Liisa Korpela is an herbalist, teacher, and gardener who practices in the Pacific Northwest. The founder of Bella Botanica, a natural health and beauty company, she is passionate about making herbal products and practicing sustainability for the plants, people, and planet. Her urban homestead and apothecary in downtown Eugene supports native, medicinal, and food plants. In 1995, she received her BFA degree in the Fine Arts of Textiles and Natural Dyeing and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. After graduation, Liisa began to delve more intimately into the world of plants by working in the region with native flora, ecosystems, propagation, and gardening. In 1996 she began her formal herbal studies apprenticing at Blue Iris School of Botanical Studies and then Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She is currently earning certification through Dr. Aviva Romm's comprehensive program in Women's Herbal Medicine and Functional Nutrition.Since 2011, she has been the resident herbalist educator for the Customer Service Development Program at Mountain Rose Herbs. Weaving the art and science of herbalism, Liisa inspires others to build relationships with nature while learning holistic ways to care for their bodies, minds, and spirits.
Tobias Policha, PhD has been studying herbs for almost 20 years, including how to use them, how to grow them, where they grow in the world, and the interactions that they have with other organisms. These pursuits have led him from the garden to the wilderness, and from his original home on the Canadian prairies to the rugged mountains of South America, where he completed a doctoral dissertation on the pollination ecology of neotropical orchids in 2014. He has published in both the popular and scientific press and authored a field guide to the plants of the Andean cloud forest. Tobias co-founded the permaculture education collective Cascadia Food Not Lawns in 1999, and currently teaches botany and ecology at the University of Oregon. Tobias also spent 3 years studying herbal medicine with the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. He is a member of several local natural history organizations, and is on the Citizen Planning Committee for the Whilamut Natural Area.
Carly Deicher Policha, RN has a life long relationship with plants. As a child, surrounded by a family of Wisconsin gardeners, she would spend her days exploring field and forest. Later in life, it was the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest that inspired her to activism. Carly spent three years studying herbalism with the Columbines School of Botanical Studies, and then deepened her herbal training at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine under the tutelage of the late Michael Moore. Her love of plants and nature also extends to a deep caring for her community. Carly has enhanced her ability to help others by training as a Registered Nurse and is currently on staff at the Health Clinic of Lane Community College and Riverbend Hospital.
Erin McIntosh grew up in the gator-swirled swamps of Florida, but has been studying herbalism, field botany, aromatherapy, and ethical wildharvesting in the Pacific Northwest since 2008. She apprenticed at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, where she explored native plant communities deep in the forested mountains of Cascadia. Through her work at Mountain Rose Herbs, Erin has the privilege of attending herbal conferences to learn from the world's preeminent plant healers, and she travels around the country teaching medicine making at the Mother Earth News Fairs each year. She's also an organizer of the Free Herbalism Project, manager of the Mountain Rose Blog, producer of both the Herbal Radio Podcast and Mountain Rose Herbs video series, and writes articles for publications including MaryJanesFarm, Eugene Magazine, Mother Earth Living, and Earth First Journal. Erin is also the creator of Salt+Fat+Whiskey and the owner of Pipe Tea Herbals.