Herbalism Apprenticeship - ifarm LLC
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Herbalism Apprenticeship


Connecting with the Living Land

An Herbalism & Holistic Gardening Apprenticeship

2020 Apprenticeship Details

After a wildly successful start to our first year, we will be offering our herbalism and gardening apprenticeship anew in 2020! We will begin accepting deposits for the 2020 program on  October 1, 2019.

Interested individuals can send an email to info@ifarmboxford.com to reserve a space on our 2020 apprenticeship list. The first names on the list will be the first people offered spaces in the new program! We recommend signing up- we sold out our 2019 apprenticeship in three weeks!


Class Summary

Connecting with the Living Land is both an herbal program and a nourishing retreat. It offers students a space to step into the powerful and nurturing realm of medicinal herbs to create wellness, vitality and connection with the natural world. Set on the picturesque 19 acres of ifarm LLC and led by Herbstalk’s founder, Steph Zabel, the class days will offer in-depth herbal knowledge, calming time in nature, and herb seedlings and gardening skills so you can create an herbal sanctuary in your own home. The retreat meets one weekend day a month for seven months. During the course, students will experience every aspect of herbalism, from growing and harvesting to wild identification, processing, selecting herbs for healing, and making medicine.


Class Description

We will focus on 30+ herbs that cover a wide range of ailments and health issues, from anxiety to chronic fatigue to broken bones. The retreat meets on one weekend day each month, from April to October. Apprenticeship days will include a segment for learning about 4 beautiful plants, working with these plants, making potent medicine, and gaining foundational garden knowledge and herb seedlings.

The retreat incorporates plenty of time in the garden and grounds of ifarm, getting to know the plants in their natural state. The gardening portions of the class will provide you with the seedlings and knowledge to transplant potent herbal medicine to your own home. Each person will go home with seedlings from eight amazing medicinal herbs to grow, including Milky Oats, Calendula, Comfrey, Yarrow, and Mullein. ifarm specializes in teaching permaculture (sustainable agriculture) workshops and will offer many ideas to help gardeners create perennial edible ecosystems.

The class size will be small so participants can develop a small herbal community and ask all their questions.

Each day will strike a balance between practical academic knowledge and direct connection with the living plant world. The classroom segment will cover the uses and contraindications of herbs, methods of diagnosis, and over fifteen different medicine making techniques, from Burdock tinctures to Elderberry syrups. The introspective time offers the opportunity to slow down and engage with the natural world through reflective journaling, yoga classes, and beautiful intuitive practices that have been used by herbalists for thousands of years.

At the end of each class, students will leave with detailed handouts, potted herb seeds or seedlings from the farm, samples of the herbs covered in class, and the results of the hands-on medicine making session.

Those who complete this course will gain a deeper understanding of medicinal plants and feel confident using herbs at home for themselves and their families. They will have the means to create a sanctuary of growing herbs in their own home. This program offers a beautiful and straightforward way to connect with the healing power of the natural world.


Curriculum includes:

  • Herbal Materia Medica of 30+ herbs (Four in-depth plant profiles are detailed each class, though many more herbs will be identified and discussed).
  • Medicine-making techniques that include flower essences, infused oils, salves, infused vinegars, oxymels, teas, decoctions, incense, smudges, infused honeys and syrups, tinctures, cordials, and infused wines.
  • Botanical identification skills for wild harvesting.
  • Gardening knowledge to grow an indoor and outdoor herbal garden.
  • Historical and modern plant uses & medicinal qualities, including contraindications.
  • Tea tastings of each herb in the Materia Medica.
  • Permaculture techniques and practices.
  • Plant meditation and sensory integration.
  • Time for reflection and journaling.
  • Sections on a “movement diet” to support the herbal remedies.
  • An optional 30-day elimination diet (taking one food out of your diet) to observe effects in a supportive environment.
  • Herbal first aid.


Herbal Instructor: Steph Zabel

Steph has studied and worked with herbs for over a decade and it is her joy to share the botanical world with others. She is a graduate of the clinical herbal program from the CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine and holds a MSc in ethnobotany from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She worked for many years in the botanical collections at the Harvard University Herbarium. Steph is also the founder and organizer of Herbstalk, New England’s popular community-based herbal conference. Learn more at her websites: www.flowerfolkherbs.com and www.herbstalk.org.


Gardening Instructor: Emily Round

Emily Round is ifarm’s green-thumbed lead permaculture gardener. A North Shore native, she graduated from Essex Agricultural and Technical School and then went on to study Environmental Design at UMass Amherst. There, she served on the award-winning UMass Permaculture Committee. Before joining the ifarm team, she spent five years honing her skills at the Herb Farmacy as the field manager.


Yoga Instructor: Nick Shrewsbury

Nick is a district court mediator, a yoga teacher, and a life coach who has traveled the world to study psychology, physiology, and connection. He has lived with wolves, trained teams of sled dogs, and works as the director of ifarm LLC. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Prescott College and is a certified RYT-200 and Yoga Tune Up® teacher. Nick’s classes are layered with thoughtful, safe flows that wring out the body for a blissful savasana.



We will begin accepting deposits for the 2020 Connecting with the Living Land apprenticeship on October 1, 2019.

Interested individuals can send an email to info@ifarmboxford.com to reserve a space on our 2020 apprenticeship list. The first names on the list will be the first people offered spaces in the new program! We recommend signing up- we sold out our 2019 apprenticeship in three weeks!

Logistical questions can be sent to info@ifarmboxford.com.

Any questions about the apprenticeship can be sent to steph@flowerfolkherbs.com.

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