Apprentice with us!
Somatic Herbalism Apprenticeship
This 6 month long apprenticeship weaves together earth based healing with body centered practices. We will use the body as an instrument to develop a relationship to plants while deepening our connection to ourselves, each other and the land.
The experiential apprenticeship is a deep dive into growing and processing herbal plants. This is a somatic journey – meaning that we use all of our senses and an embodied awareness to cultivate and tend to the plants while forming a relationship to the land we are stewarding. We will work together in the fields and greenhouse to tend the land and plants together. By working together we will reinforce ideas and concepts, and find our own rhythm with hand tools. We will sit in circle, tell stories and create medicine.
We use a non – linear approach, as we follow the plants from seed to soil to bloom and back to seed. We will balance skill development with time for group shares, connection and discussion. Through the tending of the soil we nourish ourselves, our families, communities and neighbors.
By the end of the apprenticeship you will have the knowledge to grow and prepare your own herbs and herbal medicine, Our hope is that you will have developed an embodied practice of being with the land and plants, and an intuitive way of “knowing” which comes about through letting go or transformation of biases and frameworks.
About the teacher
Susan Pincus is the owner of Sawmill Herb Farm, a certified organic medicinal and culinary herb farm started in 2013. She began her apprenticeship with the natural world at a young age with walks in the woods and a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard. Susan trained for many years as an herbalist and naturalist with teachers including Chris Marano, Brittany Wood Nickerson and Neill Bovaird. In addition, Susan is a Certified Practitioner of Radical Aliveness, a unique somatic healing modality that works with the intersection of systemic reality and emotional process. (www.RadicalAliveness.org).
Curriculum and Explorations include:
- Propagation: starting seeds, root cuttings, seed germination methods, propagation via cuttings. Greenhouse growing methods
- Seed saving
- Field prep: making beds, using amendments, compost
- Plant Identification
- Soil health
- Group check ins, sharings and discussion
- Plant sits
- Processing methods including drying, tincturing, making oils
- Ritual and ceremony involving plants and the seasons
- Ways to integrate herbs into our lives
- Exploration of one’s own ancestral healing plants
- Development of an embodied personal practice using herbs
Questions? Email: sawmillherbs [at] gmail.com
When: 6 months long – we meet 1 Saturday/month on the following dates: May 6, June 3, July 15, August 12, September 9 & October 21
9:30 – 3:30 pm
Who: Open to all adults and mature older teens; anyone with a curious and open mind
Where: Sawmill Herb Farm in Montague – 119 Old Sunderland Rd. We will be primarily meeting outdoors (in all weather). Some days we will be gathering in the greenhouse or under cover.
- Bring your own lunch and snacks. We will have a group lunch in the middle of the day.
- Each apprentice day will include work in the fields or greenhouse, come prepared with appropriate clothing including covered shoes.
- There is a composting outhouse on site, accessible via a short ramp
Cost: The apprenticeship is $750, with an early bird discount of $695 if you register by April 10. CSA members receive a 10% discount off the full price. Payment is by check or cash, unless special circumstances are requested. A deposit of $200 is required to secure your spot. Payment plans are possible – you can select that option on the registration page, and payments can be equally distributed across the 6 sessions. We do not offer refunds and payment is expected regardless of the number of sessions attended.
We are offering two discounted spots for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. The discount is for 25% off the price, for a total of $562. UPDATE: the two discounted spots have been taken.
On the registration page there is an option to donate to this fund – please consider doing so as an act of gratitude and reparations.
The apprenticeship cost includes:
- 6 sessions
- 3 bunches of fresh herbs per session starting in June (total of 15)
- Medicine making materials including herbs (please bring your own jars)
- 25% off any other classes held at Sawmill for 2023
The apprenticeship is held primarily outdoors, on uneven terrain. Sessions are held in english.Sample Day
Note that the schedule will differ each session, this is an example of what the flow might look like on a particular day.
9:30 – Arrival. Gathering together, drinking the prepared herbal tea and getting present on the land. Brief embodied grounding exercise and opening check in for each apprentice to share gratitude. Susan shares about the herbs in the tea and the plan for the day.
10:00 – Susan leads around the topic of the day – for example – incorporating herbs into the garden. We will discuss an overview of different growth patterns, habitats and needs from the perspective of the plant. And from the gardener/farmer perspective – how to choose your plants, what to consider based on your soil, location and other needs
11:00 – Field work. Experiential lesson in preparing beds for planting, working together to transplant seedlings into the ground, setting up irrigation. Working together to nourish the soil and plants.
12:15 – Lunch with the group. Informal discussion around a topic of curiosity for the group alongside time for connection
1:00 – Embodied plant sit and journaling / sketching with a plant that calls out to you.
1:30 – Reflections
2:00 – Plant walk around the farm – learning about planted and wild edible and medicinal plants. Time for harvesting your personal bunches to take home
3:00 – Closing with a checkout and observations from the day
3:30 Goodbye for the day