Guide to Herbalism Education: Northeast
This nonprofit teaching center nestled in the hills of scenic Rockport conducts its classes in a 30-foot yurt and adjoining botanical garden. Herbalist Deb Soule and others draw on the teachings of Western herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and modern science. Students of the Community Herbalist Program meet one weekend a month for three years. For more information, visit avenainstitute.org.
David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies
Washington, New Jersey
David Winston integrates Cherokee, Chinese, and Western traditions into his practices and teachings, resulting in an expansive and clinically driven curriculum. During a two-year residency program, now also available online, students meet once a week for a five-hour session and participate in herb walks, field botany lessons, Ayurveda and Unani-Tibb material medica, and clinical sessions. For more information, visit herbalstudies.org.
As a practicing herbalist with more than 30 years experience, Margi Flint has a great deal of professional wisdom to share with her students. Classes range from a seven-weekend beginner's workshop centered on plant identification and medicine making, to advanced-practitioner intensives focused on refining clinical practice. Classes and certification are in conjunction with Rosemary Gladstar's herbal studies correspondence course. Continuing education credits are available. For more information, visit earthsongherbals.com.
Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs
Groveton, New Hampshire
Located on tranquil farmland, Heartsong Herb Farm and Education Center provides a peaceful, nourishing hands-on experience. Nancy and Michael Phillips offer several programs, from a five-day herbal intensive for eager beginners to a summerlong, live-in farm apprenticeship. Regardless of length, all programs call for enthusiastic participants. For more information, visit herbsandapples.com.
Northeast School of Botanical Medicine
Ithaca, New York
Courses on herbal medicine and the body's conditions emphasize accessibility and practical application at NSBM. The school's director 7Song offers an active and challenging apprenticeship during which students work closely with him from April through December; the course totals about 2,000 hours. 7Song also offers a seven-month weekend program. For more information, visit 7Song.com or email 7Song at 7Song@lightlink.com.
Partner Earth Education Center
Pam Montgomery describes her center's Plant Spirit Healing Apprenticeship as a "dynamic way of accessing spirit through the avenue of the green world." Students participate in a spiritual journey, building relationships and energy with plants, animals, fellow apprentices, and teachers. Partner Earth also offers introductory and advanced workshops that Montgomery and guest teachers conduct, including a five-day intensive program. For more information, visit partnereartheducationcenter.com.
Sage Mountain Retreat Center & Native Plant Preserve
East Barre, Vermont
Cofounded 18 years ago by the "godmother of American herbalism," Rosemary Gladstar, Sage Mountain is nature's classroom at its finest. Breathtaking gardens and woodlands are nestled amid 500 acres of Vermont wilderness. Courses, which range from beginner and advanced apprenticeships to two-week immersion programs, focus on both the practical and the spiritual sides of herbalism, stressing living in harmony with the earth, ourselves, and one another. A correspondence course is also offered. For more information, visit sagemountain.com.
Woodland Essence Training Center
Cold Brook, New York
At Woodland Essence, students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the forests of the Northeast. Hands-on classes, ranging from a five-day beginner's intensive to condition-based practitioner workshops, combine Western herbal wisdom and Ayurveda. Owners and certified New York State guides Kate Gilday and Don Babineau also offer three- to five-day backcountry "herbal adventures," which combine herbal studies and medicine making with activities such as camping and canoeing. For more information, visit woodlandessence.com.