At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, we put the WILD in Wildcrafting!
The Wildcrafting 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. Apprentices 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. Out in the world, where we sometimes feel excluded or looked at as that “weird herb person,” it can be hard to find our place. I’ve created a school and safe place where everyone is welcome! That means you! What I am told by so many of my students is that their lives changed for the better during their time in the programs, and they’ve finally found the community they’ve been searching for. Sometimes very surprising decisions are made, paths take turns, and new directions are found. We meet everyone where they are and practice boundaries with kindness.
I wanted to tell you again that I love you and am so thankful for everything you have taught & will continue to teach me about medicine. Not just plant medicine but also the medicine we get from each other & from our challenges in life. I am so grateful the universe brought me to you.” – Cat R. (2019 Apprentice)
Everywhere from deep in the woods, to the mountain tops and over the passes, in fields, gardens, 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. At the Cedar Mountain Herb School, our motto is “Get the medicine to the people in ways that they’ll delight in taking so that healing can occur!”
We offer two different types of Apprenticeship Programs:
11-Week Apprenticeship Programs: These are our flagship Apprenticeship Programs, offered on Fridays in the spring and separate Thursday and Friday summer programs. 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 – October.
PLEASE CLICK ON BANNERS TO LEARN MORE & TO REGISTER FOR EACH PROGRAM. PROGRAM SIZES ARE LIMITED, SO DON’T WAIT AND LOSE YOUR PLACE!
There are many who wish to attend our programs and enrollment is limited to keep our wildcrafting footprint light. The apprenticeship programs at CMHS are for students who are committed to be present each day of the program/s and completing all assigned work. 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 2 consecutive classes in a program, with no exceptions. Please read the entire program offerings carefully, including what you’ll need to acquire for the programs and our *refund policy, in order to make the right decision for you. Thank you for understanding. Please feel free to contact Suzanne@cedarmountainherbs.com with any questions you might have before registering.
Every apprentice must procure copies of the following before the start of the program:
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West:
Phytochemistry and Pharmacy for Practitioners of Botanical Medicine
Herbal Constituents, Foundations of Phytochemistry
Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions Plus Herbal Adjuncts w/Medicines
“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
“Suzanne is a brilliant teacher that meets the diverse needs of her students with grace and ease. She is impressive at capturing both the science and subtleties of plants with harmonized precision. I was inspired every week in learning so many different skills within the herbal medicine realm. Truly, Suzanne is more than just a fabulous teacher, she is an extraordinary human being. She has a heart of gold and generously shares with her students, the wisdom of countless years in her craft with wit and humor that would make anyone delight to be in her presence. Getting to spend time with Suzanne every week was the best part of my summer! I am forever full of gratitude for the incredible experiences and knowledge that Cedar Mountain Herb School brought me!” – Morgyn VanA
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.
“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.
“I am so grateful that I found CMHS, Suzanne’s teaching style empowers your mind, body and soul. Her teachings transformed the way I look at the plant world, it helped me look at the intricacies of our planet, our bodies and their systems. She brings science, vulnerability, strength, and a lifelong devotion to the wisdom of herbs, trees and flowers. This course goes beyond the sharing and learning of true medicine, it helped bring focus to a world I did not know how to navigate. She goes above and beyond to ensure the information we learn in this complex world of plants is clear and concise…wow so many notes!!! If you want quality mentorship, you will find it in her apprenticeship program. You are here because you’re supposed to be!” – Suji A.
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 Apprenticeship is intoxicating. You just want more..and more…Suzanne is engaging and really knows her plants. She encourages questions and discussions with a dose of sassiness and humor. It’s great to learn the science behind the medicine! I would highly recommend this class and will soon be going through withdrawals til next apprenticeship begins!” – Julie W.
*A WORD ABOUT MISSED CLASSES AND REFUND POLICY: 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 programs 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. Thank you for understanding.
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.
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. Organoleptic method of identification is our specialty here at the Cedar Mountain Herb School – learn when it’s ok to put an unknown plant in your mouth and when it’s not!
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.