At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, we put the WILD in Wildcrafting!
Our Wildcrafting Apprenticeship Programs in the Seattle area and Sandpoint, Idaho are field based, designed to expand students’ working knowledge of local medicinal plants, nutrition and plants’ effects on the body systems. The programs cover identification, materia medica, sustainable harvesting methods, medicine making, plant constituents, basic anatomy and physiology, formulations, and so much more. Apprentices gain a deeper understanding of the wild medicinal and edible plants of the Pacific and Inland Northwest, and acquire valuable experience in making and using herbal medicines for home or business.
“It’s a big leap to go from making tinctures from purchased and pre-prepared herbs to making medicine with plant material you picked or dug yourself. Working with my hands while wildcrafting with Suzanne brought the knowledge from my head down to my fingertips. Touching, tasting, and truly noticing herbs took that tangible knowledge to my heart. Apprenticeship at CMHS integrated my head, heart, and hands in my endeavor to learn plant wisdom and develop herbal intuition.”
— Charis K. (2021 and 2022 apprentice)
“Suzanne’s Herbal apprenticeship is a must for anyone who wants to learn how to harvest herbs ethically and make their own medicine. She has a kind and generous spirit and is a passionate teacher. I’m very grateful for her teachings and time with her in the field. I’m looking forward to applying my new knowledge to my practice.”
— Sharona C., PharmD (2022 apprentice)
“I’m beyond thrilled with all I learned this year during my apprenticeship with CMHS. Suzanne’s passion for herbs, holistic health and education is infectious. I’ve taken several in-person and virtual herbalist courses in the past, but this program was unique in its focus on practical field work – learning where to find, how to ID and how to harvest the medicinal plants growing all around us – and finally, how best to prepare them to ‘get the medicine to the people.’ I can’t recommend CMHS highly enough to anyone seeking a well-rounded herbal education, while expanding their tribe of nature-loving friends along the way!”
— Kim H. (2022 apprentice)
Upcoming Apprenticeship Programs
All About Our Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship programs are taught by Suzanne Tabert and Heather Bruno.
You’ll learn more about wild plants, the microbiome of your body and macrobiome of the world around you, how plants work in our bodies on a cellular/tissue/organ/system/total body level, and about yourself than you ever thought possible. Out in the world, where we sometimes feel excluded or looked at as that “weird herb person,” it can be hard to find our place. I’ve created a school where everyone is welcome! That means you! What we are told by so many of our students is that their lives changed for the better during their time in the programs, and they’ve finally found the community they’ve been searching for. Sometimes very surprising decisions are made, paths take turns, and new directions are found. We meet everyone where they are and practice boundaries with kindness.
Everywhere from deep in the woods, to the mountain tops and over the passes, in fields, gardens, and urban settings, to the ocean and rivers….plants are here, vital and waiting to be introduced. They have so much to offer and are so willing to teach, heal, and nourish. Students will delve into creatively using herbs as medicine, in body care, meals, smudging, treats, and so much more! As the months progress, plants will easily become part of daily life in ways that are beautiful, healthful, and nourishing. At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, our motto is “Get the medicine to the people in ways that they’ll delight in taking so that healing can occur!”
We offer 3 different types of Herbal Apprenticeship Programs:
The Sandpoint Idaho Apprenticeship Program is in-person and in depth, focusing on both the wilderness plants and hardy garden plants of North Idaho. This program is structured with four 4-week modules with a week break between each module and meets on Thursdays. Taught by the Queen Bee herself, Suzanne Tabert
The Roots to Tips Wildcrafting Program is an excellent weekend option for those who wish to have a completely in-person herbal experience in the Seattle area. The dates are the 4th weekend of each month April – July. Taught by Heather Bruno in the Seattle area.
The Botanical Primer is a 4-week mini apprenticeship packed full of fun and learning for those who cannot commit to a full apprenticeship, yet want to get their hands in the soil and stretch their herbalist’s wings. Spring and fall sessions are taught by Heather Bruno.
Make 2023 YOUR year by joining one of our apprenticeship programs! The time is now to kickstart your dream of herbal competency and independence from dream to reality!
Apprenticeship competencies & objectives:
100% correct identification is key to harvesting wild plants safely. Identify vascular plants in botanical Latin and colloquial terms using standard botanical identification methods and by closely observing plant identifying classifications such as leaf and flower structure, bark, growth patterns, inherent smell of the plants, and life cycles. Organoleptic method of identification is our specialty here at the Cedar Mountain Herb School – learn when it’s ok to put an unknown plant in your mouth and when it’s not!
Probiotics in cultured food and existing in nature replenish the microbiome in our small and large intestines, which lead to better digestive, immune, and nerve health. Students will gain an understanding of the gut flora/mental health connection, how consuming an overabundance of fermented foods can lead to inflammatory diseases.
Culinary herbs are medicinal! Advance the ability to grow medicinal plants in gardens, pots, on acreage, and utilize their medicine in a way that everyone will enjoy.
Preparedness for emergency situations. Integrate the best choice of plants and first aid techniques to use and correct applications in emergency situations – whether at home, on the road, or in the wilderness, to heal wounds, infections, muscle trauma; soothe rashes and stop allergic reactions, shock conditions, heat exhaustion. This comes in handy as the apprentices are out in a myriad of environments and conditions.
Students focus on eliminating the stressors of healthy immune responses such as stress, and emotional issues and their impact on the immune system, and discuss herbs and practices to strengthen and heal to create a robust immune system that can deal with what comes our way.
Participate in discussions of the role of medicinal plants for building strong immune, endocrine, reproductive, respiratory, cardiac and digestive systems, and for health issues of each system. Included is basic anatomy and physiology.
Prepare medicinal, edible, or technological plant products including —but not limited to— medicinal oils, tinctures, salves, elixirs, tea blends, herbal vinegar, poultices, liniments, herbal infused honeys, oxymels, and witch hazels. Distinguish appropriate applications and dosages for the remedies. Students will need to provide their own menstrua – including honey, alcohol, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, jars, tools, etc for medicine making.
As students acquire knowledge of the medicine of individual wild plants, they will recognize the formulas plants create in living in community with each other. This will enable them to design highly effective herbal products for home and business.
The plant monographs are the start of an herbarium. An herbarium is a record of plants that is a useful resource when harvesting for reference, for adding to as students learn over the years, to pass down to future generations. It includes botanical and common name, habitat, description of the plant and samples, when to harvest, medicinal constituents, physiological effects, drug interactions, preparations and menstrua, tools needed to harvest, personal experiences.
Phytochemistry is the study of the constituents in plants that cause physiological changes in the body. Knowing the actions and needs of constituents to fully extract and preserve each group or individual constituent will give the medicine maker a clear view on pairing constituents with the correct mentrua to ensure high quality remedies.
Describe the useful properties of at least 100 plant species with a working knowledge of making medicinal remedies.
Define and describe wildcrafting within the context of legal gathering, ethics, and sustainable harvesting. Students learn how to find and steward their own plant sanctuaries.
We’ll go to amazingly beautiful places to harvest wild plants for food and medicine. Getting out in nature is healing in and of itself, becoming comfortable in nature takes us even further in our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Recognize the need for passing on the knowledge of how peoples of the past and present use/d local plants for food and medicine. Students accomplish this through stories, hands-on training, and using new skills to pass on to future generations.
Each plant has its distinct identifier scent, which is part of their medicinal value. Achieve a working relationship with essential oils, their healing benefits, appropriate usage. Hydrosol distillation class will be included in each program.