Washington, DC
Herbal Apprenticeship Program 2015
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2015 Herbal Apprenticeship Program
Enhance your herbal knowledge and experience with herbalist Tricia McCauley at Common Good City Farm. Apprentices will gain hands-on experience while working with approximately fifty different herbs in the farm’s medicinal herb bed.  Participants will follow the herbs as the change through the season learning how to plant, transplant, maintain, and harvest.  This program is perfect for student herbalists in search of hands-on experience, gardeners wanting to deepen their understanding of herbs, and anyone who wants to connect to the seasons.  Click HERE to visit the Herbal Apprenticeship Program page on our website.

During this 8-month apprenticeship, you will:
  • Understand the foundations of herbal medicine;
  • Build relationships with the herbs and experience them as they change through the seasons;
  • Gain hands-on gardening skills, including plant identification, soil amendments, mindful weeding, transplanting, and harvesting;
  • Learn to dry and store herbs, and create herbal preparations including teas, tinctures, and salves;
  • Harvest a LOT of medicinal plants for home use;
  • Discover the basics of matching plants to people;
  • Get dirty, enjoy the sunshine, ask questions, and hear stories about the plants, their uses, and anything else you are curious about.
  • Create a tangible project to reflect your experience.  This could be a photo essay, a collection of herbal products, a drawing or painting series, a pile of herbal recipes, a project of service to the farm (signs, maps, handouts), a musical composition… anything that anchors you to the farm through the year.
The 10-session program meets Saturdays, 9:30am to 11:30am monthly on the following dates:
March 14 – Build Foundations
What does it mean to use herbs medicinally?  Learn the basics of why and how herbs work (or don’t!).  This “herbalism 101” session will prepare you to approach the herbs at the farm with mindfulness through the rest of the season. You’ll also set your intentions for the project you’ll present at the end of the season. Indoor classroom

March 28 – Herbal Preparations
Once you’ve got your herbs, what do you do with them?  In this informational session, you’ll learn harvesting and drying techniques, and move on to making teas, poultices, tinctures, infused oils, and salves. This basic intensive will prepare you to use all the herbs you harvest at the farm.  Indoor classroom

April 11Vision and Prepare
Tour the farm.  Meet the medicinal herb beds, discuss perennial vs annual gardening. Amend soil as necessary. Weed the Greeting Garden and plant calendula.  Discussion: matching plants to people; constitution; hot/cold/damp/dry.

May 9Plant and Sow
Plant seeds and transplant seedlings; amend soil as necessary. Weed the Mint Garden. Harvest leaves and flowers (chamomile, red clover, mints, cleavers) as available.  Discussion: herbs for digestion.

June 13 – Tend and Nurture
Trellis the passionflower; asses the health of the seedlings; harvest leaves and flowers as available.  Weed the Hogworts Garden.  Discussion: herbs for the nervous system.

June 27 - Harvest and Protect
Weed and harvest; discuss pest management.  Discussion: herbs for the immune system.

August 1Bounty!
Harvest and weed. Discussion: herbs for womens’ health.

August 31Harvest and Plan
Plant fall seeds as necessary; harvest as available; review the season; weed.  Discussion: Q&A

September 26 – Glean
Harvest everything possible; take down the passionflower, remove annuals. Plant covercrop, lay down straw.  Discussion: formulating with multiple herbs.

October 24 Farewell
Final harvest before first frost; remove any remaining annuals; reflect on the season, brainstorm for spring; go indoors to press tinctures and oils, make lotions, and share final projects. 
You are encouraged to bring your own garden gloves and bug spray, water, a sun hat, sunscreen, and paper bags to take home your harvest.
Scholarship spaces are available for income qualifying individuals.  If you are interested in receiving a scholarship to participate in the herbal apprenticeship program, please contact info@commongoodcityfarm.org

Common Good City Farm is a ½-acre non-profit urban farm and education center in the LeDroit Park neighborhood of DC, just south of Howard University.  Established in 2009, CGCF has a medicinal herb bed and a kitchen herb garden, with approximately 50--and counting--different herbs, including: chamomile, yarrow, calendula, rosemary, lavender, thyme, passionflower, meadowsweet, echinacea, hyssop, plantain, red clover, lemon balm, comfrey, sage, calendula, nettles, calamus, and three types of mint. 
About the Instructor

Tricia is the resident herbalist at the farm, where she has designed and tended
the herb beds since 2009.  She holds a Masters’ Degree in Herbal Medicine from the Tai Sophia Institute (now the Maryland University of Integrative Health).  She is a clinical herbalist, licensed nutritionist, wellness educator, yoga teacher, potion-maker, loud laugher, and lover of sunshine and green things. 



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