Leslie Lekos is the founder and director of Wildroot Botanicals in 2004. She has a deep love for plants, the natural world & supporting people to align with their innate inner knowing and connection to health. She strives to empower people in caring for themselves and their communities through herbal medicine in the ways that each individual finds their own personal healing. In addition to teaching and running Wildroot Botanicals, Leslie has an herbal distillation line of hydrosols and essential oils that she offers through her etsy shop. Leslie is an avid hiker, mother, birth doula, certified Iyengar teacher and co-author of the book Yoga for Pregnancy. She has studied extensively with respected herbalists from across the country.
Dr. Gary Bachman, ND, RN co-teaches Year 1 and Year 2 classes with Leslie. Gary has family roots in herbal and natural medicine and has been actively learning, using and teaching about herbs for over 35 years. He has worked in the healthcare field for over 40 years in mental health, hospice, oncology, therapeutic touch, massage and naturopathic medicine. While studying at Bastyr University he was on faculty and ran the botanical gardens. He has studied with many local, regional and widely known herbalists. Besides practicing at Skagit Naturopathic Clinic he is active with permaculture, growing an orchard, raising honey bees, wildcrafting, foraging and being in nature.
Mike Lane has been raising and growing food for most of his adult life as a means to reconnect people with the land, each other and good health. He and his wife Erin Suda have been building community through wholesome food for nearly two decades through hosting community dinners, their restaurants Seven Loaves and catering. They have a way of making everyone feel welcome and inviting people to be a part of something greater with the land, community and our food. Mike and Erin will be providing the lunches for the program and representing food as our first medicine and as a way to connect with each other and the land.
Janet Michel RN, LAc, RH, AHG worked in healthcare as an RN for 15 years and after that had a private practice as an Herbalist/ Acupuncturist for 15years. Now retired and free to roam the planet, she continues to learn new things about health lifestyles, plant medicine, and adventures in aging. She will be teaching tongue and pulse diagnostics skills in the Year 2 class.
Heather Tiszai has spent the last two decades planting gardens, saving seeds, and educating others about Nature’s perfect design. She received her Basic and Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate from Oregon State University in 2015. Heather is currently the Gardening Teacher at the Whatcom Hills Waldorf School in Bellingham, WA, where she and the children
enjoy using Biodynamic methods to grow good food and healthy landscapes. When she is not digging in the dirt or munching on kale, you can find her gallivanting on mountain trails or sailing the high seas with her husband and two daughters, trying to slow down their pace of life in these hurried times.
Reisha Beck is the owner and operator of Wayside Botanicals, a medicinal herb farm and wildcrafting business in Whatcom County. She has a background in organic farming, permaculture design, Pacific Northwest ethnobotany, and bioregional herbalism. Wayside Botanicals’ mission is to contribute to a growing network of small scale growers and wildcrafters who are creating and sustaining bioregional resiliency and sovereignty, while providing locally grown and sourced high quality medicinals to herbalist and folk medicine makers alike.