Herbal Apprenticeship

(For the entire yearly curriculum and photo gallery, scroll to the bottom of the page)

Join a small group of people for weekly classes that focus on wild-crafting and medicine making. Held at a beautiful gypsy wagon located in the forest, we meet for an entire year, focusing on the seasonal availability of wild plants. We hand-craft small batches of plant medicine and learn how to use plants for common ailments. You will learn the folklore and the traditions of the plants that have been handed down to us throughout history. You will begin by creating a Plant Walkhome apothecary and as the season progresses you will fill your shelves and bottles with beautiful high quality medicines for yourself, family and friends. We spend time in the field, forest and in the kitchen. There are weekly homework assignments, and each student develops a plant journal full of details and recipes about the plants.

This is a hands-on-series with the goal that each student finishes with an in depth understanding of many medicinal plants in the local area.

This is a program designed to have an open enrollment, which means that I teach it on an ongoing schedule and people can join at any point in the year and go for the entire year, provided there is space. Although I prefer that students take the program for a whole year, I know that not everyone will be able to. I do ask for a three month minimum commitment. The program officially starts every October. No experience is needed, only a passion for plants. If you are interested in the program, please contact me and I will let you know if there is a space available.

Tuition is $50/week, excluding the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas and also a class at the end of June and again in August. You supply your own medicine making materials. Meeting time for class is held every Friday from 10am to 2pm, located about 30 minutes north of Olympia Washington. Class size is limited to twelve people.

 


Year at a Glance

GingerThis is a year-at-a glance curriculum for the apprenticeship. A detailed monthly schedule, which includes homework and materials needed for each class will be given out a month in advance to each student. As you can see, in the fall and winter months we make medicines and look at local herbs that correspond to the body systems. Each week we will devote an hour or so to go over homework assignments together. The rest of our time will be spent listening to detailed lectures, going over handouts, discussing plants and experiences, making medicine in the kitchen and wildcrafting plants. Each week everyone will be taking home either medicine we made in the kitchen or the plant material that we gathered. The field trips are all within half an hour of the farm. This class is a great support group not only learn the plants, but also to share enthusiasm together.

October: Introductions, Creating a Home Apothecary, Fall Plant Walk, Herbal Actions and Plant Qualities, Digging and Processing Roots, Local Herbs for Liver Support, Plant Study and Harvest: Yellow dock root, Oregon grape root, Blackberry Root, Rosehips.

November: Winter Time Tea Blending – Infusions and Decoctions, Local Skin Herbs, Crafting Baths for Health/Beauty (Including Steams and Footbaths), The Lost Medicine of Poulticing and Using Compresses, Local Herbs for the Lymphatic System

December: Kitchen Cupboard Medicine – Culinary Herbs and Medicinal Use, Local Herbs for Healthy Digestion, Ancestral Foods, Local Herbs for the Lungs/Sinuses (including Herbal Steams and External Applications), Winter Plant Walk, Plants of the Winter Solstice.

January: Making Herb/Fruit syrups, Making Alcohol Extracts: Tinctures, Infused Wines, Cordials and Elixirs, Local Herbs for Calming the Nerves, Herbs for Sleep and Dreaming.

February: Making Infused Oils/Fats with Plants, Local Herbs for Women’s Health, Herbs for Cardiovascular Support, Salve Making. Plant Study and Harvest: Cottonwood buds, Red Alder Twigs and Buds.

March: Building the Blood – Traditional Spring-Time Tonics, Springtime Plant Walk, Plant Study and Harvest: Stinging Nettle, Violets, Willow bark, Pine Bark.

April: Leaves of the Berries, Creating an Herbal First Aid Kit, Plant Study and Harvest: Dandelion, Plantain leaf, Cleavers aerial parts, Horsetail, Chickweed, Blackberry leaf, Thimbleberry leaf, Salal Leaf.

Something BrewingMay: Medicine of the Conifer Trees, Springtime Plant Walk, Folk Magic and Plant Sitting, Plant Study and Harvest: Douglas Fir tips, Hawthorn leaf and flower, Rose leaf and flower.

June: Making Infused Honeys and Honey Medicines, Plant Study and Harvest: Self-heal aerial parts, Red Clover leaf and flower, Yarrow flower, Yerba Buena Leaf.

July:  Making Country Wines. Plant Study and Harvest: St Johns wort in bud, Mugwort leaf, Fireweed leaf and flower, Plants of This Place- Ethnobotany of the Lowland Forests

August: Fire and Herbs: Incense and Smoking blends, History of Herbal Folk Medicine, The Herbals- a Written History, Plant Study and Harvest: Wild ginger leaf, Western Red Cedar Fronds, True Tansy leaf and flower.

September: Gathering Medicine Berries, Plant Study and Harvest: Elder Berries, Rowan Berries, Apple tree, Hawthorn Berries, Devils Club bark, Local and Historically Important Poison Plants