(This page is all about the details! For a brief overview of the class, click here.)
The 2020 Grassroots Herbalism Intensive is enrolling!
Deadline is Sunday, March 15, 2020 / Space is limited!
I’m so excited to be able to offer, teach, facilitate and participate in the 4th year of the Grassroots Herbalism Intensive! This year we have an additional month of classes, a weekend campout, with a monthly class schedule that is more accommodating and spread out, plus many little changes to help you get the most out of it. I can’t wait to meet all of you and see how you’ll shape the class as well!
The Grassroots Herbalism Intensive is intended to give a foundation in the basics of western herbal medicine and holistic health, informed by an intersectional, anti-oppressive perspective. Over 9 months, students will develop their experience and relationship to plants, herbal medicine and personal health in a small-group format that emphasizes practicality, applicability and self-inquiry. Students will learn to apply frameworks for understanding illness and creating appropriate and responsible holistic recommendations for themselves, friends and communities, with consideration of the implicit political nature of healing work.
If you’re curious, here’s what some former students have to say.
Please read this page thoroughly, send me an email if you have questions and when you’re ready, fill out the application at the bottom of this page.
2020 Class Dates
Classes are held one weekday and weekend a month. Indoor classes meet at Repair the World Workshop in west Philadelphia, reachable by the 40th st. MFL Station. Expected class size is 8-15 people.
- All Tuesday classes are 6pm-9:30pm
- All Weekend times are 10am-6pm
- Additional learning opportunities will be shared throughout the year.
Dates for the 2020 program are:
Friday/Saturday/Sunday 7/17-19 (Camping Weekend - Weather Permitting)
Saturday 11/14, 10-7pm (Student Presentations)
Total Class Hours: 191
Indoor classes are wheelchair accessible by ramp. Outdoor classes are usually on uneven and unpaved terrain, some including longer hikes. I am happy to work with students who don’t participate in these classes to learn the pertinent information in an accommodating setting. Our indoor classroom has all-gender bathrooms. We take stretch breaks throughout the day and usually an hour for lunch. Students are asked to refrain from using scented products for those of us with chemical sensitivities.
Lecture is the primary mode of teaching, including visual aids when applicable. While I do try to break up lectures with other modes of teaching, students should be prepared for a significant amount of didactic time.
Experiential Learning will also be heavily emphasized. Probably the best way to understand plant medicine is through direct experience, and we will take time every weekend to taste herbs and tinctures and make teas, giving time for observation and discussion of effects and reactions. We will also make a variety of different medicines and perhaps some ferments too.
Discussions Participants will be encouraged to share experience-based knowledge and wisdom, and there will be ample time made for exploring questions about herbalism and health care through various lenses.
Plant walks and Plant ID will happen as a regular portion of the class, especially in good weather. We will occasionally meet or caravan to local spots to observe, identify, draw and experience these friends.
Presentations to the class are encouraged to strengthen teaching confidence and to solidify personal study. These will vary from short herb monographs to more in-depth topics, including a 20-30 minute final project presentation.
Check-in time on each Saturday is for us to catch up with each other, review the last month, talk about our progression through different homework assignments, bring questions to the group, share personal experiences and bring any other thoughts to the class.
Self-Study and Homework are the flipside of class weekends. There will be an array of things to work on in your personal time. Studying an “Herb of the Month”, medicine-making, plant identification, harvesting, personal explorations of lifestyle habits and changes, readings and audio lectures are all encouraged to support our in-class time. I recognize and respect people’s differing access to time, so there will be a baseline of monthly required work with many optional study resources offered beyond that.
To be clear, this is a “get out what you put in” situation and past students have heavily echoed this. Attending the weekend classes without any self-study and homework will make it hard to keep up. I think of my role in this class as a facilitator to your weekly individual study of class-specific topics (and in guiding you as best I can in the direction of personal herb/health interests), and as a teacher/facilitator in our monthly classes. To the extent that I can I will make myself available to assist folks between classes.
Please consider whether you will be able to commit the time to personal study over 9 months. I estimate that to complete homework assignments and explore the information, at least 2-4 hours a week should be accounted for.
We will share a forum in which monthly homework will be posted, as well as supplementary materials and readings, and where you can submit herb of the month monographs, musings, and will be a place for questions.
Classes will be recorded for re-listening and in case of absence.
