Foundations of Herbalism Program


"One of the most inspiring aspects of this program was that the guest teachers were so knowledgeable AND they were graduates of the three year training. It was great to see that they have gone on to make livelihoods with the plants."

RM, Richmond

This program is for those wishing to help their friends and families maintain health, deepen their plant knowledge or begin the training as a community herbalist. The curriculum is dynamic, contemplative and provides a sense of community as we move through the seasons learning each step of the process. The two formats for this course of study are described below.

We will begin by learning how to listen to the landscape before we even make a change in the garden. We learn Stephen Buhner’s Deep Diagnostic work as well as other techniques for working directly with the land. We then move to permaculture & biodynamic practices to see that medicine is borne of the soil and the environment. Herbalists are synonymous with eco activists as we tend and steward all places to protect the medicines. We will learn the nature of nature – ours as well as our gardens, fields and meadows. In June we will take a field trip to Southern Virginia Herbals, home and herb farm of Robbie Wooding. We will see woods grown goldenseal, ginseng and other woodland medicinals and experience the challenges, possibilities and enchantment of living the tradition of the land.

We will study the organ systems and their anatomy, physiology and basic functioning. We will focus on Western definitions of body systems with a major focus being constitutional language of Eclectics and contemporary teachers such as Michael Moore, Matthew Wood and others. We will follow the seasons learning the language of Traditional Chinese Medicine as it relates to the changes that are affected by moving through the wheel of the year. The emphasis at SPT is Traditional Western Energetics, whole plant medicine and plants, plants and more plants. We will be mixing soil, sowing seeds, designing the garden, digging roots, and gathering medicines to begin a home apothecary.


Topics covered are the following: 

Anatomy & Physiology

Western as well as energetic models

Field Work

Plant ID

Wildcraft (harvest) techniques and ethics


Permaculture Basics

Sowing from Seed

Planting methods

Harvest and tending the garden

Apothecary Practices




Compresses, poultices, fomentations

Oils, salves, creams

Nourishment Food ways


Bone broths

Wild foods

Nine-Month Weekend Foundations


Sacred PlantThe tuition includes all class materials as well as herbal teas thoughout the weekend. In order to make it more accessible we have decided to lower the fee and have students bring bag lunches or eat at one of the great eateries close by. For dinner we will assign potluck groups for dinners so we can learn food as medicine with each other.

For those needing overnight accommodations for Saturday evening at The Alexander House, a local hostel/B&B there is an additional $25/night fee. For those arriving Friday night you will have to make accommodations on your own and we highly recommend the same place as their rates are very reasonable.

Tuition is $1950 and that includes all materials. An interview is needed before deposit is accepted. Deposit: $250 and is non-refundable and non-transferable after interview is completed.

Weekend Dates
for class of 2015

Mar 21 - 22
April 18 - 19
May 23 - 24
June 20 - 21
July 18 - 19
August 15 - 16
Sept 19 - 20
Oct 17 - 18
Nov 21 - 22










Online registration via Paypal now available!

Note that a 3% processing fee is added
for online registration


Six-Month Day Foundations


Tuesdays,  Sept 16 - March 17,  9am - 3pm

Plant journeySacred PlantThis format of Foundations covers the same material as our Weekend course but is offered during the week for those that are unable to attend the other. Robbie Wooding's Herb Farm Field trip is also included for the June following completion. Graduates of this course can also continue to Clinic 1 if they choose to as that course will begin two weeks after completion of the day program. We will be covering the same material and the same classroom hours as the weekend course.

Tuition is $1950. Deposit: $250 and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
There are limited work/study positions available and these usually go very quickly.

Dates: This program runs on Tuesdays from 9:00 am – 3pm. We will begin September 16, 2014, not meet in January and complete classes March 17, 2015.


Online registration via Paypal now available!

Note that a 3% processing fee is added
for online registration








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