Heartstone Herbal School
Come discover the Green world and the gifts of plant medicine!
Heartstone Herbal School lives at the heart of our Center & sponsors most of our educational programs. Most courses focus on plant medicine or include herbs as part of the curriculum.
Our Herbal Apprenticeship is an immersion program offered annually over 6 weekends between May & October. This program offers an in-depth foundation for the life-long journey of becoming a practitioner of herbal medicine. Due to the nature of the curriculum, students stay at Heartstone throughout program weekends. Please contact us before registering if you have any questions about requirements for participation.
In addition to intensive courses, Heartstone offers half and full-day workshops that provide informative and fun-filled learning in an aspect of herbal medicine such as making herbal creams and salves.
We also offer courses with guest teachers who share their wisdom on special topics of interest. In previous years, guest instructors have included Aviva Romm, Chris Marano, & Rocio Alarcon.
In 2023, we were delighted to host two fabulous guest weekends: Herbal Energetics with Kat Maier and Healing Landscapes with Janet Wolf Blevins, Dr. Norman Suhu, Trishuwa, Naren Udgan, & Jude Christian.
Details of all workshops can be found below.
NOTE : A number of courses are available for LMT NYS & National CEUs.
Each year we accept 30 new students into the program. There is a non-refundable deposit of $250 to save your spot.
A COVID NOTE: We ran the Apprenticeship in 2023 and are optimistically assuming that the 2024 season will also run as normal.
We ask your patience as we navigate the uncertainties of living with COVID. We will do our best to stay informed with reliable and updated information.
We will make decisions and keep you informed about protection protocols or possible cancellations with the health and safety of the community in mind. We require that students who register for the Apprenticeship are willing to adhere to the safety protocols we decide on month-to- month based on the most up-to-date information and our best thinking at the time. We do not require vaccinations but do have guidelines for participating. Thank you for your support and cooperation.
A. Overview of the Program
Our Herbal Apprenticeship Program provides an in-depth and experience-based foundation for the life-long journey of becoming a practitioner of herbal medicine. It runs May through October each year, one weekend per month. Due to the in-depth nature of the curriculum, the Apprenticeship is an immersion program and students stay all weekend at Heartstone.
In the traditional apprenticeship way of learning, we study diverse plants and their healing properties, herbal preparations for health & remedies for particular conditions, wild edibles, wild-crafting, and selected anatomy and physiology of body systems.
As a student, you will learn to prepare diverse forms of medicine including oil and water infusions, decoctions, tinctures, creams, salves, flower essences, syrups, powders, and more. The course brings a holistic and earth-based perspective to health & healing and teaches ways of deepening our sacred relationship with the plants in our bones & hearts, remembering them as the ancient teachers, healers & friends they have always been to us.
This program spans three seasons making it possible to learn about the plants intimately over the course of their life cycles; greeting them as they appear in the spring and being with them through their phases of growth, reproduction and dying or overwintering.
Whenever possible, we make herbal medicines in ways that correspond to the season and plant life cycle as well as a connection to body systems being studied. We study the liver with burdock and yellow dock in the spring when plant energy is in the root and our bodies are eager for cleansing; reproduction and flower essences in the summer at the height of the beautiful blooming time. Oils are put up in the heat of June sun where they infuse until we gather again in July to transform them into creams & salves.
Our curriculum emphasizes local and regional plants. We want students to become especially intimate with these green friends who grow right around us, Many of the plants we mow, trample and bushwhack are the ones who know how to care for us the best! There is an entire basic food group of love to be discovered here as well as a top notch first aid kit. However, we also cover non-local plants with important medicinal qualities - especially the longevity and immune support plants and of course, kava-kava.
Our Apprenticeship program offers many ways to learn about plants and their medicines. On a typical weekend, we cover 15-25 plants in depth, 1-2 body systems, and learn to make 2 forms of plant medicine. Our days are divided among lectures and discussion, hands-on practice with harvesting and making medicines, weed walks to meet plants in their homes, and a variety of experiential activities.
