Foundations in Botany, Wild Food, & Herbal Medicine

**Registration for the 2015 course is full. If you would like to be notified of upcoming courses in 2016, or of a possible space opening in the 2015 course, please contact us.


“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life. And see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – H. D. Thoreau

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If you’re reading this then you probably already like plants. But perhaps you also wonder how plants might help in this sometimes overwhelming world where it seems nearly all our food is awash in chemical toxins, deficient in nutrients, and generally grown with disrespect. Perhaps you also have concerns about what seems to be an avalanche of chronic medical conditions in our country, like diabetes, depression, auto-immune diseases, allergies, GI problems, and chronic fatigue, and seek answers beyond the pharmacy prescription. Perhaps you have concerns about how our communities can become more truly self-sufficient, and rather than simply sustainable, resilient and regenerative, and your own household less dependent upon purchased products and materials.

Perhaps you are also concerned about the daily loss of forests, streams, animals, insects, and plants that seems to be happening at an unimaginable rate everywhere in the world, just to keep our lights on and gas in our tanks. How can we find a way out of this tangle that, frankly, we rely on for almost all our needs? Can we transition, as individuals and communities, towards a more connected and harmonious way of life?

Questions so big require many ways. This is the plant way. If your heart pulls you to the forest and the sidewalk cracks, then this course can give you the traction to pursue that yearning in its many and diverse applications, and to begin a path of deep apprenticeship to nature itself, for the benefit of the healing of one’s self, one’s community, one’s home-land, and all inner and outer places.


Foundations in Botany & Plant Taxonomy
Keeping a Nature Journal
Identification & Harvesting of Wild Edible Plants
Cooking Wild Plants
Language of Field Guides
Fundamentals of Western Herbal Medicine
Drying & Preservation of Plant Material for Food & Medicine
Seasonal Observation for Harvest Inventory
Understanding Ecosystems
Indigenous Cultivation Techniques
When Harvesting Ethics Becomes Ecosystem Participation
Integrating Wild Plants into the Home Garden, Farm, or Food Forest
Making Simple Medicines
Intro to Mushrooms
First Aid & Hygiene Using Plants
Plants as Material: Fiber, Dye, Shelter, Fire, Vessels, Tools
Sensory Exercises & Nature Grounded Meditation

Also Featuring: Guest instructors, and visits to two Baltimore City urban farms.

Resources: Participants will be able to collaborate and participate in between class times in their own private Facebook group. To further support learning, participants can also register for any Fall 2015 workshops at 40% off the registration price (**Exceptions include Home-Skill classes with Kelly Carey, and Tanning classes).

Materials Required: Unlined Journal, Pen, Pencil, Scissors or Knife, Harvesting Vessels (cloth, mesh, or plastic bags, or basket), a bandana, Peterson’s Edible Field Guide, Peterson’s Medicinal Field Guide, water, a lunch.

Curriculum Schedule                           Reading List

D72_0768This course is designed for the plant curious, the beginner-to-intermediate forager, the Permaculture practitioner pre or post design course, or those looking for foundational studies in the field of herbal medicine. Students can expect to gain a backbone in the fundamentals of botany, taxonomy, plant identification, actually eating and using wild plants, & herbal medicine theory and practice, so that future and prolonged independent study, and indeed lifestyle shifts, can be more effective, rewarding, and of greater ease. Simple, hands-on, and practical lessons in-the-field will help students to break through the language barrier of field guides and botanical nomenclature and bring greater light and focus to the unique and subtle nuances which make one plantD72_0747 remarkably different from the next. Students will also learn many methods and practices, such as keeping a nature journal and sit spot exercises, to aid in deepening and honing one’s senses in order to more deeply understand and witness all aspects of an ecosystem, so that immersion into that landscape becomes possible.

In each class students will be expected to participate in group seminars, partner exercises, individual journaling and nature observation time, lectures, and plant identification practice. Students will also be encouraged to bring plant material home after each class to work with at home and in their kitchen.IMAG2059

Outside of class times students should expect to engage in reading, nature journaling, and independent study, and to bring that learning to each class meeting. Students will also be expected to regularly study and complete handouts, and to keep notes and records for future continued study. Each student will also be expected to complete an independent project to present at the end of the course.

DSC_0116All classes will take place outdoors, in various terrains and ecosystems across Baltimore City and County. Please come prepared to be walking a lot in the woods, through fields and sitting on bare ground. Participants must be in good physical condition. Please wear comfortable, weather appropriate, sturdy shoes, and dress in layers. Participants will receive a detailed schedule of class locations upon registration.

**Participants will receive a 35 hour certificate upon full completion of the course. Completed participants can also request a professional letter of recommendation by Charm City Farms and the instructor detailing skills & aptitudes learned.

Tuition, Schedule, & Application:

This course meets for (7) 5-hour classes on Saturdays

Dates: Sept 5 & 19; Oct 10, 17, & 31; Nov 14 & 21 (**NOTE: These dates have changed**)

Inclement Weather Dates: Nov 8 10am-3pm, Nov 15 12pm-5pm, Nov 22 12pm-5pm

Classes are 10am- 3pm

Cost: $360 (about $10 per teaching hour)

10 person maximum enrollment

Applications to enroll must be submitted to by July 15 

Please email applications or questions to

REGISTRATION FOR THIS COURSE IS CLOSED. If you are already registered and wish to complete your tuition payment please contact the instructor to receive the Paypal link or to mail a payment by check.

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Instructor: Victoria Greba 

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