We work closely with nature, so our plans have to adapt to include what is available at the time. We have had an incredibly busy and productive year in 2017 and our plan for the 2018 may change according to the timing of the season and what mother nature provides for us. We focus on specific plants each month and learn a different skill on each workshop. These include drying herbs, making tinctures, syrups, vinegars, elixirs, oxymels, honeys, fermented leaves, succus’s, oils, salves, lotions, creams, lozengers, hydrosols, glycerites and looking at food uses of herbs in beer, pesto, fruit leathers, soups etc. The course is mainly practical, busy and always fun, it requires time outdoors collecting plants and digging roots. we provide handouts by email sent a week before and participants get to take home a selection of the medicines we make. Although there is no homework we suggest participants do a project to help them focus on an area of interest to them and develop knowledge and skills.
17th March 2018 – The first stirrings of Spring and time go deep into the dark earth and work with roots and shoots, exploring and working with kitchen ingredients to add power to our medicines, when there is little growing outside. This is a good time to work with dandelion root, horseradish and burdock root – making fresh dandelion and burdock root tonic, joint and muscle rub and dandelion root coffee. Its time to bury the fire cider vinegar in the cool soil allowing the horseradish, ginger, thyme and all the lovely warming herbs to infuse for a month.
21st April 2018- The Greening – See how the land awakens and is filled with lush green medicine. The air is scented with the aroma of wild garlic and there is an abundance of cleansing, nourishing herbs to help clear out the sluggishness of winter and clear out the last of coughs and colds.
Here we make wild garlic pesto, cleavers succus, nettle beer, nettle soup, spring greens juice. We dig up the fire cider vinegar put in the earth last month to infuse with healing and roast and grind some of the dandelion we prepared last month for delicious dandelion coffee.
19th May 2018 -The first flowers of spring. The woods are yellow with archangel and the lawns are dotted with daisy and dandelion flowers. This month were working with daisy, yellow archangel and dandelion flower medicine, with a focus on making herbal oils and salves. Daisy makes an amazing, healing skin salve and lotion and we infuse it with plantain or elder leaf to use on bruises and cuts. Using the aromatic lemon balm leaves we make a lush lip balm, excellent for cold sores. This is also a good time to tune into the more subtle realms of plant healing and we make our first flower essences.
16th June 2018 – June is a lush and vibrant month. The trees are abundant with blossom, the days are long and the sun at its highest in the sky. This month we learn to tincture the abundance of summer; working with the medicine of hawthorn, lungwort, Lemonbalm and plantain.
21st July 2018- Full on into the height of summer the Elderflower, Meadowsweet and Pot Marigold blossom are all over the garden and park. Healing plants are in abundance. Here we gather medicines enjoying the heat and beauty that summer brings, making glycerites, vinegars, oils and hydrosols as well as a summer joy flower essence.15th September 2018- Hedgerow Harvest – This is the time of the equinox, when day and night are in balance and the air cooling. The hedgerows are bursting with berries and seeds have formed on the plants at the end of their cycle. This month we work with the fruits of the hedgerow; blackberries, elderberries, hawthorn berries as well as nettle seeds. Its berry picking time and we make Hedgerow Elixir, Elderberry syrup, and add the haws to the hawthorn blossom tincture. The elderberries are lovely, lush and juicy and we add them to the elderflower glycerite we started in summer and finish the meadowsweet vinegar started last month.
20th October 2018 – Its feeling cooler now and the leaves are losing their leaves. Time to finish off the medicines we have been making over the last few months. The Elder flower and berry glycerite tastes delicious and ready in time for the onset of any colds and flu, The hawthorn tincture is also ready; red and lush, good for cardiovascular support and calming. Gathering what is left of the harvest we choose medicines from the garden to infuse and make creams. The art of making creams for skincare and as a muscle rub is sometimes difficult, but the by now the group has learned many skills over the seasons and are able to make some beautiful products on their own with our guidance. In preparation for the ancient festival of Samhain we will me making lovely incenses that we have dried from the garden and thank the garden for its healing abundance.
17th November 2018 – A time of roots and the bareness of winter. There is a chill in the air and the darkness of late autumn sets in early. The stove is lit and the glow wraps its warmth around the busy classroom. The most hardy herbalists wrap up and go outdoors to dig Elecampane and horseradish root, and collect the last of medicines in the garden. Others stay in the warmth and chop the Rosehips and roots. Now is the time to prepare medicines to keep ourselves and our families healthy. There is something very primordial in making winter medicines and preparing for the cold dark months. This is a busy, reflective session of tuning in to the colder season and making cough medicines, Thyme chest rub and throat lozenges. Here we finish the course, and celebrate the many friendships that we hope will last beyond the course.