Eco-Spiritual Educational Sanctuary
(est. 1983)

  • Collage of photos of herbal medicine plants & classes in Ontario

Herbalism: Gaia in Action

Towards a Regenerative Future

“Herbalism is the medicine of belonging; the direct experience of the whole healing the part. 
To heal ourselves we must know ourselves and the ground upon which we stand.” ~David Hoffmann, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist

Every culture throughout history recognized and respected the power of the plant world as an essential contributor to the healthy evolution of the community. The programs offered to integrate ancient herbal traditions, nature intelligence, ecological forest gardening knowledge, and permaculture practices to take herbalism to a new level of understanding.

Why Herbalism?

Medicines are around us at all times. There are herb plants or fungi for any ailment. In our healing process, we look to our herbal allies to support and nourish us as foods and medicines for the mind, body, spirit, and community. With a deep awareness of the limitations of natural medicine, we teach the importance of balanced, diverse and integrated wellness programs tailored to meet individual needs. Immerse yourself in the vast field of herbalism. Gain confidence in your practice by learning about the plants from the plants and with people living the lifestyle. 

The herbal practice is a safe and effective way to maintain healthy bodies and lives, which has increased exponentially over the past decades. We will explore the medicinal and nutritional value of our local, wild and native plants with the intention of ‘localizing herbalism’ and shifting our culture to being active ecosystem participants.

People who know how to grow, sustain, harvest, forage, produce and advocate these natural medicines are the ecological activists for these precious plants, ensuring that future generations will enjoy their many benefits. We are at a turning point on the planet, realizing that the intimate embrace of our ecological systems is a healing force that will move humanity towards a transformation in our relationship with ourselves, our communities and the Earth.  

“All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.”~Arapaho

forest garden spiral

The Local, Wild Living Design

Living Seeds - Living Soil - Living Plants

April 1 & 2, 2023

We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ~Henry David Thoreau

An integration of edible and medicinal plants. Applying local living nutrition, permaculture fundamentals, wholistic health, and herbalism principles. It encourages you to discover the symbiotic relationship between the soil of your inner and outer terrain. Discover the benefits of making cultured and fermented recipes, ancient detoxification practices for enhancing well-being, applying herbal healing modalities and encompassing deep earth-centred skills into daily life practices. 

Practical Herbalism Mentorship

Medicine of the People

May 6 - Nov 6, 2023

“To become a true herbalist, means to be sensitive to the being of the herbs, to commune in receptive awareness with the plant-light of the universe. It is to listen when the plant speaks, to speak to the plant as to another human being, and to look upon it as one’s teacher.” ~Dr. David Frawley and Dr, Vasant Lad, The Yoga of Herbs

This experiential herbalism program is a hands-on exploration of designing and working with wild herbs and native plants. The program includes medicine-making, herbal preparations, formulations, case studies, personal and community projects. To experience and assist the growth of herbs ensures the individual healing loop between herb and herbalist. Blending hands-on herbalism with understanding herbal actions will support you in being a family herbalist and community plant activist.

Nutritional Herbalism Mentorship

Traditional Foods & Wild Plant Cuisine

June 17 - Nov 6, 2023

“Once we have tasted this wildness, we begin to hunger for a food long denied us, and the more we eat of it the more we awaken,” ~Stephen Harrod Buhner

Wild nutritional herbalism is the oldest form of healing on the planet. It originates before the science of modern-day chemistry. This mentorship will take you into understanding plant science to applying plants for creating healthy culinary arts for yourself and your family and friends. In a practical format, we will explore the influence of vital energies of foods, spices, and herbs on our well-being. Nutritional herbalism is a compassionate journey of self-discovery, providing you with the tools to becoming a powerful healer. Every plant that we take into our bodies influences who we are and what we are to become.

Forest Gardening Mentorship

Ecological Resilient Design

April 22 - Nov 6, 2023

“The ultimate goal of forest gardening is not only the production of crops, but also the cultivation of new ways of seeing, thinking and acting in the world.” ~Dave Jacke

This program is committed to the future of native and wild plants by educating and inspiring tomorrow’s foragers, wildcrafters, herbalists, forest gardeners, permaculturists and ecologists. Through the cultivation and use of these plants, discover how a genuine working relationship with Earth and the plants are the cornerstones for enduring personal, community and ecological health and happiness. Learn how to achieve the same benefits that natural systems demonstrate: stability, resilience, self-maintenance, self-renewal and increased nutrient conservation at personal and ecological levels.

Ethical Foraging Herb Walks

The Art of Wildcrafting

(Friday Evenings) April - September 2023

“We must take our children into the wild, introduce them them to the plants, and teach them of their connection to the Earth.” ~Rosemary Gladstar 

Foraging – the act of finding and gathering wild edibles and native foods. For the majority of our existence, humans have been foragers and gatherers of plants. By engaging in this age-old practise, we can provide ourselves with healthy FREE food and culinary delights, become more self-reliant, and connect on a much deeper level to the landscape in which we live. Over the course of seven months, you will go from learning foraging skills – incorporating wild plants into your everyday life and gain the knowledge to confidently share what you know with others. Discover the world of herbs through the seasons.

The Ecological Herbalist: The Roots of Plant Medicine

May 6 - 7, 2023

“The plants have enough spirit to transform our limited vision.” ~Rosemary Gladstar

The ecological roots of herbalism are for those interested in exploring and deepening into herbalism; for those desiring to gather the information to care for their families naturally; and for those wishing to pursue herbalism in a professional setting. This is a foundational training into the incredible world of plants and their medicinal uses. It provides a practical study of herbalism through an in-depth understanding of medicinal plants, as well as the study of herbal medicine for the body systems. An understanding and experience gained to assist family and friends in wholistic health applications.

