Becoming a Bioregional Herbalist - Botany Intensive
with herbalist & forager, John Slattery
hosted by Herbal Medics University at The Human Path Campus
April 13-15, 2018
Bioregional herbalism is a thing of the past. So old it is new again. It’s the way that people all over the country are seeking to engage with plants in their back yards to find inspiration and the tools for optimal nourishment for their physical body as well as their soul, and the tools to take care of themselves and their community members with integrity, effectiveness, and compassion.
Learning to become a bioregional herbalist is as simple as going for a walk. Many walks, actually, and spending time observing your environment, looking at plants, closely; and talking to elders within your community whenever possible; learning about plants which naturally grow and thrive around you. Developing relationship with our place is part of who we are, each and every one of us. It’s simply time to wake up to this fact.
If you are called to develop relationship with the plants around you for food and medicine, then this workshop is just for you.
In this workshop we will explore the fundamental aspects of becoming a bioregional herbalist: developing relationship with place and the plants within it. This endeavor leads us to the study of field botany, thorough habitat observation, and a discussion of optimal wildcrafting and foraging practices, herbal medicine making, and plant energetics.
This is not arcane knowledge. This is available to all who seek it, and Mother Nature is our primary instructor.
There are many important aspects of becoming a bioregional herbalist. First and foremost is a deep relationship with the place you are in. As an herbalist, our focus is primarily on plants, but we can diffuse our focus peripherally into the landscape which contains and nourishes these plants to pull in a broader context. This workshop ties together pragmatic approaches to learning about our environment with the feeling relationship that extends to all living things. This feeling relationship is as real for us as the genus and species of each plant - if not far more so!
Join bioregional herbalist, John Slattery, for this 3-day workshop to begin to transform your approach to working with plants. Starting in your own backyard you can become a master of the wild food and medicine that grows within arm’s reach. Then begin to branch out with the basic principles and practices learned in this workshop to continually learn more about your local environment including unique ways to apply the herbal medicines you learn about. Becoming equipped with a hands-on approach to field botany can open up many opportunities for gaining unique knowledge and connecting with knowledge from other cultures once you know how to properly identify plants.
These 3 days will be a mixture of lecture, walkabout, intensive study, dispersed exploration, hands-on plant identification, deep inquiry, holistic theory, clinical applications, and much, much more. Hands-on wild plant identification and lessons in field botany will comprise a large portion of our studies. This workshop, and the principles conveyed herein, can serve as the foundation for a life of self-directed study for those who are motivated, as well as help many discover their personal interest within the vast world of working with plants for food and medicine.
Day 1 Introduction to Bioregional Herbalism as a concept, and an overview of the weekend’s content. Introduction to and brief exploration of plant energetics. This is where you’ll put your senses to use for gathering information and gaining knowledge as well as develop a sensitivity to finer details.
Day 2 - We’ll focus on what it means to develop relationship with place as we walk the grounds identifying plants and discussing their traditional applications. Here we’ll begin our discussion of botany while taking a much closer look at the plants we see. We’ll cover all the basics of field botany with live examples of a variety of floral morphologies. Anyone interested in making a plant press, John will bring materials for this on Saturday. See the list of suggested materials to bring received upon registration.
Day 3 - Field trip to local Guadalupe State Park. We’ll take long walks in the park exploring several different habitats and focusing on a variety of plants. Students will become acquainted with a botanical key and learn how to identify plants through the use of this key. We’ll also explore plant energetics, ethnobotany, food foraging, and plant processing concepts to round out our discussions of botany.
The workshop will take place at The Human Path campus (Friday-Saturday) and Guadalupe State Park (Sunday).
Some materials will be provided. A list of additional items to bring will be provided upon registration.
Handouts with botanical terms and a listing of local plant ID resources will be provided on Friday.
List of what to Bring:
10x hand lens
Any plant ID books you own
Comfortable walking shoes
Appropriate attire for the weather (protection from sun, rain, heat, cold)
Packed Lunch for Saturday and Sunday (Saturday option to purchase lunch at THP)
Texas State Parks Pass, if you have one (Sunday)
Plant Press, if you have one
John Slattery, Bioregional Herbalist