Minnesota’s Herbal Festival

Welcome to the Holistic Health and Herbal Education Festival!

 

You’ve come to the right spot to learn about Minnesota’s own herbal conference.  Since 2006 The Holistic Health and Herbal Education Festival has been an an opportunity for holistic health and herbal medicine practitioners, students and enthusiasts from the Upper Midwest to learn from regional teachers in our own backyard. The 2018 festival will take place at Prairie Oaks Institute a retreat center on a beautiful farm in Belle Plaine, MInnesota just 45 minutes from the Twin  Cities. Instructors and participants come from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

 

The festival is organized like a conference and consists of four different sessions with participants choosing from among 3 or 4 workshops offered at each session.  We offer diverse workshops with offerings suitable for beginners as well as intermediate/advanced workshops.  The bulk of our workshops cover different aspects of herbal medicine such as  plant identification, medicine making, hands-on  kitchen herbalism or cosmetics, clinical or diagnostic topics in herbalism.  We also offer workshops from instructors from other modalities. Past years have included classes in homeopathy, nutrition, flower essences, Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong and more.

The festival includes a leisurely lunch period that features our famous dessert buffet including (gluten free and vegan options) and two  plant walks for those who want to learn even more.  Some years a local beekeeper is available at lunch selling raw, wildflower honey and beeswax and the festival includes several vendors of handmade herbal or wildcrafted products.

Scroll down to learn more about this year’s festival.


 14th Annual Holistic Health and Herbal Education Festival

 

Join us at a beautiful, plant filled  historic farm and retreat center in Belle Plaine, Minnesota just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities for a day of herbal and holistic health classes.

When:  Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: Prairie Oaks Institute in Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Twelve to sixteen workshops will be offered by a variety of accomplished practitioners and educators. There will be something for everyone from beginning to advanced students, including opportunities for hands-on medicine making and plant id.  Relax on the farm between classes and join us for herbal teas a delicious dessert buffet.

Registration for the 2018 festival is open.  See our registration page for more details.

 

 Schedule of Events

Subject to Change–Scroll down to read more about our instructors and course descriptions.

Participants select one class per session; participants may switch sessions if desired.

8:30-9:00 Welcome Circle

9:00-10:30 Session One

1. Adapto-what? with LuAnn Raadt

2. Pulse Testing 101 with Lise Wolff

3. Step up Your Salve Game: Techniques, Raw Materials and Creative Thinking for Topical Preparations with Erin Piorier

4. Flower Essences for Gut and Brain Health with Loey Colebeck

10:30-11:00 break

11:00-12:30 Session Two

1. Restorative Gathering in a Damaged Landscape: Foraging with the intent to restore our health, our ecosystem, and our connection to it with Sam Thayer

2.  What your face says about your health with Spencer Blackie

3. Herbal Approaches to Lyme and Co-Infections with Aszani Stoddard

4.  Cooking with Herbs, Spices and Wild Greens with Betsy Nelson

12:30-2:00 Break

Lunch and Dessert Buffet

1. Lunch Hour Plant Walk 12:30 to 1:15 with Allena Catchings

2. Lunch Hour Plant Walk Earth Connection With Our Herbal Allies 1:15-2:00 with Sonia Casey

2:00-3:30 Session Three

1. Gathering Wild Plants in the Prairie-Forest Borderland with Sam Thayer

2. The Jade Egg with Loey Colebeck

3. Kombucha–More than a Healthy Fad with LuAnn Raadt

4. Every Day Plant Medicine: Making an Herbal Tincture with Carolyn Smith

3:30-4:00 Break

4:00-5:30 Session Four

1. Pulse Testing 101 with Lise Wolff

2. Reading your health through your feet, Foot Glyphology with Spencer Blackie

3. Understanding and Treating the Lymphatic Systems with Herbs with Erin Piorier

4. Every Day Plant Medicine: Making an Herbal Skin Salve with Carolyn Smith

 

 

Instructors:

Read our instructor biographies here.  Or click on the links below to see their websites or blogs.

