Starting off today’s show, Host Joseph Franklyn McElroy introduces special guest Ila Hatter. She explains her initial connection with the Smokies Mountain area and the outdoors from her childhood and family. Ila tells us about all the different places she lived in from Florida to Texas to even Madrid, Spain. She talks about the different cultures that she had experienced and what she learned from them over the years, particularly with foods and plants.


This segment starts off with Ila explaining her ancestry and connection with Pocahontas. She considers her home to be in the Appalachians despite growing up with the Smokies and moving around so much. And this influenced the area she chose to study and focus on the most. Ila moves on to explain what wildcrafting is. It originates from England and essentially is using forest resources for other uses, such as medicinal or crafts.


Coming back from the break, Ila talks about the history of wildcrafting. Hundreds of years ago, she believes that the different groups of natives shared information about the wild with each other, and when the settlers came, she explains how it was a sharing between cultures. She explains how wildcrafting evolved over time and in her career. Ila talks about how her career had led her to many opportunities and shares stories from them.


The last segment of this podcast starts with Joseph Franklyn McElroy giving special shout-outs to Ila’s educational programs in the Smokies area that educates people about nature and surroundings. IIa tells the audience of upcoming events that are happening where people can get educated about environmental issues while enjoying themselves. Ila gives her personal favorite vegetables and plants from the Smoky Mountains area and tips on how to cook with them.