CONNECTING WITH THE LIVING LAND
An Herbalism & Holistic Gardening Apprenticeship
Connecting with the Living Land is both an herbal program and a nourishing retreat. It offers students a space to step into the powerful and nurturing realm of medicinal herbs to create wellness, vitality and connection with the natural world. Set on the picturesque 19 acres of ifarm LLC and led by Herbstalk’s founder, Steph Zabel, the class days will offer in-depth herbal knowledge, calming time in nature, and herb seedlings and gardening skills so you can create an herbal sanctuary in your own home. The retreat meets one Sunday a month for seven months. During the course, students will experience every aspect of herbalism, from growing and harvesting to wild identification, processing, selecting herbs for healing, and making medicine.
We will focus on 30+ herbs that cover a wide range of ailments and health issues, from anxiety to chronic fatigue to broken bones. Apprenticeship days will include a segment for learning about 4 beautiful plants, working with these plants, and making potent medicine.
The retreat incorporates plenty of time in the garden and grounds of ifarm, getting to know the plants in their natural state. The gardening portions of the class will provide you with the seedlings and knowledge to transplant potent herbal medicine to your own home. Each person will go home with seedlings from eight amazing medicinal herbs to grow, including Milky Oats, Calendula, Comfrey, Yarrow, and Mullein. ifarm specializes in teaching permaculture (sustainable agriculture) workshops and will offer many ideas to help gardeners create perennial edible ecosystems.
The class size will be small, at a maximum of twelve students, so participants can develop a small herbal community and ask all their questions.
Each day will strike a balance between practical academic knowledge and direct connection with the living plant world. The classroom segment will cover the uses and contraindications of herbs, methods of diagnosis, and over fifteen different medicine making techniques, from Burdock tinctures to Elderberry syrups. The introspective time offers the opportunity to slow down and engage with the natural world through reflective journaling, yoga classes, and beautiful intuitive practices that have been used by herbalists for thousands of years.
At the end of each class, students will leave with detailed handouts, potted herb seeds or seedlings from the farm, samples of the herbs covered in class, and the results of the hands-on medicine making session.
Those who complete this course will gain a deeper understanding of medicinal plants and feel confident using herbs at home for themselves and their families. They will have the means to create a sanctuary of growing herbs in their own home. This program offers a beautiful and straightforward way to connect with the healing power of the natural world.
Herbal Materia Medica of 30+ herbs (Four in-depth plant profiles are detailed each class, though many more herbs will be identified and discussed).
Medicine-making techniques that include flower essences, infused oils, salves, infused vinegars, oxymels, teas, decoctions, incense, smudges, infused honeys and syrups, tinctures, cordials, and infused wines.
Botanical identification skills for wild harvesting.
Gardening knowledge to grow an indoor and outdoor herbal garden.
Historical and modern plant uses & medicinal qualities, including contraindications.
Tea tastings of each herb in the Materia Medica.
Permaculture techniques and practices.
Plant meditation and sensory integration.
Time for reflection and journaling.
You can learn more at ifarmboxford.com/herbalism-apprenticeship