Spencer Blackie

Sonia Casey

Allena Catchings

Loey Colebeck

Besty Nelson

Erin Piorier

LuAnn Raadt

Carolyn Smith

Aszani Stoddard

Sam Thayer

Lise Wolff

 

 

Workshops

Check back often. Workshops descriptions are forthcoming.

Adapto-what? with LuAnn Raadt

Adaptogens!  Discover (or rediscover) the fascinating world of adaptogenic herbs – herbs that work with a person’s body and help them adapt; most notably, to stress and fatigue.  The presentation will begin with an overview of what adaptogens are, and then focus on specific adaptogenic herbs and their unique characteristics, along with sampling infusions of individual herbs.  We will also discuss ways to incorporate these herbs into your herbal practice as well as your daily routine. If time permits, we will take a brief look at which of these can be grown in Minnesota, with tips on growing and gathering.

Cooking with Herbs, Spices and Wild Greens with Betsy Nelson

Gathering wild greens and other edible plants is not only a great way to connect with the world around us, but they are also loaded with health benefits. The humble weeds such as dandelion, purslane, lamb’s quarters, wood sorrel, violet leaves, garlic mustard, nettles, plantain and Creeping Charlie, to name a few, are easy to find and identify and are often plentiful for gathering throughout much of the spring, summer and fall. Betsy will show some ways of cooking greens that will make them appealing to even the pickiest eater. We will make some recipes using wild greens and weeds and they will be available for tasting throughout the class. We will also talk about choosing herbs and spices for specific health properties and how to easily incorporate them into every day cooking.

Every Day Plant Medicine: Making an Herbal Skin Salve with Carolyn Smith

Medicine grows everywhere around us. Many medicinally functional plants grow in our immediate urban environment that are useful for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. We close an unhealthy connection gap when we learn to recognize the variety of all life around us and what it has to offer, and when we use and perpetuate the knowledge of ancient traditional ways that humans kept themselves healthy and thriving for thousands of years. Often healing begins simply with this connection itself to tradition, nature, and the plants as individuals, then is further assisted by ingestion or topical application of the specific plants and their chemistry at the level of physical biology.

In this class we will identify some local, common, and abundant plant remedies for skin and discuss their medicinal uses. As a group we will make a topical salve, perfect for cracked dry skin during the dry winter months, to learn the steps of the process and have a salve to take home. Herbal Medicine is a wide field with as many styles in approach as there are people in the practice. If you are interested in learning a few useful plants in a hands-on, experiential and relational way using easily accessible folk style methods, please join me for this session of making a salve from plants!  $5 supply fee payable to instructor

Every Day Plant Medicine: Making an Herbal Tincture with Carolyn Smith

Medicine grows everywhere around us. Many medicinally functional plants grow in our immediate urban environment that are useful for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. We close an unhealthy connection gap when we learn to recognize the variety of all life around us and what it has to offer, and when we use and perpetuate the knowledge of ancient traditional ways that humans kept themselves healthy and thriving for thousands of years. Often healing begins simply with this connection itself to tradition, nature, and the plants as individuals, then is further assisted by ingestion or topical application of the specific plants and their chemistry at the level of physical biology.

