Would you like to learn about wild plants in Portland this spring?

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Have you ever wanted to learn to identify the local wild edible and medicinal plants of the Willamette Valley with an experienced guide, while having a tremendous amount of fun?

If so, then I think you will be excited to hear the latest news about my First Ways Herbal Apprenticeship program! Now in its second year, the 2016 program has been expanded to eight months, March through October 2016! We even have some guest teachers coming in!

What: 100 hours of very enjoyable, hands-on learning from spring to autumn that will turn you into a wild medicine-making folk herbalist, plant spirit healer, and urban forager with a heart connection to the wild plants of the Portland, Oregon, area. You will learn to:

* Identify 70+ local wild edible and medicinal plants in the urban and wilderness areas of Portland
* Feel confident making your own herbal medicines from scratch
* Select the right remedies to help friends and family feel better
* Discover or deepen your spiritual connection with herbs through guided group meditation
* Make new friends and go hiking with a fabulous community of like-minded people!
…And so much more!

Our focus is on firsthand experiential learning, so the vast majority of our time is spent outdoors doing hikes and plant identification walks, in which we are smelling, touching and tasting the plants where they live. We use our hearts to perceive their subtler energetic and metaphysical qualities. We cultivate our relations with nature in a very personal way.

How: We kick off with an overnight weekend retreat in early March, where you get your initiation into the apprenticeship and study the basics of herbal medicine. Then we meet twice per month (and sometimes thrice) to hike, meditate, or receive hands-on instruction on Saturday afternoons for three hours per class, around the full and new moons. The program is designed to give you the information and skills to use local wild herbs in your daily life, with great respect for nature, and while having a great time with amazing people! We have potluck parties and ceremonies to celebrate the equinoxes and summer solstice, too!

New for 2016: Guest teacher “Mushroom Jordan” Weiss will be joining us for amushroom identification hike this year! We will also be taking a field trip to learn about folk remedies with Laurie Lava, owner of Clary Sage Herbarium! (More news is on the way — stay tuned for more announcements!)

“The First Ways herbal apprenticeship was a gift to myself. I had many moments of reflection and peace during our many meditations, hikes and walks, made lovely new friends, and had lots of hands on experience and guidance meeting the plants in person, through the seasons. I feel much more confident foraging and making herbal medicine! I highly recommend this experience to anyone seeking to foster a deeper knowledge of and spiritual connection to plants.” – Chrissy, 2015 apprentice

“”The First Ways apprenticeship not only helped to open my eyes to the plant medicines that surround me, but also provided a warm, fun, non-judgmental community where I felt comfortable being myself and expressing my inner child.” – Kelly, 2015 apprentice

I am very lucky that the 2016 program has been attracting an incredible quality of participants: The warmest, kindest, most genuine-hearted, nature-loving, open-minded people who have a passion for experiential learning. I am excited for those are already enrolled and can’t wait to meet the rest! Are you one of them? Click here to learn more about the program and apply today.

Note: Space for our program in 2016 is limited because I am committed to keeping the group size intimate enough to ensure optimal enjoyment for all.  Apply today, and save $300 when you enroll before Dec. 31, 2015!

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