Community Herbal Intensive 2015

Elderflowers laid out to dry for tea.

The Community Herbal Intensive is an educational program for herbalists and other plant lovers who want to make a connection between herbal medicine and community health. The monthly workshops will take participants out into the field to work with plants or into the streets to develop community projects. This program is for anyone interested in furthering their studies of herbal medicine in a hands-on environment while developing skills for creating community projects. The goal of the program is to give participants skills, ideas, and strategies to start community projects that emphasize holistic health, folk medicine, education, gardening, and foraging. They will be introduced to the concepts of public health and liberation theory so herbs, education, and community health can be interwoven into well-planned projects.

Boneset, a plant that reduces fevers and stimulates the immune system.
Boneset, a plant that reduces fevers and stimulates the immune system.

Leah Wolfe, MPH, will facilitate the workshops. Leah is a founder of the Trillium Center and facilitator for the Serpentine Project. Her teaching style interweaves science with intuition and hands-on experience in order to engage students on multiple levels. She hopes to inspire participants to deepen their understanding of plants while engaging with local communities to develop projects that improve health and facilitate healing. Leah has taught classes across the country for gardening groups, conferences, and other gatherings. She has a background in research and community health. For Leah, herbalism is based on relationship. Relationship with community. Relationship with friends and family. Relationship with self. And, of course, relationship with each plant. Those relationships should be characterized by respect, willingness to learn, the courage to help when help is needed, direct experience. Direct experience is important because it requires being present and engaged in the process, whether that process is dealing with a conflict, learning about a new plant medicine, or working with a community experiencing disaster.

Echinacea purpurea: stimulates the immune system and cleanses the blood.
Echinacea purpurea: stimulates the immune system and cleanses the blood.

People who complete the Community Herbal Intensive (CHI) are eligible to apply for apprenticeship work/trade positions. The CHI is designed to introduce participants to the concepts, strategies, and frameworks needed to get hands-on practice working on local community projects. Participants will have opportunities to learn from each other and build a community of healers in the region. We expect nurses, massage therapists, yoga teachers, naturalists, wilderness guides, and herbalists to join us in our pursuit of plant knowledge, healing, and community health.

Sweet little candy flower.
Sweet little candy flower.

Some of the topics covered:

  • basic botany for herbalists
  • how to develop community projects for health and healing
  • basic anatomy and physiology
  • basic methodologies and ideologies for using plant medicine
  • materia medica: the medicinal uses of plants and trees
  • from field to apothecary: wild crafting, foraging, and garbling
  • medicine making: oils, salves, tinctures, cordials, and more
  • herbal first aid/psychological first aid/emergency preparedness/caring for large groups
Flowering stinging nettle.
Flowering stinging nettle.

The workshops will be held on the second Sunday of each month at the Trillium Center, March to November. Workshops will be held from 10 am-6 pm. Two field trips will allow participants to see other ecosystems. The cost for the entire program is $875 ($200 deposit due on January 1, full payment due March 1). Seats are limited; only 10 people will be admitted to the program. To get an application, contact us:

Gentle and cleansing chickweed.
Gentle and cleansing chickweed.


Increase Access to Art Education in the Lake Erie Region

Center panel of the Herb Quilt depicting the relationship of the ants and the trilliums.

On October 17, we are having a tea party and a drawing for the Herb Quilt. This event will help us raise funds to increase access to art education in the Lake Erie region by building a ceramic studio in Conneaut, OH.

Herb Quilt Tea Party
October 17, 6-8 PM
715 Furnace Rd.
Conneaut, OH 44030

If you would like to get tickets, go to this page and enter a donation of $5 per ticket. The funds will help us increase access to art education in the Lake Erie region:
The funds for this event are the seed money to create an educational ceramic studio in Conneaut, Ohio. The studio will allow people in the area to learn how to make pottery in low-cost classes. 
Help us raise more money by sharing this website with your friends and family:

Here is the story about the quilt!

The Herb Quilt hanging in the Seed House.
The Herb Quilt hanging in the Seed House.

Last fall, a friend asked, “What plants would you like in a quilt?” You see, she wanted something to do over the winter that would keep her hands busy, that would also benefit the Trillium Center. Did I mention she is a hand-quilter?

Embroidered Dandelion.
Embroidered Dandelion.
Kristine's drawing of Dandelion.
Kristine’s drawing of Dandelion.

So I put the word out that I needed plant illustrations for an herb quilt. Kristine Brown of Herbal Roots Zine ( offered some drawings.

Her drawings of Dandelion, Wild Bergamot, Trillium, Chicory, Crampbark, New England Aster, Chickweed, and Marshmallow surround The Trillium and the Ant, the logo for the Trillium Center.

Each plant design is hand-embroidered on a white background. The border around the center illustration has a light, golden pattern that is reminiscent of Dandelion petals; this is set off with solid green blocks. The final touch is the binding of grass which binds it all together. The quilt is hand-pieced and hand-quilted with a signature panel on the back including the quilter, Theresa; Kristine; and Christina Mrozik of the Beehive Collective who drew the Trillium Center’s logo.

Embroidered New England Aster.
Embroidered New England Aster.
Kristine's drawing of New England Aster.
Kristine’s drawing of New England Aster.

