible and eclectic 6-month herbal apprenticeship in the heart of Minneapolis, and various fun and informative classes and workshops in the surrounding twin cities areas. As of June 2017, Jessie has become the new owner and facilitator of The Medicine Tree Herbal Pharmacy and Herb School in Longfellow, Minneapolis. Follow her adventures on facebook at Herban Vagabond Apothecary and on instagram at @herbanvagabond.

erica fargioneErica Fargione

Erica Fargione went down the rabbit hole of Medicinal plants over 20 years ago. Or one could say it started at age 2 when she poisoned her preschool with Belladonna and landed herself on the evening news broadcast. However we gauge the start, plants have been her interest for as long as she can remember and medicine from plants has been her study and practice her whole adult life. For the last 10 years Erica has taught Herbal Studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College for their certificate program. She practices herbal medicine from her Minneapolis office. Before moving back to the city, she lived in the Driftless region of WI, where she had a farm for wild crafted herbs, while teaching and practicing herbal medicine amongst the plants.


Lisa Feracotta

Lisa Fecarotta

Lisa Fecarotta is owner and founder of Veda Yoga Therapy & Body Work. A lifelong and passionate advocate for health, wellness and human potential, Lisa began practicing yoga and meditation in the 70’s. Lisa is a Reiki master, a board certified massage therapist, has completed her International Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist certification. Her passion for meditation brought her to become certified in iRest Yoga Nidra. She holds a certification in nutrition from Ashworth College and has deep respect for both western and eastern wellness modalities.  Knowing that the body contains innate wisdom to heal itself, she is committed to helping activate the healer within – while awakening clients to the knowing of our extraordinary capacity for growth, happiness and good health.

Sharri KellerSharri Keller

Sharri Keller has been a wedding & portrait photographer for over 6 years.  Former co-owner of esteemed Satori Photography as seen in MN Bride and voted best of 2013 in  Her current business Terra Sura photographs weddings (recently nominated as top 21 wedding photographers in Minneapolis by Expertise), families, kids, newborns as well as assisting businesses with their branding.  Sharri is also a budding herbalist and has created a sister blogsite (Terra Sura Photography & Foraging) featuring Minnesota plants, ID, recipes, herbal self-care, etc.   Her love for photography and plants makes for stunning imagery with a holistic, fresh and inspired perspective.

View Websites:  &

Jodi Mckee

Jodi McKee is a folk herbalist with fifteen years of experience crafting herbal products.  Her passion includes using plants that are wild, abundant and free to make medicine for her family, friends and community. She practices a wide variety of plant medicine.  Jodi was recently featured in Lake Minnetonka Magazine and on the Still Growing Garden Podcast.  She offers classes both on-line and in person. For more information checkout her website at



clare gardner nieto

Clare Gardner Nieto

Clare grew up in New Jersey on a 56-acre farm with a big garden and a healthy dose of horses, sheep, chickens, cats and dogs, surrounded by rolling hills and streams filled with what she now recognizes as edible and medicinal plants. After a childhood spent roaming the fields and forests and feeling the earth under her feet, she made the decision to move to New York City to pursue a string of careers including photography, stage management and project management. Clare moved to Minneapolis in 2005 and continued her career as an Interactive Project Manager managing digital strategies, website creation and online maintenance for companies ranging from local mom & pop shops to multi-million dollar corporations.

In December 2016, Clare decided to take a leap of faith—changing careers yet again—by following her passion for herbs and flower essences to become a full-time herbalist. However, she has not left her knowledge of the digital world behind. In building up her own business, Clare has made use of all of her tech knowledge and research capabilities. One of her current primary goals is to help alternative practitioners to increase their digital presence and savvy in order to enhance our online impression and help us to compete in the 21st century.

Check out Clare’s website at

headshot 3Erin Piorier, Registered Herbalist, AHG

Erin Piorier is a Traditional Western Herbalist who has been serving the Twin Cities community with plant-based medicine for over ten years.   Erin is available for private consultation and provides her clients with handmade wildcrafted herbal products gathered from the fields and forest of the upper Midwest or grown in her organic garden.  She is committed to safe, collaborative, natural health care that treats the whole person.

Erin teaches extensively. She enjoys  both introducing beginners to the world of plant id and medicine making and digging into the big questions of herbal medicine and helping advanced students take their herbal work to the next level.  Erin is also a traditional midwife who offers homebirth services. She integrates her herbal practice into the care she provides childbearing women. She also offers classes and consultations focusing on health for women, babies, children and the whole family.

Erin is a mother of two children and lives with her family in St. Paul.  You can find her writing about plants on the web where she blogs about plants at and in the pages of the Plant Healer Magazine.

Cynthia Thomas

cynthia thomas harvesting nettlesCynthia Thomas is a practicing herbalist, educator, massage therapist and doula serving the Twin Cities area. She has been working with medicinal herbs for over 25 years, studying primarily Western European and Native American traditions. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University. Cynthia provides consultations, leads herb walks and teaches classes in herbal medicine in South Minneapolis and throughout the Twin Cities. Visit or call Cynthia at 612.991.2717

Lise WolffLise Wolff, Registered Herbalist, AHG

Lise Wolff has studied herbalism for twenty-eight years, with herbalists from Susun Weed to Matthew Wood with whom she apprenticed in 1995.  She is a professional member of The American Herbalist Guild and received her MSc in Scotland.   An active practitioner, Lise supplies her apothecary primarily with herbs she gathers and prepares.  She maintains a private practice in South Minneapolis and is available for private consultations.  For the past seventen years she has taught beginning and advanced herb classes in the Midwest based on actual case histories. Lise’s primary focus is on the most prolific plants available commonly called weeds, that insistently volunteer their nutrition and healing powers everywhere we walk.

In 2010 and 2011 Lise taught at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing as a part of the School of Nursing curriculum for the Doctor of Nursing Practice.  Fall 2010 Lise was appointed to the academic faculty of St. Katherine University. As adjunct professor, she teaches the Herbology course for the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies.  Beyond herbalism, her other great loves include her husband and 5 year old son Nick, without whom a photo just isn’t worth taking.

Matthew WoodMatthew Wood, MS (Herbal Herbalism), Registered Herbalist (AHG)

Matthew Wood has been practicing herbalism for over thirty years and has taught in almost every state in America and on several continents.  He is the author of six books on herbal medicine (including The Book of Herbal Wisdom). He lives part time in Lakeport, California, and Martell, Wisconsin, east of St. Paul.








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