Who We Are
We are passionate about connecting people with plants and creating
ways for herbal knowledge to be shared with a wider audience.
ways for herbal knowledge to be shared with a wider audience.
Herbstalk was founded in 2011 by wife-and-husband team, Steph Zabel and Henry Kesner. With a shared love of plants, they originally met while working in a botanical museum. At the time Steph was an herbal student and felt called to create a gathering for people of all backgrounds to exchange and celebrate their plant knowledge.
When Steph asked Henry to help create the kind of community event that she envisioned, he enthusiastically agreed and instantly came up with the name "Herbstalk"! Together with their dear friend Catherine Iagnemma they are the creative force behind Herbstalk.
Along with a dedicated volunteer team (including our parents, relatives and friends from near and far) we devote hundreds of hours to organizing events and expanding upon Herbstalk's vision of offering accessible herbal education for everyone.
Steph Zabel: Founder, Event Organizer & Community Coordinator
Steph has loved plants since she was a young girl growing up in South Carolina. Her botanical inclinations led her to undergraduate studies in plant science, botany, and horticulture; she also holds a master's degree in ethnobotany. Upon moving to Boston, Steph continued her herbalism studies with various teachers while working in the botanical collections of the Harvard University Herbaria. For over a decade she has combined her passions for herbalism, community outreach, and education. Through her business Flowerfolk she offers practical herbal classes, including her much-loved "Herbs for Everyday Living" series. As Herbstalk's founder, she coordinates all the behind-the-scenes logistics for the event, including class scheduling, marketing, design, and anything else that needs doing! She also leads Herbstalk's outreach programs through the Community Gardens Project.
Henry Kesner: Co-Founder, Volunteer Coordinator & Chief of Practicality
Henry was born on a mountain top in Tennessee. Since an early age, Henry has loved exploring and studying the natural world. A huge fan of children’s literature, Henry is deeply inspired by the classic work of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, and has always sought out ways to serve as a voice for plants. For Henry, Herbstalk embodies this vision as a perfect way to educate a wide audience about the power, use, and wonder of the plants that surround us on a daily basis. In addition to his love of the botanical world, Henry brings his event, project, people & operations skills to the Herbstalk team. Beyond being Herbstalk's Co-Founder, Henry is also the Volunteer Coordinator, Blog Manager and Chief of Practicality, ensuring that Herbstalk will run smoothly for years to come. He is honored to be part of this team and looks forward to sharing Herbstalk with the world!
Catherine Iagnemma: Assistant Organizer & Right Hand Woman
Catherine has been active in the holistic health field for 15+ years as a wide-eyed student and practitioner of energy medicine and herbalism. She is also a voice-over artist who uses her voice to empower people, foster healing, and promote conscious companies and causes. She enjoys binge-watching juicy British crime series, collecting gemstones, taking long beach and forest walks and is always on the look-out for patches of nature in our urban environment. As an integral part of the Herbstalk team, Catherine lends her organizational skills and enthusiasm assisting with administrative tasks, vendor & teacher selection and marketing. You'll see her on event days coordinating vendor setup, welcoming teachers and greeting attendees at the front ticket table.
Contributing Blog Writers
Jennifer Hauf, grower and owner of Muddy River Herbals, is a farmer and writer living in Boston. As part of our Herbstalk garden team, she also ensures that pockets of herbs thrive around the city. A transplant from the rustbelt of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she grew up in love with the life around her, especially as seen in her father’s and grandparents’ gardens. She began using herbal medicine a decade ago, and has been tending to herbs on farms and gardens since 2006. When not elbow-deep in the dirt she writes about urban ecology at her blog, Spokes and Petals, spins wool and bicycle tires, and occasionally hammers out a tune on her banjo. She is available for gardening consultations, workshops, and freelance work.
Patrice Green is the founder of Green Aromatics, a holistic practice offering education and consultations in many healing modalities. Certified as both a clinical herbalist and aromatherapist, Patrice is also passionate about Reiki and the healing properties of flower essences. She incorporates energy healing and shamanic techniques in her session work with clients and is also an Animal Reiki practitioner. Patrice maintains a mentorship practice with master healer Catherine Miller, which began in 2010. Available for workshops or consultations, she is also a regular contributor to the Herbstalk blog and volunteers at Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, an educational sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the wolf in the wild through education and exposure.
Michael Blackmore is an herbalist, educator and writer in Jamaica Plain, MA. He enjoys exploring how to listen to the wisdom that nature shares with us when we pause and connect. He publishes a blog, Mad Crow Herbalism, which reminds people to approach herbalism in the spirit of play! In addition to the world of plants, he’s a dedicated yoga practitioner who continually surprises himself, and his teacher, when he actually gets a pose right. He’s been known to indulge in his somewhat guilty pleasures of Bollywood movies & bad sci-fi and horror movies, as well as singing and dancing in the kitchen while cooking. He maintains a day job which serves as his secret identity when not practicing herbalism and yoga.
Feline Support Team
We can count on our Feline Support Team being there for us 24/7. As a constant source of inspiration, curiosity and hilarity they keep us going strong during the many behind-the-scenes hours we spend working on Herbstalk.