Wildcrafted Herb School - Roots (1st Year Program)
Second Fridays & Saturdays, April - November
April 8-9, May 13-14, June 10-11, July 8-9, August 12-13, September 9-10, October 14-15, November 11-12
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
This is a DIFFERENT kind of herb school.
We pride ourselves on that.
In this program you will truly learn the Wild Craft of Herbalism.
We believe that the best medicine for our bodies is already available in the plants that grow in the same habitat that we live in, and have adapted to the same environmental issues.
As the world changes and it becomes more difficult and less sustainable to ship herbs from around the world, knowing that everything we need surrounds us, is a comfort and a big leap in the direction of our own security.
It's about connecting with ourselves, each other, and our habitat.
We, at The WANDER School, have never been big fans of sitting in a classroom, we like to wander. So, we think there's a different way to learn.
We'll gather together one Friday and Saturday a month, April - November, at The WANDER School in Burnsville, NC, on the edge of the gorgeous Pisgah National Forest, on the South Toe River.
Fridays will be field trip days. We'll get out into nature to see, touch, taste, and smell the plants. We'll create relationships with the plants, learning how to recognize them through basic botany and spending time together. Then, we'll sustainably and ethically harvest them. We'll bring the plants/plant parts back to school and get real hands-on experience making them into food, medicine, and crafts.
Saturdays will be spent at the school and in the herb gardens. You'll get experience growing wild and cultivated herbs and learning their favorite habitats. We'll also have a different speaker each Saturday. Topics will include, but not be limited to (and are subject to change):
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge and how it is shared appropriately
- Reciprocity in Herbalism (including a field trip to Cherokee, NC)
- Racism/appropriation in Herbalism
- Cherokee and other Native American tribal and African American/Black Herbalism
- Traditional Cherokee foods
- Folk Appalachian Herbalism
- Nature Connection
- Botanical Drawing
- Herbs and Formulas for Skincare
- Ecology and Habitat
- Tree Medicine
- Cooking Wild Foods
- Having an Herbal Products Business
Another important part of this course is learning about and practicing Reciprocity. A part of Herbalism that's often left out of teaching in the American culture is asking where the knowledge came from. There is a long folk herbal tradition in Appalachia, which has been a melting pot of Indigenous knowledge and knowledge from the descendants of enslaved people, and beyond. Though this has created a wide and rich body of knowledge, its roots are not often acknowledged. This is a large part of why The WANDER School became a non-profit, to acknowledge, and go beyond that, to continuously figure out ways that we can give back for this knowledge.
Throughout the course we'll become true Community Herbalists, by giving back to our Cherokee neighbors (and others) through making medicine that can be given away, and more. We'll also learn what cultural appropriation is and how to avoid it in our herbal practice.
Because we don't want to spend so much time sitting in lecture in the classroom, as part of your tuition you'll receive Abby's book, The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders, and her Make Your Own Herbal Home Remedies course, so you can start the course with a foundation of basic herbal medicine making. You'll have plenty of opportunities to practice and learn more in and out of class, with plenty of medicine to take home.
The WANDER School is a United Plant Savers Partner in Herbal Education. That means you'll automatically get a student membership to United Plant Savers!
Formed in the spirit of hope, United Plant Savers is a group of plant enthusiasts committed to raising public awareness of the plight of our wild medicinal plants and to protecting these plants through organic cultivation, sustainable agricultural practices, and the replanting of native medicinal species back into their natural habitats. Our goal is to ensure that these valuable medicinal plants will be preserved for our grandchildren and our grandchildren's grandchildren.
Members of UpS:
- Receive the annual Journal of Medicinal Plant Conservation
- Participate in Spring and Fall dispersals of seeds/plants for replanting purposes
- Access our directory of nurseries, seed sources, and farms that supply “at-risk” herbs
- Receive discounts to Planting the Future conferences and other herbal events
- Become eligible for community grants and other benefits
Throughout the course, you'll get to:
- Make your own Herbal First Aid Kit
- Create a Materia Medica (your own herbal encyclopedia)
- Make a Foraging Basket
- Visit a traditional Cherokee garden
- Practice working with herbs for various issues, with friends, loved ones, and your community
- Forage wild and medicinal Plants & Mushrooms
- Learn how to create and organize your own home Apothecary
- Practice Plant Meditation for deeper connection with the plants
- Learn to Grow common herbs and Steward wild herbs
- See, Taste, and Try Wild Food Cooking
Be prepared to create lasting relationships with other plant lovers. We will gather together in circle every morning to check in about where we are in our relationships with the world and the plants. Students from herb courses often go on to meet outside of and after school is over, becoming friends, learning from and with each other. Come ready to connect!
You'll graduate with a certificate on Graduation Day, which will include a party potluck and medicine show to celebrate all you've learned and share medicine with your herbie friends.
This is a 3 year program. The second 2 years are not mandatory, but build on the knowledge of the first year, going deeper each year into Botany, Medicine Making, Clinical Herbalism, and more.
Lodging is not included, but there are several local lodging options, including Inns, Airbnb's, and Campgrounds, that will be shared before class begins or can be emailed upon request.
Your Investment in Your Health Empowerment:
- $2,000 if paid in one full payment before January 1, 2022
- $2,250 if paid in one full payment before March 1, 2022
- $2,500 if paid in one full payment before April 1, 2022 (if space is still available)
Payment Plans are available upon request. The total is $2,500 to cover administrative fees, and must be paid in full by April 1, 2022, with a $500 deposit.
One Scholarship position will be available for a BIPOC person. Email Abby to apply.
Two partial Work Trade positions will be available, on a first come, first served basis, with a $1,000 payment by March 1.
We welcome all people into the Herb School, including BIPOC, Queer, single parents, and differently abled people (though you will need to be able to hike). Please let us know your needs and concerns, and we'll do our best to accomodate you.
All prospective students will have a Zoom or phone interview with Abby before being accepted into the program, to ensure that you are a good fit for the program and the program is a good fit for you. Contact us to schedule yours now, or with questions.
As we are a very small business, we cannot offer refunds, unless we cancel the course. If you have a family or health emergency, and need to drop out of the course before it starts, we will try to offer you a refund, minus a $500 administrative fee, if you or we can find a replacement to take your place. Thanks for your understanding; the tuition supports our family.