Intensive Program in Herbal Studies

The Intensive Program is on hiatus,

and may be on hiatus for several years.  Based on our own experiences and perseverance as well as student feedback we believe it to be a comprehensive, dynamic and enlightening course, however it is also incredibly demanding of time and energy.  Since we began our farm operations we have come to realize that as a “mom and pop” business we can’t do it all.  Developing a market garden on our own property actualizes our long time dream of running a farm.  As two separate businesses the farm and the school have been sharing limited workspace and each business requires more room as well as our full attention so unfortunately something had to give, and we decided it had to be the Intensive Program.  If and when we can figure out how to run both, a farm and a full time school, we will reinstate the Intensive Program.  


Please refer to this page as an orientation and overview of our teaching style


 Herbal Medicine Intensive Program Course Description


This is our annual 300 hour herbal medicine program designed for the mature person who wishes to immerse themselves into the world of botanical medicine. No prior experience or specific educational background is necessary for admittance into the program; your serious intention is the only prerequisite.  Western folk herbalism best describes of the style of herbalism that we present.  It is a time honored holistic tradition focused on using European and North American plants for wellness however, modern western herbalism would be incomplete without recognizing diverse holistic models and medicinal plants from around the world. Therefore, we present an inclusive international materia medica and an overview of prevalent constitutional models. We offer a balanced and thorough curriculum empowering participants to confidently and responsibly implement botanical medicine into their personal and professional lives.

The Curriculum: Our classes have been carefully crafted to include many elements and phases of herbalism.  We have implemented over twenty years of study, research and practical application into our curriculum. 

The core classes: Materia Medica, or the in-depth study of herbs on an individual basis, is the primary focus of our program.  These classes provide deep exploration into each herb including herbal therapeutics, herbal protocols and holistic & natural therapy theories.  Materia Medica includes local plants native, naturalized or cultivated as well as various plants from all over the world.  We will cover approximately 200 herbs.  Medicine Making & Herbal Pharmacy is an essential component of herbal studies and is a unique element of the herbal craft, distinguishing herbalism from all other medical modalities; Herbalists make their own medicines!  We will thoroughly explore the proper preparation methods of teas, tinctures, oils and much more.  Field Work is also essential to the study of herbal medicine and is a large part of our curriculum.  Depending upon the season and weather permitting we will spend plenty of time out doors in meadows, woods and in gardens studying botany, plant identification, ecosystems and ethically wildcrafting.  In the height of summer we will have an extended wildcrafting trip.  Body system centered Physiology geared to the herbalist is another key component of the program; to understand how the body works in health aids in understanding how the body behaves during illness.  Sessions in Clinical Applications will assist the student to better understand patho-physiology and herbal interventions by utilizing in-depth evaluations for wellness plans.  Field Trips & Herbal Entrepreneurship provides an insider’s look into herbally related businesses so that our students are presented with a realistic look at hobby and professional opportunities.  We will have various field trips that will take us to special places including class locations in the Portland and Salem Metro areas as well as other urban, suburban and rural adventures.

Various classes and interrelated topics are incorporated which serve to illuminate the core curriculum.  They also provide unity tying together the coursework in a practical approach specifically to herbalism as well as in general to the concept of sustainability regarding health and wellness.  Classes such as aromatherapy, natural body care products, naturopathy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, oriental medicine, nutrition & culinary delights, flower essences, herbal first aid, herbs for ritual, soap making, history of herbal medicine, gardening, herbal libations, herbs for companion animals and more will be offered. Various lecturers will be regularly scheduled to contribute their specialties.  And, as a budding fruit, vegetable and herb farm we are able to offer a unique element of herbal education; farming and gardening electives. The observation of and optional participation in farming and gardening activities located on our micro farm certainly may enhance the educational experience for many students especially for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, get some fresh air and get their hands dirty in the garden.

When and Where: The six month intensive program begins in April and ends in September allowing us the opportunity to interact with the plants within three growing seasons.  For 2007 we will meet on a Tuesday and Thursday schedule 11AM-6PM. The primary classroom is located in SE Yamhill County in the idyllic and charming farming community of Northwest Oregon wine country, about 45 miles SW of Portland and 15 miles NW of Salem.  We are easily accessible from I-5 or Hwy 18/99.  The classroom space is functionally funky and can comfortably seat 10-12 students.  It has a small but complete kitchen, medicine making workspace stocked with necessary equipment and tools and is home to hundreds of bulk dried herbs, tinctures, essential oils and medicinal oils.  To complement diverse learning styles we also make use of visual aid technologies for applicable lectures.

More Details: In order to keep pace with the material presented, for positive class cohesion and for successful completion of the program it is essential that participants be committed, flexible, patient, tolerant, have a sense of humor and to consistently attend class. The nature and the quantity of the material presented are concentrated, hence the “intensive” program.  Inherently, these types of life transforming experiences are demanding not just academically but overall mentally, emotionally and even physically.  We strongly urge students to set plenty of time aside not just for classes but for study time as well as for other life commitments.  For some it might helpful to sharpen up on study skills.  

This is folk education. There will be no grades and there is no legal certification to obtain upon completion. (please go to the FAQ page for more info on this topic.) What one gains from the program is directly correlated to what one puts into the program.  Homework will not be required yet it will be assigned, more so   as a study aid for the individual and as a tool to unify classroom discussion. Nevertheless, with consistent attendance and participation students will be issued an honorary certificate of completion.


Included in the program fee are all lectures, classroom hands-on, many samples, plants and plant matter from our gardens and numerous handouts. Not included in the program fee are costs associated with additional books, supplies, tools, day use or camping fees, transportation, meals, lodging or the many things a budding herbalist may desire. You will need to budget accordingly however, you will have several wholesale purchasing options during our time together.

More than just a business or profession, our deepest respect for western folk herbal education, its elders and ancestors is instilled into our life’s work.  We honor the craft of herbalism celebrating it as an encompassing holistic and alternative lifestyle choice.  We take our job as herbal educators very seriously but we also try to have loads of fun in the process.  We value your business and will do everything within reason to make your herb school experience the best it can be.  Mutually, open lines of communication, honesty, and sincerity are the cornerstones to success in these types of programs.  We endeavor to deliver to you a pleasurable, stimulating and honorable learning experience.


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