Come and Apprentice at
Herbal Apprenticeships Now
Many people have asked me to offer herbal
Why come to Minnesota's Great North
The wild medicinal plants which thrive here are almost ubiquitous, grow in wide swaths of latitude and altitude all over the world. They have been carried here, not only by wind and waves and birds, but by every immigrant group looking to settle in this land, and not knowing what medicinal herbs they would find here. When you get back home, these plants will be, by and large, the very same plants which will greet you in your yards and gardens, and under your hedges, unless you live in the very driest desert areas of the southwestern United States, or at a very high altitude.
While you are here in the North Country studying at Giving Ground, you will be nurtured and cared for, you will live in the same sweet cabins that weekend herb guests always stay in, meals served will be the same vegetarian comfort food that Giving Ground is famous for, and you will live in communion with the wild, benign animals who share the land and water with us. You will have space, and quiet, and meditative time here in the "elven woods." In the words of one herb guest 'alum', "The night will smudge off on (your) hand, except where the stars are punching laser holes in all that blackness..."
No prior study is necessary.
We will group people of similar herbal knowledge - or starting point - together in the same class. There will be no more than three apprentices in a class. We will meet for one weekend a month, for instance, Friday evening through late Sunday afternoon, for 9 consecutive months, and you will stay in the cottages here (heated in winter) and all the meals will be served here, just as they are for any single weekend of herb guests. (see Accommodations, this web site). The apprenticeship weekends will be separate from the regular schedule (see single weekend Schedule, this web site). We could, for instance, as well meet Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays if that suited incoming apprentices. We will map out our meeting times before the first class begins.
We will use my own mentor, Teresa Wolfe's curriculum outline from Rosemary Gladstar as our starting points, and go off on various "expeditions" that I have incorporated into my own teaching, literal expeditions every class, as well as figurative expeditions into phytotherapy issues and challenges of the times. (see my essay, "Calling the Circle" on this website, as an example.)
What you'll receive
Each participant will receive 9 folders of text and study materials. Included will be Anatomy and Physiology studies, some basic chemistry, and consideration, each month, of a different body system, incorporating investigation of the specific herbs for that system's balance and health. Wild crafting, or wild gathering, and laboratory work making salves, tinctures, poultices and compresses, pills, etc. will complement the text work.
You will present to the small group an independent project/study of your choosing, at some point during the nine month course. There will be homework, quizzes, tests, much question- and- answer and discussion time. Toward the end we will work on case studies, which you will then do independently, and defend in class.
We will be outside during parts of every class period, identifying plants, beginning your own field guide identification booklet, and you will take home medicinal products for your medicine chest from every laboratory segment. We'll use the canoe/snowshoes as needed. There'll be a Finnish wood-fired sauna for you all as we talk about the skin as an organ.
We will do a steam distillation of an essential oil all together here, from start to finish, as we begin our discussion of aromatherapy. My still is small: 2, 2-liter flasks, so we will only get a drop or 2 of essential oil, but will get a nice amount of hydrosol for you each to take home, and you will understand how the process works.
At this time, I do not have any work/study bartering programs/internships available .
Staying at Giving Ground
Also, I do insist students stay here at Giving Ground during their class days/overnights. Camping off-site has its confusions and difficulties. For instance, people don't gather at a specific time every day here if they are coming from 5-6 miles away, and start times are important if we are to cover the amount of material you will want to work through. Lighting at campgrounds is not sufficient for the amount of reading you will be doing. Also, if there are lightning storms, I will be frantic for your safety in a tent with aluminum poles, and I will get up in the middle of the night and drive the 5-6 miles to come and look for you at the camping grounds. If everyone is here, on-site, we can have some late night discussions (by consensus!) from time to time, and no one has to leave and drive away late. We could even have a thimbleful of Benedictine (tincture) in the evenings, while discussing ways that herbs have been historically preserved for the winters!
When to begin
We can begin an apprenticeship program any month. No prior herbal knowledge is needed. I always prefer to begin in the spring or early summer, and end before the winter holidays become a distraction!
There will be a 10 % discount from the single weekend rate, (times nine), to do the 9 months' apprenticeship (A savings of $297). This price, as always, includes all meals (vegetarian comfort food); sweet cottages with beds all made up; all recreational gear (canoes, snowshoes); Finnish wood-fired sauna; trails; all library materials available in the apothecary - books, professional journals, audio tapes, CD's, videos; all laboratory materials; and hand-outs: $2664.00. This sum is all-inclusive, and is to be paid in full before the nine-month course begins or each meeting time before the class begins. You will receive a certificate in herbalism at the satisfactory completion of this course, and you will know by that time, what you don't know. Your responsibility will be to continue in a life-long herbal investigative journey!
As is noted on my "Meet Your Teacher" website page here, I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Cornell University. I have been teaching all my life, including, in Peace Corps, young students, and Soil and Water Conservation Engineers. I am a Certified Modern Herbalist through The American Herbalist Institute (TAHI) in Salem, Oregon, and I apprenticed under eco-herbalist Teresa Wolfe.
I have participated in group intensive classes under several world class medical herbalists, such as David Hoffmann, Steven Foster, Rosemary Gladstar, Kathi Keville, Dr. William Mitchell who was a great force behind the founding of Bastyr University and who taught there until his very untimely death, and Greg Tilford and Mary Wulff-Tilford, herbalists who work mainly with veterinarians and animals. We would be listening to parts of some of these presentations on audio tape, CD's, video, etc. during your class time/overnights here.
I teach on a very regular schedule, through community education programs in Duluth, my own workshops and retreats here at Giving Ground. I've taught in primary and secondary schools in Minnesota, in the Republic of Turkey and at the Minnesota Environmental Learning Center. I regularly present Continuing Education classes to the doctors, nurses and other staff at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Student Health Center. Additionally, I've given workshops at Bois Forte Tribal Women's Health Conferences and at the White Earth Wild Food Summit.
I also do herbal consultations on a regular basis, and formulate and sell medicinal products which work (see my essay, "Calling the Circle," on my website). I also write (see the Winter 2006 issue of Herb Quarterly).
Call Giving Ground to ask any questions or to reserve an apprenticeship
Call me at 1-218-848-2302 or 1-866-276-1336 or e-mail me at INFO@GIVINGGROUND.COM for more information about apprenticeships here at Giving Ground.