Win the Herb Quilt

The Herb Quilt will be raffled off to raise funds for a ceramics studio in the carpenter’s shop. We are hoping to create a studio where people can come and learn how to make pots with local clay.

To get your tickets for a chance to win the Herb Quilt, make a $5 donation per ticket at or contact us at

Join Us for an Herbal Tea Party!

The drawing for the Herb Quilt will be held October 17, 6-8 PM . We will celebrate  with an herbal tea party with delicious treats. You don’t have to be present to win.

Introduction to Wilderness Skills – October 11

NCM_0066The Trillium Center, a non-profit educational arts project, is hosting a wilderness program. The program is an introduction to basic wilderness arts including fire building, making cordage, building shelters, and a little herbal first aid.

Introduction to Wilderness Skills
Saturday, October 11
10 AM – 2 PM

Trillium Center
715 Furnace Rd.
Conneaut, OH 44030

Cost: adults $20, children FREE. Children under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a sack lunch. Sign up by sending an email to

brook behind house 2The Trillium Center plans to hold more wilderness programs throughout the year. Next spring look for a basic wilderness first aid program that will include learning about how to use wild medicinal plants in first aid. Learn beyond-the-basics of fire-building skills, building shelters to stay protected in emergency situations, finding and purifying water, and finding wild foods along with avoiding toxic and poisonous plants. These programs hope to impart a lasting sense of confidence, awareness, and inner vision to allow students to survive and thrive under any circumstances.

The program will be taught by Charles Schiavone, Leah Wolfe, and Ian Hamilton. Charles Schiavone is a firefighter and paramedic in Conneaut. He facilitates the Alternative Building Technologies program at the Trillium Center and was the primary creator of the Seed House, the Trillium Center’s strawbale classroom and greenhouse. He will be teaching first aid, building shelters, and finding wild foods and water.

Leah Wolfe, MPH, is an herbalist and community health educator. She teaches herbalism at workshops throughout the country and co-founded the Trillium Center with Schiavone. She studied public health at Portland State University and has been studying herbs and food as medicine since 1992. She will help children learn first aid, how to find and purify water, and how to find edible and medicinal plants.

100_1841Ian Hamilton is an experienced survival skills and earth living instructor with a decade of training, and extensive full survival experience. He has a strong passion for youth mentoring and healing work, he uses his personal experience and a proven approach to survival skills to reconnect students with the natural world in and around them. He will help teach students about fire, shelters, and wild foods and medicines.

The Trillium Center will offer classes for adults and children throughout the year. It is located at BLD farm on Furnace Road in Conneaut, Ohio. To learn more about our programs, write to The Trillium Center is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas (, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of the Trillium Center must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Join the Medicinal Plant Study Group: Last Month was Red Clover

Red_Clover_(NGM_XXXI_p516)Join us for the next study group session!

Serpentine Project Study Group
Saturday, October 4
4-6 PM

Trillium Center
715 Furnace Rd.
Conneaut, OH 44030

Send an email to to reserve a seat.

You can come as a regular member of the group, a few times a year, or just once to see what it’s like. You can read about the process we follow at:

Red Clover, Trifolium pratense

On August 23 2014, the Serpentine Project study group met and drank a mysterious tea. Here are the notes about what they noticed changing in their bodies, minds, and spirits as they drank the tea.

Sensations noticed while holding the tea
circulatory system response, warmth, increased awareness, pulsing in fingers, heavy hands

grassy, earthy, warm, “good for you,” tasty, a little bitter…

Read more at:

Finish the Seed House: This Weekend

Hello Friends of the Trillium Center and BLD farm!

An early picture of the timber frame for the Seed House.
An early picture of the timber frame for the Seed House.
This weekend is probably one of the most exciting weekends of the year for us, because it is the year we finish the Seed House. This has been a long project to create an educational space for the Trillium Center workshops and classes. Starting at 1 PM on Saturday through 6 PM on Sunday, we will be working on the Seed House and celebrating with potlucks and camping. You are welcome to come for the day, either day, or camp onsite. Send us a note at if you are planning on coming, especially if you are camping.
Some of the things that we’ll be doing:
  • plastering the inner walls over the straw bales
  • placing the final layer of cobb on the rocket stove bench

    The to-be-finished rocket stove bench.
    The to-be-finished rocket stove bench.
  • using cobb to reconstruct our sauna
  • tightening up the green house to get through the winter
Please consider joining us, bringing a dish or snack to share! We will provide some food and drink as well – if you let us know you are coming!
We also have some other exciting classes coming up. Check our schedule at:
You should know that we raised funds for this project on Indiegogo, received a donation from Shadybrook, Inc., and won a grant from the Pollination Project.
The Trillium Center is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Fractured Atlas will receive grants for the charitable purposes of Trillium Center, provide oversight to ensure that grant funds are used in accordance with grant agreements, and provide reports as required by the grantor. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Trillium Center must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law. If you’d like to make a donation toward our next project, the Lake Erie Herb Bus, please click here:
Inside the Seed House sunroom!
Inside the Seed House sunroom!

A center for wilderness skills, self-reliance and other folk arts


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