2018 Workshop Descriptions

Below are the 2018 workshop descriptions. 2019 Workshops will be added soon:

Abrah Arneson

And then Vervain, the holy herb, went into her the cauldron… The Wisdom of Herbal Medicine through Stories

Let’s see what herbal wisdom we can glean from some very old tales about plant medicine. Before the printing press and schools for studying herbal medicine, stories were how plant wisdom was transmitted from generation to generation. Any herbalist who teaches still knows the value of a good story to help budding herbalists remember their plants. During this session we will explore very old stories of herbalists and their medicine to gleam new insights into the plants we use today. Then we will create a modern story for plants growing nearby.


Plants and Planets

Nicolas Culpeper said, “physick without astrology being like a lamp without oil.” The language we use to describe the medicine plants offer has changed throughout the ages. Current medical herbalists describe plant medicine using the language of chemistry. Other modern herbalists prefer the language of energetics when explaining a plants effects on the body. In the most traditional approaches to herbal medicine; Chinese, Ayurveda, First Nations Medicine and European, the language of planets- astrology, is used to offer insight into a plants medicine. This workshop will explore the usefulness of the ancient language of astrology in describing a plants medicine from an intuitive point of view. The language of astrology allows us to discover how ancient people not only understood plant medicine, but also offers us a glimpse into their understanding of the inter-connectedness of all life.


Marianne Beacon

The Art and Soul of making Medicinal Tinctures

Tincture making is a foundational skill in herbalism. In this workshop, we will work on skill-building our tincture making muscles. Learn a few different techniques, based on how to make tinctures in a ‘lab’ setting, or from a home based approach. We’ll learn how to make tinctures with variable alcohol percentages, and from store-bought alcohol, from dried herbs and from fresh. We will also cover how/when to use glycerine or vinegar. Lastly but certainly foremost, how do we ‘approach’ making tinctures, from a place of respect for the plants and our ecosystems.


Lyme Disease in the Age of Climate Change

Lyme disease is spreading faster than the health system acknowledges or can keep up with. Many people are struggling with getting a diagnosis in Canada, and conventional treatment options are long and challenging. Those affected are not finding the support that they need, and are relying on other professions, like herbalism and naturopathy. Herbs are some of the most effective at treating Lymes, but there are many things to consider when working through this infection. Climate change has helped to move Lyme disease to the North, we’d better get ready for it.


Penelope Beaudrow

Barnyard Blends

Having had animals my entire life it has become natural for me to incorporate herbs into the lives of my pets! (really just another member of the family) Whether for an illness, cuts and scrapes, fly spray, fleas and/or even to line your nesting boxes, herbs work amazingly for all types of animals. Whether your pet is a dog, cat, mouse, bunny, goat, sheep, horse or cow (to name a few), herbs will be a real asset in your home apothecary.

Mommas and Babies

Baby’s sore bum, cradle cap, teething and even colic? Learn tried and true traditional ways to take care of mom and baby. This is a topic near and dear to my heart, having four children and two grand-babies. I am thrilled to share wisdom that women have passed down to one another over the centuries. Together we will blend a tea for baby and mom.


Pierre Blin

Cattail Dolls

Cattails grow most places in the world. They are a fantastically beautiful and generous plant. Learn to make cattail figurines that can be tailor-made into angels, Jedi Knights, samurais, mothers, dancers, archers, or any character that comes to mind. Keep them dry and they can last for decades!


Simple Birch Baskets

Learn a simple design for a birch basket. Sew it up with spruce roots, and potentially fix any little holes with pine pitch. These are the basic techniques for any birch basket, and even a birchbark canoe!

Bobbi and Alexis Burnett

An Herb Farm in the Making

Sooo…… we bought a small farm 4 years ago.  Join us for some laughs and insight as we share the story of how we ‘manage’ to juggle it all- home ownership, babies, marriage and running an Outdoor School (Earth Tracks) and an Herb Farm (Rebel Roots). We’ll share videos, photos, ancedotes, garden maps and planning, seeding, harvest and drying methods, ethical wild-crafting techniques and more.

