The wild plant training programs here at CMHS are field based, designed to expand students’ working knowledge of local medicinal plants, nutrition, and plants’ effects on the body systems. The programs cover identification, materia medica, sustainable harvesting methods, medicine making, basic anatomy and physiology, formulations, and so much more. Gain a deeper understanding of the wild medicinal and edible plants of the Pacific Northwest, and acquire valuable experience in making and using herbal medicines for home or business.
You’ll learn more about wild plants, the microbiome of your body and macrobiome of the world around you, how plants work in our bodies on a cellular/tissue/organ/system/total body level, and about yourself than you ever thought possible. A common thread that is said by the apprentices is that lives are changed. Sometimes very surprising decisions are made, paths take turns, and new directions are found. At Cedar Mountain Herb School, we put the WILD in wildcrafting! And best yet, you’ll be with people from your tribe, and things get real! How cool is that?!?!
CMHS offers two 11-week wild plant and health apprenticeship programs for 2018.
Tuesday Spring – 10 April – 19 June
Tuesday Summer – 10 July – 18 September
Fee for the spring and summer programs: $1125. Enrollment is limited to 13 students each program for 2018. As many students vie for premium spaces in the program, please register only if you are certain you will be able to commit to attending each valuable class. Students will need to keep the apprenticeship day free so they will receive the full benefit of the program. Please clear your calendars, arrange childcare, etc. on Tuesdays. As spaces are limited with a long waiting list of hopeful apprentices, we need to fill the program with those who can be present. There are no refunds or make up days for missed classes or dropping from the program. No exceptions will be made.
Times: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm each time we meet. Many weeks, we will be on 76,000 acres of private timber property near Snoqualmie, where CMHS is the only herb school with a key to enter. It is an herbal sanctuary. We will always be miles from the locked gate. There will not be opportunities for people to leave early as we will not stop the class to drive someone miles down, unlock the gate, let a person out, lock the gate, and return to the harvest site. Per contract with the timber company, we are allowed very few (3) vehicles on the property at a given time, so there will be no single drivers or 1 or 2 passengers.
Heads up! This is a wildcrafting apprenticeship. We often travel to wild places where there may gravel roads. These roads can have potholes and fairly steep terrain at times. There is vegetation growing on the sides of the roads, and on occasion, we may travel up a narrow road. This means that there is always a chance that vehicles can get scratched. Please make sure that your vehicle can traverse these types of roads, and that you are comfortable with the above info. Low slung vehicles are not appropriate. Plan to carpool with others if your vehicle will not accommodate conditions. Take note that a full car means a heavier load and lower vehicle, and students must share fuel expenses each harvest day. It may be that travel time may be an hour plus each way as “We go where the plants grow!”
Please note: Each program includes a 3-day harvest trip in Central Washington. There will be an activity fee of between $30-$70 depending on each student’s camping accommodation preference, plus cost of food and incidentals. The spring trip will be in May TBA, and summer’s trip will be in September TBA.
In addition to the curriculum, students will be required to create an herbarium, and continue to add to it. There will also be hands on and short written quizzes. Students who complete all assignments and miss no more than 2 days throughout the program will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. These training programs can be used for continuing education credits.
There is no other herbal apprenticeship program like the one offered at CMHS in the entire Pacific Northwest!
PLEASE CLICK ON BANNERS TO REGISTER FOR EACH PROGRAM.
“I immersed myself in Suzanne’s apprenticeship program as a “self-care plan.” I came out with so much more! I found my “sanctuary,” I found myself, I learned plant identification, and I can now make some of the best herbal medicine out there! There is also a whole smorgasbord of food you had no idea you could eat along that hiking trail, in those woods, or near the water! Suzanne is the best of the best and I highly recommend taking an apprentice class with her!! Jump in with both feet and you will never look back…..it will change your life (and your family’s) because it is empowering to know how to make your own medicine!! Be forewarned…. You WILL go through withdrawals when the class ends, yes, it’s that good!!”—Darci D-R.
Suzanne Tabert, bioregional herbalist, is director of herbal education and herbal mentor at the Cedar Mountain Herb School. An herbal medicine instructor for 30 years, Suzanne teaches with great passion and excitement, bringing her wealth of herbal knowledge to students in an engaging and vibrant manner. She is the primary instructor at CMHS and is an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. As a practicum supervisor for Bastyr’s herb science students, with proof of enrollment in Bastyr’s botanical medicine program, current Bastyr students will receive a 20% reduction of the fee for the CMHS apprenticeship program. Completing the CMHS apprenticeship program will satisfy the off campus hours required to graduate.
“Learning about plants has been a life-changing experience for me. Suzanne is an intelligent, down-to earth-teacher that knows her stuff and also makes learning comfortable and fun. It is so nice to learn about plants in the wild, face-to-face, because now I’m confident identifying and harvesting on my own. The medicine I have made in the class has enhanced my life and the lives of my friends and pets! Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your wisdom and heart with us! A Cedar Mountain apprenticeship is The Best Tuesday Ever!” – Heidi S.
“I have always been interested in health and wellness and, in recent years, became fascinated with herbal support. This lead to an apprenticeship with Suzanne which opened a brand new world of natural medicine, much of it right outside my backdoor. In an increasingly toxic planet, learning about healing plants becomes a critical piece of knowledge on the path to wellness. However, there are many “experts” sharing information on this subject so choosing a worthy and experienced teacher is equally critical. I very much enjoyed my time learning from Suzanne and would recommend her to others like myself.” – Catherine M.
