At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, we put the WILD in Wildcrafting!
The wild plant Apprenticeship 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, plant constituents, 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. And best yet, you’ll be with people from your tribe, and things get real! How cool is that?!?!
Everywhere from deep in the woods, to the mountain tops and over the passes, in fields and urban settings, to the ocean and rivers….plants are here, vital and waiting to be introduced. They have so much to offer and are so willing to teach, heal and nourish. Students will delve into creatively using herbs in body care, meals, smudging, treats, deco, and so much more! As the months progress, plants will easily become part of daily life in ways that are beautiful, healthful, and nourishing.
We offer two different types of Apprenticeship Programs:
11-Week Apprenticeship Programs: These are our flagship Apprenticeship Programs, offered on Tuesdays in both the Spring and Summer. Each session includes a 3-day harvest adventure in Central Washington.
Roots to Tips: This is an excellent weekend option for those who wish to do the 1 day a week apprenticeship programs, but are unable to carve out time during weekdays due to work schedules. The dates are the second weekend of each month April – September.
2019 programs are in full force and the apprentices are having the time of their lives! 2020 programs will open for registration the 3rd week of October, 2019. Please check back for openings then and don’t forget to follow us on facebook and instagram @cedarmountainherbs for updates!!!!
PLEASE CLICK ON BANNERS TO LEARN MORE & TO REGISTER FOR EACH PROGRAM FOR 2019.
The apprenticeship programs at CMHS are for serious students only. We reserve the right to terminate the teacher/student affiliation at any time without refund for disruptive behavior, creating undue drama, disrespect towards instructors or students, not completing required work, and/or missing 3 consecutive classes in a program, with no exceptions.
The following books are highly recommended:
- Phytochemistry and Pharmacy for Practitioners of Botanical Medicine by Eric Yarnell, ND, RH
- Herbal Constituents, Foundations of Phytochemistry by Lisa Ganora
- Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions Plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines by Francis Brinker, ND
“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.
The apprenticeship programs are taught by Suzanne Tabert and guest instructors on occasion.
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, 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 1 month or less from the start of the program, and/or once the program begins. 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. If a student drops out 1 month or more before the start of the program, they will receive their fee minus a 20% administrative and processing fee. 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 Constituents: Learning the constituents of the plants gives the “why and how” plants work in the body. The constituents also give direct clues as to the correct menstrua to utilize to extract and preserve them.
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. Students will need to provide their own menstruum – including honey, alcohol, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, etc., jars, tools, etc for medicine making. Info about what to bring each week will be given in advance of the lesson.
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.
Aromatherapy: Each plant has its distinct identifier scent, which is part of their medicinal value. Achieve a working relationship with essential oils, their healing benefits, appropriate usage. Hydrosol distillation class will be included in each program.
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