The Herbal Apprenticeship Program



Enjoy the Apprenticeship slideshow! Photography Credit: Lisa Landon

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This Apprenticeship Program is designed to deepen an existing understanding of natural medicine so come with an open mind and heart and explore medical herbalism from the ground up! It offers you an opportunity to get closer to nature while learning and observing the wonders of natural healing and work with an experienced herbalist.

The program spans five months from Spring through Summer as we follow the wildflowers and native plant bloom from the base of the Sierra foothills up into the high country mountains. Each weekend, we spend Saturday in the outside classroom at Oak Valley Herb Farm making herbal preparations. Sunday is a field trip exploring different eco-systems.

We travel short distances to the Bear River and the Yuba River, so there is always an opportunity to swim. The three-day camping trip in July is easy car camping next to a high Sierra lake. There will be canoes and kayaks for everyone’s use throughout the weekend. You can even paddle to one of our four, very diverse plant walks. During the weekend, we share plant stories around the campfire, use hydrotherapy with herbs, and build and enjoy a sweat lodge.

During the Apprenticeship Program, you’ll make a complete first-aid kit from scratch, mostly from wild plants. We discuss how to choose the most appropriate herbs for each situation. Kathi shows you a variety of approaches and methods to formulating and medicine making, so you decide which ones appeal to you. You will then create unique formulas that are based on each situation. During the course, you will have an opportunity to use the products you make and share your herbal experiences with the class. Simple physiology comes into the course to explain how the medicines work on the body.

The Apprenticeship Program presents an array of different types of botanical experiences. That way, you can focus on your favorites. There will be medical botany, which specifically relates to medicinal herbs. We will discuss the importance of herbariums and you will be shown how to prepare your own. You will learn to use a botany key, and a few tricks to make plant ID easier. You will have an opportunity to learn the principles of flower essence therapy and to make your own.

The course also addresses plant energetics to look at how shamans and traditional medicine people around the world have approached healing. Kathi’s love for history and folklore will help emphasize many properties of the herbs you encounter in a fun way that will help you remember important facts. This will include the ethnobotany of the Native Americans, as well as the various settlers who introduced some of the wild plants we will see. And, you will meet a group of very interesting people.

Although the Apprenticeship Program is outdoors and involves field trips, we’ve been able to adapt it for people who use canes, crutches, wheel chairs, and walkers. We had a one-month old baby and some very pregnant women. The youngest person to take the course was a precocious ten-year old and the oldest was a spunky seventy-year-old. This is not a beginning course, so some knowledge of medicinal herbs and experience using them is required. If you’re not sure if you are qualified, or if you have any questions about the program, check with Kathi.


$100 deposit + $830 (only $85/day!) + $50 materials fee + 8 fun work hours

3~MONTH PLAN: APRIL~MAY~JUNE $100 deposit + $500 + $30 materials + 5 work hours

Add $20 after Mar 26. Monthly payment plan available.

Kathi Keville, PO Box 2482, Nevada City, CA 95959

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Kathi Keville, Principle Instructor

Outline for Herbal Apprenticeship Program

What people love about Kathi’s classes


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