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.


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