Current Workshop Descriptions & Dates

Traditional Herbalism in a Globalized World: A Case Study of Cuba
with Kenzie McDonald, VCIH Clinical Intern
Wednesday, May 4th 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

Cuba, historically isolated from access to global technologies, has become known as a nation dedicated to local, organic food, and accessible healthcare. While healthcare is free, the industrial diet and lifestyle of a globalized world comes at a cost. Health concerns include issues of malnourishment, diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disease. In this class, we will discuss the reality of traditional herbalism in the context of Cuban culture, specifically focusing on Havana and the surrounding region. We will also discuss how industrialization is changing traditional herbalism used throughout the world. This class will provide an overview of Cuban herbalism from the perspective of a traveling, American herbalist and agriculturalist, and participants will leave with herbal recipes that are commonly used in Cuban homes.

Kenzie McDonald is a clinical herbalist intern at VCIH and is starting her first herb farming business, Wild Femme Herb Farm. Kenzie has traveled and lived in the Middle East, West Africa, and Central America while studying permaculture, sustainable agriculture, herbalism, and local languages and traditions. In 2015, Kenzie visited the western region of Cuba to research the current status of its health care, organic agriculture, and herbalism. Kenzie’s perspective is limited to her own experience, and while she is not an expert on any of the subjects she will cover in the workshop, she is passionate about the possible benefits of this kind of cross-cultural exchange of herbal wisdom.

Herbal Medicine Making: Tinctures, Oils, Salves & Creams
with Heather Irvine, Giving Tree Botanicals
Wednesday, May 11th 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

The herbal medicine harvesting season is just beginning.  Discover the simple art of making medicinal plant tinctures and go beyond ‘novice tincture maker’.  Learn general guidelines for determining what ratios to use, as well as valuable resources that are helpful in coming up with a plan that will yield better handmade herbal extracts. We will also make infused oils, salves and creams and learn tips for success with each of these. This class will also give you an idea of some of the most useful plants to grow or wild gather this summer; both visual recognition of those plants and brief growth, harvesting and medicine making information specific to those most useful plants.

Heather Irvine is 2009 VCIH graduate and a 2004 graduate of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. She has a small herbal product business, Giving Tree Botanicals as well as a small herbal practice in Burlington.  She enjoys collecting medicinal plants and the stories behind them.

Food As Medicine: Ride the Wave of Fall Change, Build Immunity, and Thrive all Winter
with Lisa Mase’, Harmonized Cookery
Monday, September 28th 5:30-7:30 pm
$20/$18 for members (includes materials fee)

During this nourishing, hands-on class, we will learn about the flavors of fall and which foods can support this profound seasonal transition. We will: prepare recipes that help us adapt to the change in seasons, mix anti-biotic spice blends for winter, start a sauerkraut culture, and sample fermented grains. Leave with a full belly, recipes, and inspiration.

Lisa Mase’ is a food as medicine educator, writer, mother, and homesteader in Central Vermont. Her work is informed by traditional nutritional philosophies, from Ayurveda and Chinese Five Element Theory to the Mediterranean Diet. She strives to help others find their ideal sources of nourishment and thrive with food as medicine. For recipes, meal plans, and more, visit: