Current Workshop Descriptions & Dates

Winter Wellness
with Shona Richter MacDougall
Monday, February 2nd 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

Discover how to stay healthy during the cold and flu months! Shona will talk in depth about herbs to include in your winter medicine-chest, and how to prepare them. Herbal remedies for both children and adults will be discussed.

Shona Richter MacDougall is a certified clinical herbalist. She has practiced for 17 years and has worked at VCIH for almost 5 years.

Make Your Own Immune-Boosting Cough Syrup
with Juliette Abigail Carr, Old Ways Herbal
Wednesday, February 11th 6-8 pm
$17/$15 for members ($5 materials fee included)

Create a tasty, reliable remedy for your winter medicine chest.  Participants will take home recipes and a sample of the syrup we make in class.  Please bring a small jar or an old tincture bottle.

Juliette Abigail Carr is a clinical herbalist in South Newfane, Vermont and the proprietor of Old Ways Herbal.  She teaches about family herbalism and homesteading at her family’s farm and locations around the state.  Read more and contact her at

Luxuriously Healthy Hair: Simple Hair Care Recipes
with Joann Darling, Green Sylk Soap Co.
Wednesday, February 25th 6-8 pm
$17/$15 for members ($5 materials fee included)

Herbs and essential oils can be used to promote hair and scalp health. Many of the commercially available products leave a residue on your hair that can dull its natural shine, and may even contain toxins.  Good quality castile soap can be used as a shampoo alone, or as the base ingredient in natural hair care remedies. Apple cider vinegar, diluted with water leaves hair soft and shiny, invigorates the scalp, and eliminates dandruff, all for mere pennies an application! If you are interested in making your own herbal shampoos, hair rinses and scalp treatments then this workshop is for you.  Includes recipes and samples.

Joann Darling is a native Vermonter whose life work is learning and teaching about the amazing gifts we receive from the plant world.

Tree Medicine for the Earth
with Fearn Lickfield, Green Mountain School of Druidry
Wednesday, March 4th 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

The land can be seen as a macrocosm of our bodies.  It has meridians, a circulatory system, flesh and bone.  More than ever, the earth needs skilled healers and good medicine to return to balance and vitality.  Its time to bring herbalism back to Earth!  In this workshop you will journey to the Sacred Grove of the Druids to meet your tree ally and gather its medicine.  Fearn will introduce you to the earth energy web and the basics of earth acupuncture using tree essences,  as well as a a partnering practice to Repair the Climate.

Fearn Lickfield is co-creator of the Green Mountain School of Druidry with Ivan McBeth.  She is a certified flower essence practitioner, Geomancer, Ecstatic Dance leader, avid gardener, and Priestess of Gaia. As facilitator, teacher and grounded spiritual counselor she guides the healing and connection of people with the Sacred Earth.

Best Medicinal Garden Plants
with Heather Irvine, Giving Tree Botanicals
Wednesday, March 11th 6-8 pm
$15/$13 ($3 materials fee included)

Learn about some of the most useful and unusual plants that you may be surprised you can grow in your garden. Heather will discuss the propagation and growth of arnica, angelica, black cohosh, calamus, California poppy, Solomon’s seal, skullcap, spilanthes, seabuckthorn, passionflower and rhodiola. Basic medicinal plants for beginners will also be covered. Participants will take home a small collection of seeds, as well as a list of resources to help you get started.

Heather Irvine is a 2009 VCIH graduate and has a small herbal product business, Giving Tree Botanicals. She enjoys bringing new species of medicinal plants into her flock, nurturing them in small gardens, and squishing them into herbal extracts for sale at the Montpelier Farmers Market and other venues.

Techniques and Tips for Successful Plant Propagation
with Joann Darling, Gardens of Seven Gables
Wednesday, April 1st 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

Seed starting, root cuttings, layering and more.  Learn from a master how to propagate plants with ease. Joann will discuss her favorite techniques for staring perennials and annuals from seed, how she increases her scented geranium population, roots rosemary cuttings, which perennials to divide in the spring and more.   Soils and growing mediums will be covered, along with rooting solutions.

