Each weekend, we will travel to amazingly beautiful places for learning, harvesting, making field medicine, and soaking in the beauty that is all around.
Each class is field based, designed to expand and enhance your knowledge of local medicinal plants, nutrition, and plants’ effects on the body systems. The programs cover plant identification, materia medica, sustainable harvesting methods, medicine making, plant constituents, basic anatomy and physiology, formulations, local ecology, 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. Our approach is holistic, grounded in both science and tradition, and you will learn more about your body and how plants work with your body, mind, and spirit to support health and healing than you ever thought possible.
At CMHS, we hold the land and plants very dear and so practicing and teaching ethical and sustainable wildcrafting is at the heart of what we do. Wildcrafting places are sacred to the person who took the time to find them. You will learn how to care for and preserve these precious plants and ecologies. It is a privilege to be in these places with like-minded wildings with a passion for learning about and harvesting the exquisite healing medicine the earth provides.
Our school is a safe place where everyone is welcome! That means you! We are told by so many apprentices 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, new directions are found, lifelong friendships are forged. Apprenticeships at CMHS are truly enriching and positively life changing!
What you can expect
Apprentices will participate in a wide variety of holistic botanical experiences that will take them deeper into the practice of herbalism.
You will participate in identifying and wild harvesting plants relevant to the chosen subjects each month. 110% correct identification is key to harvesting wild plants safely, by identifying 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, organoleptic (sensory) identification, and life cycles.
You will define and practice wildcrafting within the context of ethical, legal and sustainable harvesting.
The fine art of herbal medicine-making and formulation will be explored, along with the “why” specific plants might work better than others in certain situations. Each month, you will make remedies to add to your ever-growing apothecary and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills by discussing case studies and engaging in inquiry-based learning.
In addition to field work, plant harvesting, and medicine making, additional lessons and experiences may include:
- Hydrosol distillation
- Flower remedies
- Botanical skin care
- Food as medicine
- Holistic healing practices
Everywhere from deep in the woods, to the mountain tops and over the passes, in fields and urban settings, to the ocean and rivers… Plant allies are here, vital and waiting to introduce themselves to you. They have so much to offer and are so willing to teach, heal and nourish. As the months progress, plants will easily become part of your daily life in ways that are beautiful, healthful, and nourishing.
Just as we work to create protected places for plants, we create protected spaces for people. This means that our time together is a sanctuary away from daily life stressors, politics, controversies and tensions. We emphasize being together in harmony and shared purpose and our time is focused on the plants and what they have to teach us. Respectful and kind interactions are expected always.
The program runs 110+ hours of time with the instructor. In addition to the field work and curriculum, apprentices will enrich and expand their knowledge through various assignments and projects, including the opportunity to create an herbarium, a valuable record of plants that is useful when harvesting and documenting your learning. An herbarium can be adding to over the years and passed down to future generations. It includes botanical and common names, habitat, descriptions of the plants and samples, information about when, where and how to harvest, medicinal constituents, physiological effects, drug interactions, preparations, proper menstrua, and personal experiences.
Those who complete all assignments and miss no more than 2 days throughout the program will receive a certificate of achievement at the end of the course. Fulfillment of the requirements for the apprenticeship program may be applied to continuing education credits.
(read before enrolling)
Housing is not provided. Students must make their own housing and travel arrangements. Students will need to acquire the tools, equipment, jars and menstrua needed for harvesting and making medicine.