When you apply good Permaculture design to the garden, you get a garden that nurtures you back holistically, that's easier, makes sense in your life, and also cares for the world around you.
So what we wanted to find out was: What do you get when you apply that same design process to home herbalism?
The answer: This program, a course of learning adventures to build knowledge, build your own valuable home apothecary, start a collection of medicinal plants that work for your own situation, and establish a real meaningingful practice of things you will actually USE.
Adventures? Each interactive class is organized around a series of of them. Every session, we'll go foraging for the best locally-available herbs, do a tea tastings, learn about seasonal herb-gardening in our diverse herb garden, and create some herbal remedies, which you'll take home.
Swag? Of course! In Permaculture terms, our goal is always to go beyond education to help you invest in "regenerative assets," actual items of value. In this program, you'll take home seeds from many medicinal species (when you need to plant them,) medicinal plants, and remedies including herbal teas, oils, vinegars, salves, bitters, recpies, and even our own herb-infused lotion we're very proud of.
(Well, *cool apothecary cabinet not included)
Each class will contain a component on research-based plant knowledge, foraging, gardening, sourcing, and processing. We'll start with strong basic foundations, break down the material into accessible chunks, and build up over time, with each class building on what we learned the previous session. For example, over the course we'll dry herbs that will go into an oil, that we'll use for a salve, that we'll use to make a lotion, so you'll practice the basic skills that build up to more advanced processing!
Here's a basic schedule of our curriculum, including notes on he processing topics, which leads you through what we consider the most common and important uses:
May: Introduction, Foundations and Spring Cleaning (Tonics, pestos, drying, teas, infusions and decoctions.)
June: "Let food by thy medicine." Cooking with herbs, oils, vinegars, bitters, foraged superfoods.
July: Wounds and Healing: Electuaries, salves, poultices, etc.
August: Skin, hair, beauty. Balms, butters, creams, lotions, etc.
Sept: Winter wellness. Fermenting, more tincturing.
And of course, the whole adventure takes place in our garden, with hundres of species of plants, inspired by the medieval Jardin de Cure, a traditional form of holistic herb garden or physic garden, which we think is a pretty cool place to learn about herbalism.