Ben Cohen

Wildcrafted Herbs and Fresh Pressed Oils; How Locally Sourced Ingredients are a Recipe for Success

In this session we will be exploring the value of using wildcrafted, locally grown herbs from one’s own bio-region. We will compare quality, potency and sustainability of locally sourced herbs versus store bought. We will also discuss small scale oil production for use in herbal formulations and why freshly cold pressed oils are superior to the commercial alternatives.


Building a Sustainable Seed Community

In this workshop we will discuss the importance of seed saving and community seed sharing. Learn about maintaining genetic diversity, preserving history and regional adaptation, as well as basic and intermediate seed saving techniques. Discover how simple and beneficial it can be to incorporate this ancient practice into your garden!


Pat Crocker

Black Magic

While we think of Green as the eco-health standard, now food research is revealing that blue- and black-coloured herbs, fruits, and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses due to the intense doses of antioxidant anthocyanin they contain. In this workshop, Pat shines a light on the dark side of nature and comes up with some interesting herbs for the garden, the kitchen, and the medicine cabinet. Join her as she makes her Little Black Salad.


Cannabis Edibles and Healing

Cooking with Cannabis will be the preferred way to tap into the healing benefits of this ‘mother herb’ for the 84% of Canadians who don’t smoke. But it isn’t as easy as baking up a batch of freaky brownies. This workshop explains the differences in CBD vs THC, C. sativa vs C. indica, and answers questions about preparing plant material for edibles, dosing, how metabolism affects absorption, how to ‘stack’ other healing herbs in Cannabis Edibles. Pat will demonstrate her Zoom Puffs for tasting.


Richard DeSylva

How Natural Health Products are being Eliminated

Since 1998 when industry action began to stop Health Canada from requiring DIN’s for vitamins, minerals and herbs, there has been a relentless effort to gradually change NHP regulations back into the ‘drug’ model. Small to medium size players have been driven from the market; and Canada has lost approximately 40,000 products that have been removed via the new regulations.


An Herb Walk

Come join us for a walk in the woods, the fields and by waterways. Learn to identify the various herbs found in each location, and why they grow there. We will discuss what parts to use, when to pick them and how to dry and prepare them. We will also have a brief explanation of either  how to use them on their own, or how they can be used as part of a much larger formula.  Be prepared to take notes including references to various books that can further elaborate on the properties of these herbs.

Lee Earl & Rebecca Lamb

Foraging from Field to Table

Join the Wild Foragers Society for a hands-on workshop on the land to discover common edible and medicinal plants in varying stages of growth. We’ll be focusing on tasty flowers, wild fruits and looking for some plant-friends that have already gone to seed. Whether you’re looking to garnish a salad or soup with a little wild flavour, or impress your friends by topping pancakes with edible flowers – we’ll help you determine what species to seek out in terms of flowers, fruits and seeds. We’ll also cover some basics around harvesting considerations and sustainability. Rain or shine.


Dee Gauthier

Herbal Infusion Tasting Workshop

Ready to take your herbal tea to a new level of understanding?
 Join Dee for a workshop that applies sensory evaluation that tea sommeliers use for cupping to herbal infusions. Learn about “true” tea, the tea industry today, and participate in a cupping ritual that explores herbal infusions in a deeper way. Discover a new way to enjoy drinking teas and infusions by recognizing their unique qualities. There will be a discussion of what is “true” tea and what is considered an infusion, how traditional tea is made, why infusions are not considered true tea, how to apply sensory evaluation of taste, smell, etc in both dried and infused herb using actual tea, how to pick out notes, keep a tea journal, and how to brew second and third cuppings.

Monika Ghent

Plant Spirit Healing & Wisdom: Reclaiming the Divine Feminine

The Divine Feminine is the creative principle of life. It is beyond gender and lives within all of us and everything that is of this earth. It unites spirit and matter and reminds us of our true nature as well as the sacredness of all life. In this experiential workshop, participants will receive wisdom and healing from Sugar Maple and Motherwort. Their combined medicine helps us to create a deep and balanced relationship with the Divine Feminine. The workshop will begin with a brief talk after which participants will have the opportunity to enter into the dream of Maple and Motherwort and receive their spirit medicine. Participants will be lying down for 20 minutes, so please bring something to lie on, a pillow for your head and/or knees and a blanket so you’re comfortable. Also bring paper and pen to record your experience. The Divine Feminine is rising and it’s time to return home to reclaim the sacred life of which we are a part.