One of the special offerings at Heartstone School is a chance to learn the mechanics and magic of human physiology in a deep but highly accessible way. In our travels among budding and seasoned herbalists, we often find a longing for more in-depth understanding of the body. Students have sometimes studied medicinal plants in depth but lack a commensurate knowledge of physiology to use when preparing formulas for themselves, their families or their clients. Tammi Sweet has been teaching anatomy and physiology for over 25 years and has a gift for teaching about the body which is delightfully accessible to “non-science” students while engaging to practitioners and “science-heads”.
As time and interest allows, the Apprenticeship covers the digestive, lymphatic, cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, integument and musculoskeletal, urinary, respiratory, reproductive, & nervous systems. In addition, we discuss winter health care and herbal first aid. We now offer links to 2 of Tammi's online A&P lectures per weekend to give students a chance to learn some information about body systems in advance of the weekends and to allow more in-depth discussion during our class time together at Heartstone.
Since we co-evolved with plants and have been highly dependent on them for our survival, we find that our innate perceptual systems are especially designed to to be able to learn some information directly from them. To this end, each weekend, we share 1-2 activities to deepen our direct experience of the green world; learning to hone our senses, our imaginations and our hearts as we build relationships with them in their wild or garden habitats.
On Saturday evenings, we make clearing sticks of mugwort, herbal dream pillows, or gather around the fire circle to celebrate a season or cycle of the moon or a special theme connected to our learning. On occasion, we’ll offer an optional Friday afternoon session where students can join us to prepare freshly harvested kava from Hawaii or make sacred basil mead or an herbal beer.
An additional part of each weekend is the chance to simply be with kindred spirits to share our experiences with the plants and enjoy each others' company. We find that the experience of community which emerges from each group adds it own special nourishment, learning and fun to our time together.
C. Schedule and Tuition
Our apprenticeship meets over six weekends between May or June and October. This program spans three seasons making it possible to learn about the plants intimately over the course of their life cycles; greeting them as they appear in the spring and being with them through their phases of growth, reproduction and dying or overwintering.
Most weekends begin on Fridays at 7 pm and end on Sundays at 4 pm. There is one exception: On the first weekend in May, we begin early to allow for a daylight orientation to the land.
The Herbal Apprenticeship is designed as an immersion program. In order to participate fully, with the exception of special occasions, we ask that students plan to stay at Heartstone Center all weekend.
Tuition for the Apprenticeship is $2700. This includes most supplies and meals with the exception of Saturday potlucks. The two books we recommend and order at group rates are optional and not included in the tuition.
Traditionally, students bring a potluck contribution to Saturday dinner. We eliminated this in 2022 due to COVID and the need for more conservative health protocols. Potluck will resume, as appropriate, in 2024. We'll keep you posted as we get closer to May.
We offer a few payment programs as well as work trades for up to $250 towards tuition. A few partial scholarships are available based on need. A few larger scholarships are available for Black, Indigenous & People of color. Please write to us for additional information.
The Apprenticeship is only able to accept 30 students and, as a result, we require a non-refundable deposit of $250 to hold your place in the program.
A note about tuition & the Online A&P: In recent years, we've added Tammi's Online Anatomy & Physiology into our Herbal Apprenticeship curriculum. We decided to include this 6-week course, a $480 value, as a gift to our Apprenticeship students without raising the cost of tuition. As a result, we cannot offer refunds for A&P online to those who have purchased the course separately at another time. This would lower the Apprenticeship tuition to an unreasonable amount for Heartstone.
We look forward to sharing the adventure with you !
Payment plans are available. After paying your deposit, the balance of tuition can be paid in 5 equal payments due on or before the Friday of program weekends in May, June, July, August & September.
In order to reserve your spot, a $250 deposit is required to complete your registration.
This deposit holds a spot and is NON-refundable so we encourage you to reach out with any questions before registering.