Joann Darling is a native Vermonter whose life work is learning and teaching about the amazing gifts we receive from the plant world.

Herbal First Aid: Beyond Plantain Poultices and Echinacea
with Heather Irvine, Giving Tree Botanicals
Saturday, April 4th 1-4pm
$17/$15 for members

Learn a range of herbal first aid applications and precautions from an herbal product maker and herbalist with experience using conventional first aid and herbal medicine in wilderness medicine.  Discover some lesser known, but basic and potent herbs that will be useful to keep in an herbal first aid kit!

Heather Irvine is a 2009 VCIH graduate and has a small herbal product business, Giving Tree Botanicals.  She also studied at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, based in Ithaca NY, from 2002-2004 where she gained a great deal of experience using plant medicine for a range of first aid events.

Understanding and Treating Lyme Disease: Chinese Medicine and Western Herbs
with Brendan Kelly, M. Ac., L. Ac., herbalist
Wednesday, April 8th 6-9 pm
$17/$15 for members

A crucial understanding in treating Lyme disease is that things change. Using the Chinese medicine perspective of Sheng Hua, we’ll talk about how one set of symptoms leads to others, and how understanding the progression of the disease is essential to not only treating symptoms but also promoting health. Brendan will use several Lyme case studies of patients he’s worked with to talk about his experiences treating Lyme disease and the potential to treat the condition from very early through advanced stages. We’ll talk about using western herbs as well as dietary and lifestyle suggestions to treat the numerous symptoms associated with Lyme.

Brendan will also talk about research from his book that will published by North Atlantic Books in 2015—The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis. In particular, he’ll present how the progression of Lyme disease is a reflection of the progression of climate change and how Lyme is very much a condition of our times. Detailed handouts will be provided.

You can view of video of Brendan talking about the progression of Lyme disease at the Jade Mountain Wellness YouTube page:

Brendan Kelly has a master’s in acupuncture degree and teaches about Chinese medicine at schools, colleges, universities and conferences around the country. He is a faculty member at Johnson State College in VT and the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in FL. He has 20 years experience in western herbs and natural medicine, with 12 years in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. He practices acupuncture and Chinese and western herbal medicine at the clinic he co-founded, Jade Mountain Wellness, in Burlington, VT— He also researches and writes about the connection between personal health and environmental sustainability. In September of 2015, North Atlantic Books will publish his first book The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis: Healing Personal, Cultural and Ecological Imbalances with Chinese Medicine, which presents the deeper, root causes of our warming planet.

Spring Into Clean
with Lauren Andrews RN, CA
Wednesday, April 15th 6-8 pm
$22/$20 for member (includes $10 materials fee)

Your home is your sanctuary. You can have a clean home that smells amazing, while actually supporting your health by using affordable green cleaning strategies. Get health compromising synthetic chemicals commonly found in cleaning products out of your home! Participants will create an antibacterial kitchen spray and bathroom sink and bath scrub, using common household items and organic and ethically wild-harvested essential oils.

Lauren Andrews is a Psychiatric Nurse at Central Vermont Medical Center and Certified Aromatherapist. She is the founder of AroMed Aromatherapy, providing Health Consultations, Community Education and Organic and Wild-Harvested Pure Essential Oils.

Kitchen Medicine: Spring Rejuvenation
with Lisa Masé, Harmonized Cookery
Monday, April 27th 5:30-8 pm
$22/$20 for member (includes materials fee)

Green spring tonics are a time-honored tradition to encourage gentle liver and gall bladder renewal. Leafy greens, both wild and cultivated, are some of the most nutrient dense vegetables of all, and we’ll discuss their nutrition as well as many other health benefits. Learn to prepare delicious dishes with leafy greens like pesto, herb potage, and steamed greens served with olive oil and lemon, which help maximize our absorption of their abundant vitamins and minerals.

Lisa Masé is a whole foods cooking teacher specializing in foods without gluten, dairy or sugar that taste terrific. She writes about food, cooking and culture on her blog, Harmonized Cookery.