Herbalism Apprenticeship - ifarm LLC
page-template-default,page,page-id-27039,bridge-core-1.0.4,qode-quick-links-2.0,woocommerce-no-js,tribe-no-js,ctct-bridge,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,vertical_menu_enabled,side_area_uncovered_from_content,footer_responsive_adv,columns-3,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-18.0.8,qode-theme-bridge,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.7,vc_responsive

Herbalism Apprenticeship


Connecting with the Living Land

An Herbalism & Holistic Gardening Apprenticeship

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, and making potent medicine.

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, at a maximum of twelve students, 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.


Class Dates

We are offering two apprenticeship programs this year. They both meet once a month. However, one program meets only on Saturdays, and the other meets only on Sundays.


9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

April 27

May 25

Jun 22

Jul 27

Aug 24

Sep 21

Oct 19


Sundays: (This program is already full)

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

April 28

May 26

Jun 23

Jul 28

Aug 25

Sep 22

Oct 20



Meals are on your own.  Our location is rural – bring plenty of wholesome food that will sustain your energy on every level!  Our water is drawn from our own well – drink lots!  Bring a non-disposable water bottle for filling.


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.



The total cost for this herbal apprenticeship is $1850.

Early birds who register before February 1st will receive $50 off the cost of the apprenticeship, for a total fee of $1800.

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to complete enrollment and reserve your space in the program. Our Sunday program is already full, and we expect the Saturday program to fill soon, so it is wise to reserve your space as soon as possible. The deposit is applied to your total tuition cost.

The registration deadline for the course is April 7, 2019. Students must send in their $500 deposit before that date to register for the course.

Tuition can be paid immediately, on the first class date, or in monthly installments. If you wish to pay sooner than later, you can pay the total fee ($1850) up front, or submit your deposit ($500) and pay the rest ($1350) on April 27 or 28, whichever is your first class date.

If you prefer to pay in installments, you can submit your deposit ($500) and will be billed ($450) via email on your first three class dates. Email invoices can be paid online by credit or debit or in class with a check.

After April 7, 2019, students are committed to the course and no refunds will be issued. Payment installations will continue to be charged even if the student is unable to attend the classes. All students are expected to pay the full tuition even if they decide at a later point to discontinue the program.


Refund Policy

The $500 deposit is non-refundable.

Participants must withdraw before April 7, 2019 (21 days before classes start) to be removed from recurring payments or refunded their tuition balance. Otherwise, they are responsible for the cost of the tuition, regardless of whether they can attend classes.


Required Materials

  • Notebook for Plant Profiles
  • Digging Trowel
  • Hand Pruning Shears

We will provide medicine making tools and materials while at the farm. However, students will be taking home herb material from each class and may wish to purchase their own implements (tea strainers, oils, beeswax, alcohol for tinctures, bottles, etc). This is not required, simply an option for each student to consider. We will provide information about local herb shops and suppliers.


Highly Recommended Books:

  • Body Into Balance by Maria Noel Groves
  • The Herbalist’s Way by Nancy & Michael Phillips
  • Herbal Rituals by Judith Bergner
  • Botany in a Day by Thomas Expel


Suggested Books:

  • The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood
  • Rosemary’s Family Herbal by Rosemary Gladstar
  • Herbal Medicine for Beginners by Katja Swift & Ryn Midura
  • The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer
  • Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway
  • The One Straw Revolution by Masonobu Fukuoka
  • Food Rules by Michael Pollan

There are no required books for the program, but several are strongly recommended. A budget of $50-$100 should more than cover the costs for a few basic books, and many of the books we recommend are available in the Public Library system.



To register for the course, contact info@ifarmboxford.com. Please note that the Sunday program is already full! We have a few spots left for the Saturday program.

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

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

ifarm Gallery

Region Map

As Seen In