It is expected that participants miss no more than 3 classes. There is a lot of cumulative material and it is easy to get lost. If classes are missed, students will be asked to share notes on the lecture recordings or otherwise show comprehension of the information.
- What is “Western” Herbalism?
- Settler-Colonial Context
- Vitalist Theory and Practice
- Constitutions and Constitutional Assessment
- The 6 Tissue States
- Herbal Actions and Energetics
- Materia Medica for 50-60 Herbs
- Systems of the Body
- basic A&P overview, common pathologies and herb/lifestyle interventions
- Stress Responses and Trauma
- Medicine Making
- infusions, decoctions, tinctures, glycerites, honeys, elixirs, oils, salves, powders, poultices,
- Wildcrafting, Harvesting, Preparing/Storing
- Basic Botany and Plant Identification
- Ancestral Nutrition
- Food as Medicine
- Food Allergy and Intolerance
- Researching and Sourcing Information
- Navigating the Western Herbal Milieu
- Basic First Aid and Palliative Care
- Harm-Reduction Approaches
- Considerations for Different Populations and Identities
- Low-Income Strategies for Care
- Colonization, Settlers and Herbal Medicine
- This class does not provide any license or legally recognized accreditation
- This class is not a clinical program, nor a “complete” training in herbal medicine (how could anything be?!)
- It is not education in or about shamanism, new-age spirituality, indigenous ceremonies or specific indigenous traditions
- While recognizing that no space is totally free of oppressive behavior/beliefs, this class is not a place where racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, sizeism, nationalism or other oppressive behaviors or viewpoints will be accepted or given airtime.
Class tuition is offered sliding-scale and has been considered at length based on prior student’s feedback, my time spent in and out of class, and desire to make the class more accessible while supporting myself and my work.
The actual cost of class is $1800. If your tuition is below this, you are receiving a discount in the spirit of resource-sharing. If you are able to pay above this, it helps me to include more folks who can’t. Neither is a more or less valuable position.
Cost of herbal classes on the east coast ranges greatly, but tends to be fixed at prices in the range of $10-$20/hour, without options for people of lower incomes. To break that apart a little, accounting solely for class time it looks like:
$1400 - $7.32/hr
$1500 - $7.85/hr
$1600 - $8.37/hr
$1700 - $8.90/hr
$1800 - $9.42/hr
$1900 - $9.94/hr
$2000 - $10.47/hr
$2100 - $10.99/hr
$2200 - $11.51/hr
I ask that people take time to consider a payment amount that reflects your means, class, personal and family financial status, savings and safety net, and other aspects of survival or comfort that are part of your life. Also perhaps you can raise class tuition from friends or family, crowd-sourcing or other people who want to support your education. Choosing a sliding-scale amount can evoke uncertainty and anxiety sometimes. In thinking about this, I highly encourage you to read the thoughts and tools shared by herbalist Alexis J. Cunningfolk regarding sliding scale and the difference between sacrifice and hardship.
In addition to sliding-scale, I offer short and long-term payment plans available to everyone. We devise these together and they can extend beyond the duration of class to enable you to disperse costs over time.
If together the sliding scale and payment plans still do not make this class accessible to you, please let me know.
I am prioritizing half the spaces in the class for Indigenous folks and people of color. In the case of over-enrollment, these slots will remain reserved, with a waiting list for non-POC. If spots are unfilled by the enrollment deadline they will be open to people on the waiting list (due to a need to fill the class generally). This is a small gesture in recognition of the massive racial disparities in the herbal education in the US.
A $250 non-refundable deposit is requested by by March 15 to hold your space in the class, as space is limited (or another arrangement if a deposit is not possible for you at the time). It may be paid in check, cash, paypal or venmo. The rest of your tuition may be paid at once, or in monthly amounts or in an arrangement upon which we agree. Please be very sure that you want to take this class before you put your deposit in! When people drop out several months in, it means an empty spot where someone could have been participating!
There are no required course materials, as class and homework readings will be free online. However I strongly recommend obtaining a few books that you will likely use for years to come. Each month, I will make suggestions about relevant books, and audio lectures you might like to supplement with. You may also want to purchase medicine making supplies such as alcohol, jars, oil, beeswax and dry bulk herbs, which, depending on your penchant for medicine making, which may be anywhere from $25-$75 a month.
So, that’s a lot! Thanks for considering all of it. If you’re ready to apply, please let me know about yourself, your interest in the class and I’ll be in touch!