“THANK YOU! Your apprenticeship was life changing and absolutely the “Best Tuesday Ever!” I am grateful for it all… your knowledge is invaluable, you’ve fueled my fire to continue learning in and staying close to nature, brought me back to center and to my purpose… I can not thank you enough! Your knowledge, care, and sustainable practices are so needed in our world today – a more intimate knowledge of nature and its power and fragility. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing with us all. As long as you teach, the world will benefit.” – Karis B.
“This program is AMAZING, by the way, and I can’t thank you enough for doing what you do. I knew this class would be great, but I had no idea how much I would be getting out of it. The food, the facts, the forest, the recipes, the friendships. It’s really priceless. Thank you so much. As time goes by I feel like what you taught goes deeper and deeper. Learning WITH the plants really seems like the only way, at least for me. I find myself just wandering in the woods whenever and wherever I can, sometimes only walking a few yards in, and other times walking miles, but I always feel that I am amongst friends, and I am never alone. Many of these plants I met for the first time with you. You were the friend of a friend who said “you two just have to meet!” (“Coltsfoot, this is Emily; Emily this is Coltsfoot” 🙂 ) Those plants who were introduced to me in that way I recognize now from a mile away. It has been so interesting to see how they transform over the winter, yet remain somehow still so recognizable. Thank you for that.” – Emily N-M.
A WORD ABOUT MISSED CLASSES: There are absolutely no refunds, transfers, or make-up days for missed classes or dropping the programs. The responsibility of attending each valuable class rests solely upon the student. Students who attend CMHS apprenticeship programs take coveted places in the program that other students would be thrilled to utilize. No exceptions will be made.
Apprenticeship competencies and objectives:
Field Trips: Each week, we’ll go to amazingly beautiful places to harvest wild plants for food and medicine.
Botanical Identification: 100% correct identification is key to harvesting wild plants safely. Identify vascular plants in botanical Latin and colloquial terms using standard botanical identification methods and by closely observing plant identifying classifications such as leaf and flower structure, bark, growth patterns, inherent smell of the plants, and life cycles.
Wildcrafting Ethics: Define and describe wildcrafting within the context of legal gathering, ethics, and sustainable harvesting.
Materia Medica: Describe the useful properties of at least 50 plant species, and create a valuable herbarium to pass down to future generations.
Plant Formulas: As students acquire knowledge of the medicine of individual wild plants, they will recognize the formulas plants create in living in community with each other. This will enable them to design highly effective herbal products for home and business.
Herbarium: A record of plants that is useful when harvesting, for adding to as students learn over the years, to pass down to future generations. It includes botanical and common name, habitat, description of the plant and samples, when to harvest, medicinal constituents, physiological effects, drug interactions, preparations and menstrua, tools needed to harvest, personal experiences.
Medicine Making: Prepare medicinal, edible, or technological plant products including —but not limited to— medicinal oils, tinctures, salves, elixirs, tea blends, herbal vinegar, poultices, liniments, herbal infused honeys, oxymels, and witch hazels. Distinguish appropriate applications and dosages for the remedies.
Support Strategies for Body Systems: Participate in discussions of the role of medicinal plants for building strong immune, endocrine, reproductive, respiratory, cardiac and digestive systems, and for health issues of each system. Included is basic anatomy and physiology.
Case Studies: Develop problem-solving skills by discussing case studies, asking pertinent questions in order to assist in ferreting out helpful clues for the best possible outcome. This gives experience in answering the “what is a good herb for…” question so often asked.
Herbal First Aid: Preparedness for emergency situations. Integrate the best choice of plants and first aid techniques to use and correct applications in emergency situations – whether at home, on the road, or in the wilderness, to heal wounds, infections, muscle trauma; soothe rashes and stop allergic reactions, shock conditions, heat exhaustion. This comes in handy as the apprentices are out in a myriad of environments and conditions.
Medicine in the Herb Garden: Culinary herbs are medicinal! Advance the ability to grow medicinal plants in gardens, pots, on acreage, and utilize their medicine in a way that everyone will enjoy.
Cultured Foods: Probiotics in cultured food and existing in nature replenish the microbiome in our small and large intestines, which lead to better digestive, immune, and nerve health. Students will gain an understanding of the gut flora/mental health connection, how consuming an overabundance of fermented foods can lead to inflammatory diseases.
Herbal Lore and Ethnobotany: Recognize the need for passing on the knowledge of how peoples of the past and present use/d local plants for food and medicine. Students accomplish this through stories, hands-on training, and using new skills to pass on to future generations.
Our main focus areas will be the wild plants of the myriad bio-regions of Washington State’s Snohomish, King, Skagit, and Island counties from high up on the mountain passes to the river valleys, fields, and beaches, with an additional trip each program to Central Washington.
“There’s more to being an herbalist than just identifying plants and knowing their uses. It’s your relationship with them that counts. Relationships take time and effort to grow and be healthy. This means that one 11-week program is not going to make you an experienced herbalist. Many apprentices at CMHS continue their plant studies for more than one program. In fact, many take the entire year’s programs, and some have stayed with the school for years. These are the folks who are committed to bringing herbal medicine to their people in a safe and responsible way. I have been practicing herbal medicine for most of my life. I still hone my formulas, and learn each and every time I’m with the plants, writing articles, teaching. Welcome to YOUR apprenticeship!” Suzanne Tabert