The Essential Dozen

Foundations of Well-Being

June 24 - 25, 2023

“My idea of a good herbalist isn’t someone who knows the uses of 40 different herbs, but someone who knows how to use one herb in 40 different ways.”~Svevo Brooks

Discover the many facets of herbalism by focusing on the essential dozens. You will work with these plants that grow in our medicine wheel herb garden or the wildflower meadows and forest gardens. We will look at the healing plants from numerous angles, including botanical, native, healing, energetic, historical and the sacred.

Regeneration & Resilience: Soil Ecology, Permaculture & Native Plants

April 22 - 23, 2023

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. “ ~Franklin D. Roosevlt

In this hands-on experience, learn how to design a landscape of herbal, nutritional, wild and native plants. This will include wild plant identification, harvesting & the art of wildcrafting and making herbal nutritional preparations. Learn in-depth knowledge of a dozen herbs and how to incorporate them into your meals.

The Family/Community Herbalist: The Art of Medicine-Making

September 9 - 10, 2023

“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favour compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” ~Thomas Edison

A weekend going to the root of wellness – a discovery of the many facets of plant medicine. Focusing on the key medicinal plants that will support most family and community issues, you will work with the plants that grow in our medicine wheel herb garden, wildflower meadows, and forest gardens. We will look at the healing plants from numerous angles including botanical, therapeutic, energetic, historical and the sacred.

Ask the Herbalist: Lessons on Herbalism, Biodiversity & Regeneration

4-Week Cycle Monthly Themes Online Date TBA

“Herbs are as ancient as time itself and capture the magical qualities of fire, water and plants lfe. The making of an herbal tea involves the mixing and brewing of different elemental forces” ~Rosemary Gladstar

Putting the power of plants into your hands with bits of inspiration, herbal projects, medicinal plant knowledge and personal stores about regenerative living. Build your resilience by discovering how to engage with bioregional plants as allies and develop personal intuition and connection for yourself and the natural world.

Plant Intelligence: Wild Wisdom of Weeds

July 8 - 9, 2023

“For if we should recapture the response of the heart to what is presented to the senses, go below the surface of sensory inputs to what is held inside them, touch again the “metaphysical background” that expresses them, we would begin to experience, once more, the world as it really is: alive, aware, interactive, communicative, filled with soul, and very, very intelligent—and we, only one tiny part of that vast scenario.” ~Stephen Harrod Buhner

Throughout history, throughout all cultures around the world people understood plants as a living system of ‘reading the ‘Book of Nature’ which is integral for the full advancement for ecological healers and herbalists of today. Discover the essential food and medicine of the land.

The Incredible Edibles: Foraging & Feasting Adventure

June 17 - 18, 2023

“If it comes from a plant eat it; if it was made in a plant-don’t.” ~Michael Pollan

Discover the numerous facets, values of wild and native edible plants and the trees of our bioregion. This practical training of Carolinian Canada’s edible plants will cover where to find them as well as when and how to gather and prepare them.

Sacred Plant Medicine: Doctrine of Signatures

August 19 - 20, 2023

“There is only one active ingredient in plant medicines: relationship. A plant spirit regenerates an individual as a favor to its friend-in-dreaming, the herbalist.”

The energetics of wild native medicines support our well being – well beyond our physical body. They connect us with the deep source of the earth. Exploring the energetic medicine of plants in an inspiring and practical format of the healing essence of plants and knowing a plant medicine through the five senses. A hands-on, participatory and enlightening experience.

Elemental Medicine: The Secret Language of Plants

October 14 - 15, 2023

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.” ~ Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel laureate in Medicine

The plant world is vibrant and alive, each with its unique energetic signature. Learning to connect with the energetics of wild, medicinal plants supports the well-being of our energetic, emotional and psychic bodies that connect us to the heart of Gaia. You will learn to connect with the healing essence of plants and their medicines through the five senses. A hands-on, participatory and enlightening experience.

Forest Gardening: Medicine from the Edge

July 15 - 16, 2023

“The keystone of forest gardening is a paradigm shift in our own human consciousness. From monoculture mind to polyculture mind; From separation to unity; From exploitation and manipulation to respect and interdependence; From intervener to ecosystem participant.” ~Dave Jacke

Dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic and resilient ecosystems using temperate deciduous forests as models. The site walks, experiential exercises and design projects will help you understand how the architecture, social structure, underground economics and successional processes of natural forests apply to the design of herbal ecosystems.

Gardening Like the Forest Designing the Ecological Garden

May 27 - 28, 2023

“What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights.” ~William Lawson, 1618

Healthy forests maintain, fertilize, and renew themselves, naturally. Envision living in an intentional, resilient, forage-able ecosystem in your own yard and it grows your food and medicine! Imagine meeting your own needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems at the same time. Forest gardens mimic the structures and functions of natural forests while growing food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizers, farmaceuticals, and fun.

The Sevenfold Path: Unleashing Your Inner Hero Residential Apprenticeship Program

A 23-Day Experience
July 2 -23, 2023

In a social and ecological crisis, what can we as individuals do to improve the world? This mentorship offers grounded skills, knowledge, and perspectives that open the way to a more regenerative future for yourself and the Earth. This hands-on experience unlocks skills and potential, passions and insights that extend a forest of possibilities. A Sevenfold Path Educator is someone who can ‘walk-the-talk.’ Individuals who are potent catalysts for change sincerely desire to be part of the global transition. The world needs people who embrace the invitation to be emissaries of conscious evolution—pioneering souls who can ‘live the solution’ in all areas of their lives.