At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, we put the WILD in Wildcrafting!
The Wildcrafting Apprenticeship Programs here at CMHS 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 Northwest, and acquire valuable experience in making and using herbal medicines for home or business.
Forage a profoundly life changing relationship with nature and become a part of the community that you’re so welcome in. Our knowledge of plants and their medicines is based on a deep relationship to the land, place and home. We welcome working with you on your herbal adventure!
“I wanted to tell you again that I love you and am so thankful for everything you have taught & will continue to teach me about medicine. Not just plant medicine but also the medicine we get from each other & from our challenges in life. I am so grateful the universe brought me to you.” — Cat R. (2019 Apprentice)
Learn about our Herbal Classes & Workshops
Improve your herbal skills with short, focused herbal classes and workshops. Expand your knowledge of local medicinal plants, nutrition, and plants’ effects on the body systems.
All About Our Apprenticeships
The 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 and safe place 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 two different types of Herbal Apprenticeship Programs:
The Roots to Tips Wildcrafting Apprenticeship 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 – September. Taught by Suzanne Tabert
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. The Primer meets on Fridays April – May. Taught by Heather Bruno
Apprenticeship competencies and 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!
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.
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.
Describe the useful properties of at least 100 plant species with a working knowledge of making medicinal remedies.
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.
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.
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.
Support Strategies for Body Systems
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.
Herbal and Lifestyle Support for Robust Immunity and Stress Relief
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.
Herbal First Aid
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.
Medicine in the Herb Garden
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.
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.
Herbal Lore and Ethnobotany
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.
I took my first class with Suzanne over 20 years ago, and recently circled back around, and found my way into her apprenticeship. Working with Suzanne has been like coming home. She provides a supportive, nurturing, and fun environment to learn, and to grow as an individual, in multiple ways. The apprenticeship provided community, and a welcome opportunity to explore, and celebrate, who you truly are. She knows her stuff, and also happens to be a truly kind person. I would recommend this for anybody with a serious interest in and connection to herbs, and a willingness and desire to dive deep and immerse themselves in the work.
– Juliana T.
I have always been interested in health and wellness and, in recent years, became fascinated with herbal support. This lead to an apprenticeship with Suzanne which opened a brand new world of natural medicine, much of it right outside my backdoor. In an increasingly toxic planet, learning about healing plants becomes a critical piece of knowledge on the path to wellness. However, there are many “experts” sharing information on this subject so choosing a worthy and experienced teacher is equally critical. I very much enjoyed my time learning from Suzanne and would recommend her to others like myself.
– Catherine M.
I am so grateful that I found CMHS, Suzanne’s teaching style empowers your mind, body and soul. Her teachings transformed the way I look at the plant world, it helped me look at the intricacies of our planet, our bodies and their systems. She brings science, vulnerability, strength, and a lifelong devotion to the wisdom of herbs, trees and flowers. This course goes beyond the sharing and learning of true medicine, it helped bring focus to a world I did not know how to navigate. She goes above and beyond to ensure the information we learn in this complex world of plants is clear and concise…wow so many notes!!! If you want quality mentorship, you will find it in her apprenticeship program. You are here because you’re supposed to be!”
– Suji A.
THANK YOU! Your apprenticeship was life changing and absolutely the “Best Tuesday Ever!” I am grateful for it all… your knowledge is invaluable, you’ve fueled my fire to continue learning in and staying close to nature, brought me back to center and to my purpose… I can not thank you enough! Your knowledge, care, and sustainable practices are so needed in our world today – a more intimate knowledge of nature and its power and fragility. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing with us all. As long as you teach, the world will benefit.
– Karis B.
This Apprenticeship is intoxicating. You just want more..and more…Suzanne is engaging and really knows her plants. She encourages questions and discussions with a dose of sassiness and humor. It’s great to learn the science behind the medicine! I would highly recommend this class and will soon be going through withdrawals til next apprenticeship begins!”
– Julie W.