Forest Edge Herbals

(540) 254-0641

©2019 by Forest Edge Herbals

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Forest Edge Herbal Apprenticeship

This two-day a month apprenticeship begins in April, 2020 and Ends in November, 2020. It will be held on 70 beautiful acres of shared land in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southern Virginia.

At its core, this apprenticeship was inspired by the botanical concept of the Edge Effect.

The edge effect describes a greater diversity of plant and animal life in the region where the edges of two ecosystems overlap, such as land/water or forest/pasture. At the edge of two overlapping ecosystems, you find species from both places, as well as unique species that aren’t found in either ecosystem. These plants and animals are specially adapted to the conditions of the transition zone between the two edges.

This holds true with people as well. Those of us who, through life circumstances and/or personal choice, are specially adapted to our physical and metaphorical transition zones. Those of us that have been discriminated against because of our genders, sexual orientation, skin color, or socioeconomic status. Travelers, wonderers, activists, writers, herbalists. So many people!  We can see the edge effect rippling through our cultures, just as we can feel it when we walk through a sunny meadow into the cool damp of an oak forest. We can call this liminal space.

The Forest Edge Herbal Apprenticeship celebrates the teeming diversity life brings and holds space for the margins of the world and those of us living and working in these magical spaces. Together we thrive!

​In this apprenticeship, we will explore the intersections of herbalism, botany, wild-crafting, society, and somatic experiencing to support plant-centered learning. We will learn in reciprocity with the plants, with reverence for indigenous culture and each other.

What do classes look like?

Classes will begin on Saturdays at 9 am and run until 3 pm on Sundays, with the exception of the first weekend, which will begin on Friday at 10 am. We will cover:

  • Basic physiology and disease states from an ecological perspective.

    • This means looking at the body through the lens of our natural environments, as interconnected parts of a whole and learning to support illnesses and issues in this framework using herbs, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications.

  • Herbal Actions and Energetics:

    • We will learn about the 5 tissue states of western traditional herbalism (Hot/Cold, Wet/Dry, Tense/Lax) using sensory experiencing. This will include blind tea tastings, tincture tastings, and sampling and cooking with wild foods and spices that we harvest together and lecture/discussion time.

    • We will also go over basic herbal actions as they relate to the body system and plants we study

  • Botany and Wildcrafting:

    • We will learn how to identify plants by their family characteristics using the book “Botany in a Day” as our guild.

    • We will also learn the principles of ethical wildcrafting and learn to understand the plants through their lifecycles and needs, as opposed to getting to know them through human need.

    • We will wild craft plants for food and medicines that we will all enjoy together and be able to take with us when we leave.

  • Wild Food Preparation, AKA Forage and Feast

    • Saturday evenings we will prepare and enjoy together a seasonal meal focused on the wild foods we harvest together around a beautiful bonfire (as weather allows).

  • Somatic Experiencing

    • Although most of what we are doing is coming from a somatic lens, we will focus on resiliency-building, learn anchoring exercises, somatic formulation, and other fun somatic techniques to tune in to our Nervous Systems and tap into our innate knowledge.

  • Materia Medica, It’s all about the plants!

    • We will learn the growing habits, lifecycles, medicinal uses, and historical understanding of the plants we meet. This will be a mix of sensory experiencing, lecture, discussion, and reading/writing.

    • We focus mostly on bioregional, invasive, and transplanted herbs. We will also go over plants that can be grown in the application regions in garden zones 6-8.

Dates:

April 24th-26th

May 23rd-24th

June 27th-28th

July 18th-19th

August 15th-16th

September 12th-13th

October TBA

November TBA

You will leave each class satiated in mind and body, armed with plant connection, the ability to create “forest to table” meals and medicines for your community, as well as the knowledge of how to use these medicines to support your health and the health of your family and friends.

This apprenticeship is not political, but will not shy away from difficult topics when they come up during normal class time. This apprenticeship will be trauma informed and welcomes and celebrates all identities and expressions. I have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.

Accommodations: Shared cabins with organic bedding. You are also welcome to camp. Shared shower, kitchen and bathroom. Access to 30-foot yurt teaching space and library. Pond for swimming. Trails for walking.