Bushcraft: Local Herbal Treatments for Vaginal Issues

In this workshop participants will learn about several local treatments for common vaginal issues such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, dryness, atrophy and cervical dysplasia. This workshop involves both lecture and demonstration. In the demonstration portion of the workshop we’ll make pessaries, lubricants and other herbal treatments. Participants will have the opportunity to bring home products we make together. Please bring your own small containers and baggies.


Steven Martyn

Herbal Divinity

How to honour the healing Gods and Goddesses of the wilds and the Garden. While all herbalists by the nature of their trade must have some respect for the herbs they work with, our secular culture tends to focus on the physical utilitarian use. But there is a deeper way which these lovely green beings are calling us to, if we have the ears to listen. A way of intimacy, where the lines between us and them, between spirit and biology don’t exist, that truly honours the gift they’re offering. In this workshop we’ll talk about and demonstrate specific protocols for working with these lovely ones, ways of wildcrafting, gardening and praying that can open the doors to their kingdom. In this place, outside ideas of production and chemical constituents are left behind, and we are accepted as family and taught, not how to use them, but how to understand and work with them from the inside.


The Herbal Industry

A workshop about traditional herbalism and “the industry” This is not a pro or con business workshop. It’s a realistic first hand look at being part of the herbal industry from Steven Martyn’s veteran perspective. Steven’s been working professionally in the industry for thirty years, through three different ‘herbal company’ incarnations. In this workshop Steven will share some teachings gleaned from decades of experience, and would like to promote a productive sharing about ways to avoid the pitfalls of the ‘industry’.


Esstin McLeod

Ancient Wisdom of Healing A Wholistic Process

Plant therapy has been in existence since the creation of time, intervention prevention and treatment strategies will be identified to assist with alleviating symptoms as a wholistic process. Plants that will assist physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ailments e.g. you will learn how a wholistic perspective creating a wellness plan to maintaining good health. The Medicine Wheel as a wholistic process that will help to improve personal wellness and create an awareness regarding the personal connection to Nature on a personal and spiritual level.


Stephanie Morningstar

Bridging Western and Indigenous Knowledges: Culturally Safe Herbal Practice for All

Part Ethnobotany presentation, part cultural competency discussion, Stephanie breaks down the challenges, barriers, and joys of practicing herbalism in a multicultural world. First, let’s rip off the band-aid and talk about what cultural safety is, including uncomfortable subjects like cultural appropriation, equitable access, and stereotyping in clinical practice. After the dirty work is done (together, respectfully, and even with a few laughs!) we will move into review of Stephanie’s research as an Ethnobotanist, focusing on her work with the plants of her ancestral territory, Dish With One Spoon Territory. Expect to walk away with some new skills in cultural competency, a better understanding of the difference between Western and Indigenous worldviews, and how these worldviews deeply impact our understanding of the world around us, including our relatives the medicine plants.


Caleb Musgrave/Kinew Nini

Acorn Processing:
This workshop will cover the nitty-gritty details of processing acorn flour for breads, mush and soup. We will be covering both cold and hot leaching and discuss other methods as well.


Pine Pitch and Spruce Glue

Pine pitch and Spruce Glue will discuss the finer details of making different types of glue for different applications.


Correne Omland

Canning 101

Have you always wanted to learn how to can your own foods but didn’t know where to start? The art of putting food in jars has become lost as we quickly became reliant on the food industry to put our meals on the table for us. Learn the difference between water bath and pressure canning, which foods are safe to can and which are not, proper safety protocols, where to find safe canning recipes and correct labeling and storing of canned goods.


From Suburbs to Rural Life: My Journey to Homesteading

Do you long for a more self sufficient life where you don’t rely on major industries and corporations for your every need? Have you considered getting “off-the grid”, growing your own food or adding homemaking skills to your resume but stop short when it all seems too intimidating, daunting or downright impossible? Join Correne as she tells the story of how her and her family made the leap from typical North American suburban life to homesteading in rural Kawartha Lakes. Hear about the joys and triumphs, the failures and pitfalls; find out what she would do again and what she would do differently. Leave with a sense of inspiration and a list of skills to start you on your homesteading journey.


