Herbal Roots Apprenticeship – 188 hours

Mondays 9am- 5pm

April 15th to November 4th, 2024 

Due to the hands-on and outdoor focus of this program, students should plan to live within reasonable commuting distance in order to attend weekly in-person classes whenever public health allows. (This is distinct from the distance-learning option for students in the Family and Clinical programs who may live outside of commuting distance.)

Students will start the year attending classes virtually (via Zoom) until the weather warms in mid-May. We’ll move outside to our tent classroom and the greenhouse and gardens, meeting for the rest of the year in-person, outside with COVID protocols in place.

A stand-alone program for the beginning herbal student, this true apprenticeship-style year emphasizes hands-on, embodied learning and is ideal for those who are new to herbs, but keen to make them part of their daily lives. This course provides a thorough understanding of using herbs for self-care. During the Summer months, students spend half of each day with their hands in the dirt, learning to grow and harvest common herbs. The remainder of the day is spent preparing remedies and learning to use herbs to maintain health, as well as address common complaints safely and effectively. Additional topics include an introduction to the rich history of herbal medicine, fundamental energetic concepts, the science of nature, basic physiology and first aid.

Students will take home a full kit of remedies, seeds for next year’s gardens, a strong skill-set for self-care, and a certificate of completion.

Students can choose to attend just this year or can apply to continue into the Family or Clinical Herbalist programs, using the apprenticeship as their prerequisite.

Faculty: Joann Darling and Netta Mae Walsh, with guest teaching from Betzy Bancroft

Garden Practicum: Herb Cultivation and Wildcrafting
75 Hours
A substantial part of the season will be dedicated to herb gardening for the purpose of growing and maintaining one’s own apothecary in accordance with the natural rhythms of the plants and the year. Students will learn about soil amendment and seed starting, moving through garden design and co-creating with nature, planting, tending, harvesting, drying, composting, and ending with root harvest, seed-saving, and putting the garden to bed. As a true apprenticeship-style learning environment, we’ll emphasize learning by doing, spaciousness within experience, and connection with the plants. We’ll learn through embodied practice of being a garden steward and wild-crafter, which is hard work, but also exceptionally fun and rewarding.
The Herbalist's Worldview
20 Hours
We’ll trace the roots of folk herbal practice through the old herbals, explore how the patterns of nature manifest in our constitutions and illnesses, and investigate those patterns from mythological, physiological and ecological perspectives. Herbal medicine offers a synthesis of these ancient and modern threads, which will serve as a strong foundation for our experiences with the herbs and their relationships to us as we get out into the garden and woods.
Home Remedies for Self-Care
75 Hours
Basic anatomy and physiology, key materia medica and herbal actions for common concerns of each body system will be addressed. In addition, chronic disease prevention, basic first aid and other holistic tools for self-care will be covered. Students will learn how to support good digestion; prevent and care for colds, flus and respiratory allergies; support blood quality and circulation; care for minor infections, wounds, injuries and burns; manage stress and support restful sleep; and much more.
40 Hours
The herbal remedies we make will be closely aligned with topics covered for each body system, reinforcing our discussions of which herbs to choose and how to apply them in the most efficacious way. We’ll demonstrate and create together a wide variety of herbal preparations, including infusions and decoctions, poultices, compresses and hydrotherapy, herbal tinctures, vinegars, infused oils, honeys and oxymels, syrups, elixirs and other delicious tonics. Students will take home lots of products, such as elderberry syrup and fire cider, building the foundation of a great home apothecary.