Gudrun Penselin

Introduction to Bach Flowers – Gentle Healing from Within

Bach Flowers essences, developed by Edward Bach in the 1930s, are subtle plant medicines that encourage true healing in a very safe and gentle, yet effective way. Bach Flowers form their own unique system of herbal medicine. The underlying principle is that physical dis-ease is the result of imbalances of our mind and emotions, and that health can be restored by freeing ourselves from limiting beliefs and experiences. “The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of our Spiritual Self, to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us all the fault which is causing harm. They are able, like beautiful music, or any gloriously uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and bring us peace and relieve our sufferings.” ~ Edward Bach


Earth Wisdom – Communicating with Plant Spirit

“Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein. Every tree, every plant has a spirit unique to it. When we are humble and treat the plant world with sincere gratitude and respect, recognizing that we are only a small strand in the web of life, each one of us has the ability to learn to hear the “voices” of the plant kingdom and receive their messages. Re-connecting to Nature with this understanding is a prerequisite for the much needed healing of the Earth. Plants act as bridges in the universe, they are like conductors with their roots anchored and grounded in the soil while at the same time reaching to the sky. In this workshop you will learn through guided exercises how to connect to plant spirit and how to receive guidance and teachings from the wonderful world of Mother Earth.


John Redden

First Aid Kit for Home and Cottage

In this class we will list herbal products to make or purchase to have on hand for emergencies. This is not just a home care kit but for real emergencies that require acute care. We will provide the list contents by product and cross reference by condition. Conditions that require first aid will be described and appropriate responses will be provided in the literature provided. This is a practical class for parents with children at home or people who may be distant from medical services.


Calor Rubor Tumor Dolor Herbal Pain Management

An advanced clinical study of a few cases of pain that can be treated in the clinic or a home visit. Opioid narcotics are over prescribed and many herbs are just not strong enough to anesthetize but there are other strategies to relieve pain. We will explore the natural herbal methods used to preclude painful conditions.



Andrea & Matthias Reisen

Medicinal Mushroom Growing For Healthy Eating and Medicine

Here on the farm we grow a variety (eight now) of mushrooms for your culinary delight and medicine. We will explain the process that we use to grow the different varieties and how we process, dry and make our value added products.The medicinal benefits of the varieties will be discussed.


The Medicine Around Us

Join us as we walk the field and forest and learn about the plant being that surround and nurture us for our journey on this earth walk. We will use our sensory tools: feeling, touching, seeing and maybe tasting some of the neighbors that occupy or share this earth with us.


Aku Dunyo Richter

West African Spiritual Herbs

In Africa, traditional healing is a collaboration between the healer, the herbs, the patient, and the spiritual world. Herbs are seen as agents whose effects are inextricably dependant on all the partners of healing, including the spirits. While in Western terms the properties of herbs can be explained by the chemical constituents, the effects of herbs are often less predictable and less reliable than the chemistry and the pharmacology would suggest; and this would be of no surprise to the traditional African herbalist if the spirits are not in alignment. In this presentation we will explore the importance of the spirits in healing, the spiritual significance of herbs used in West Africa, and how the use of herbs goes beyond simple patient healing to include the psychological and spiritual healing of couples, families and communities.


Tamara Segal

Invasive Plants as Food and Medicine for People and the Planet

As ecosystems shift with our changing climate and industrial societies, the increasing presence of invasive plant species has caused much concern, coupled with strong disagreement among humans as to the most appropriate ways to respond to or “deal with” the issue. This workshop presents some information and ideas on the ways that invasive plants play a role in healing disturbed and toxic land, providing new sources of food and medicine within an ecosystem while often acting as important and timely healing agents for challenging illnesses faced by humans in the modern world. It will also serve as a kind of forum for discussion, with the hopes that participants will share their own ideas and information on the issue so that together we can examine the possible ways to work with and learn from these resilient plants, enabling a healthy transformation through these challenges.


Nifty Ways with Nettle!

An in-depth look at a densely nutritious, healing, ubiquitous wild food, fiber and medicine. This workshop will cover the therapeutic and nutritional properties of stinging nettle from root to seed, including ways to prepare and preserve the various parts of the plant so that it can be taken as food and medicine throughout the year. Identification and harvesting tips will be included, as well as a few samples of the products made from the plant.


Janna Shapero

Praxis Energeia – A Introduction to Herbal Energetics

Discover the history and fundamental concepts of Herbal Energetics, and how to incorporate these intuitive concepts into your life and work with medicinal plants.


Tracy TieF

Practical Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit

Plants can gift us with their strengths and experiences through the use of essential oils to help us with emotional, psychological and spiritual challenges. Using the lens of ancient perfumery, we will explore the relationships between plant and human bodies. We will learn to tell the plants story in order to understand its gifts for us mind, body, and spirit. Each participant will create a perfume to meet their needs.


DIY Bug Spray with Essential Oils

What’s worse? The bugs, or the toxins in the insect repellants? In short, the toxins in your average insect repellant are far worse than the bites in the long run. DEET, permethrin and other common insect repellants are actually insecticides that you put directly on your skin! Added to these “chemical name” ingredients are the usual toxins found in lotions and creams: parabens and so forth, adding cancer risk to the potential for neurological damage. If it can kill a bug, it can harm you. So what to do? You’ll learn everything you need to know to stay safe and select safe products for you and your loved ones. You’ll make your own customized blend of essential oils and healthy ingredients and take home 120ml of safe, good smelling RELIEF!


Terry Vanderheyden

Adaptogens – why we need them

Adaptogen is a word coined by a Russian scientist Lazarev in 1947. It describes plant medicines that help us ‘adapt’ and not to be so badly impacted by stress. This talk will attempt to describe the scientific and traditional literature on adaptogens and how they can be useful for the modern person, to maintain health in an ever-changing, stressful world. Some herbs covered will include Rhodiola, eleuthero, schisandra, ashwagandha, and oats, and will include historical as well as modern scientific data that supports its use.


Men’s Health and Herbal Medicine.

Research reveals that men are less likely than women to go to the doctor and are more likely to be seriously ill when they do go. This talk will examine some of the leading threats with respect to men’s health such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, benign prostate hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction and others.


Nicole Varney

Medicinal Colour

We live surrounded by a rainbows of living color. Join Nicole of Spontaneous Atelier for a hands on experience in the ancient ways of crafting pigments from plants. In this class we dive into working with natural colors from the local bioregion to create a palette of natural hues. We explore the healing properties of dye plants, the seasonal spectrum, and basic alchemy. Particpants leave with a deeper perspective on working with medicinal plants and their connection to the earth.



Michael Vertolli

Living Clean in the Modern World

Chronic inflammatory conditions have been on the rise and affecting people at younger ages. Although the causes are many and complex, one of the major factors contributing to this trend is tissue toxicity. Detoxification is therefore a major component of the treatment of these kinds of conditions. Although our body is well-equipped to process and eliminate toxins, in the modern industrialized world the amount of toxicity that we are exposed to in our food, water and environment often exceeds the capacity of our body to deal with it. This leads to an accumulation of toxicity throughout our lifetime which is also passed from generation to generation either directly, or through epigenetic and genetic mechanisms. In this lecture we will look at how we can reduce toxicity in our lives, and herbal protocols to support the physiological processes that help our body to detoxify.


Plants as Teachers

In modern Western society we tend to relate to plants and other elements of the world as things; commodities; objects that have no intrinsic value beyond how humans choose to use them. Even the concept of “sustainable development”—supposedly the antidote to our current ecological crisis—is based on this paradigm. Traditional peoples have always known that plants are sacred beings. When we approach the plant people in this way, with respect and humility, and recognize them as our elders and teachers, we deepen our relationship with them, all beings, and the living world. In return, they are more willing to share the deeper layers of their medicine. During this walk we will engage with the Land in a different way and explore the many different levels through which the plant people offer their medicine.


James Whetung

Join James Whetung for a condensed participatory workshop on the traditional processing of Manomin. James will guide the group through roasting, dancing, winnowing, and cooking Manomin. James will provide teachings on the place of Manomin in Anishinabe culture, the decline of Manomin following colonization, and the current efforts to rehabilitate Manomin beds in the Kawartha Lakes Region. Black Duck Wild Rice will be available for sale.