In this class we will identify some local, common, and abundant plant remedies and discuss their medicinal uses. As a group we will discuss and process a tincture (ingestible liquid extract) to learn the steps and you will start one of your own to take home. Herbal Medicine is a wide field with as many styles in approach as there are people in the practice. If you are interested in learning a few useful plants in a hands-on, experiential and relational way using easily accessible folk style methods, please join me for this session of making a tincture from plants!  $5 supply fee payable to instructor

Flower Essences for Gut and Brain Health with Loey Colebeck

This class offers both an introduction to Flower Essences (a.k.a. the Bach Remedies) for beginners, and, for those already using flower essences, we’ll have some exciting and useful information on ways to promote gut & brain health!
Flower Essences are simple, safe medicines based on plant energetics, similar to homeopathy. Flower essences are mostly known for treating emotional states, but with deeper knowledge they can also be used to treat the body, as Dr. Bach originally intended.
In Chinese Medicine, body and mind are also inextricably interconnected. According to Chinese Medicine, the harvest and back-to-school season corresponds with the organ system that is in charge of digestion, mental energy, learning and assimilation. We can use flower essences together with knowledge and suggestions from Chinese Medicine to improve and balance gut health and mental energy. This is very exciting because it means we can gently shift the energetic mechanics of something as fundamental to our health as nutrition and fundamental to our life as learning.

Gathering Wild Plants in the Prairie-Forest Borderland with Sam Thayer

Minnesota straddles the prairie-forest border and has diverse plant life from both ecosystems. We’ll be discussing some of the common (but not always well known) edible and medicinal species that grow on the exceptionally rich soils of southern Minnesota. We’ll cover where and when to find them, what parts to use, how to prepare them, and gathering sustainably and safely.

Herbal Approaches to Lyme and Co-Infections with Aszani Stoddard

This workshop will give an overview about how tick-borne pathogens affect the body, how to determine if someone has a tick-borne illness, and herbal approaches to start treatment. We will dip into Buhner’s approach, and also discuss the Byron White and Beyond Balance therapies.

Herbs for the Lymphatic System with Erin Piorier

The lymph system plays an important role in our immunity and overall health.  In the holistic tradition we also acknowledge that the lymph system plays a role in the health and appearance of our skin, the health of our breasts and our overall mood, emotional health and motivation level.  In this class we will address lymph symptoms and imbalances and the herbs that treat these important little glands.

The Jade Egg with Loey Colebeck 

The Jade Egg is a wonderful, age-old Daoist practice for strengthening the pelvic floor and subtle female energy structures to improve sexual, hormonal and urinary functioning, increase sensation and pleasure, help prevent organ prolapse, reduce Qi loss and slow aging, improve inner feminine fortitude, help heal the effects of trauma, and many other beautiful benefits. This is an informative introduction to the use and care of the egg and basic exercises for beginning your practice. Yoni eggs will be available for purchase and are not included with the class.

Kombucha–More than a Healthy Fad  with LuAnn Raadt

Everybody’s doing it — drinking kombucha, that is.  But why spend $4 a bottle when you can make your own?  Learn how to create this delicious, fizzy and, of course, healthy beverage.  You’ll also get ideas for individualizing your kombucha with herbal options tailored specifically for you.  But wait, there’s more! Did you know you can make a tasty and probiotic-filled vinegar from your kombucha… and skin care items with the SCOBY… and use the tea and SCOBY in a variety of cooking techniques/recipes?  Well you can! And if that isn’t enough, everyone at the class will be given their very own SCOBY to take home (any remaining will be available to other festival participants).

Lunch Plant Walk – Earth Connection With Our Herbal Allies with Sonia Casey

In this Earth connection focused plant walk, you will have the opportunity to meet and connect with our herbal allies – the amazing ‘native’ plants and ‘weeds’ – that are commonly used in Traditional Western Herbalism. You will be connecting with plants using all of your senses. As you meet the plants, we will touch on the Doctrine of Signatures, energetics, learn about practical everyday uses including first aid & winter wellness, how we can move the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies with plant spirit healing, and more!

Lunch Hour Plant Walk with Allena Catchings

If you’re hungry to meet the plants but don’t know where to start – start here!  Join an herbalist on a plant identification walk.  Meet some of the wild all-stars of Minnesota and learn a few of their most important uses.  Though we will stop often for identification, we’ll try to cover some ground.

Pulse Testing 101 with Lise Wolff  

Made famous by Matthew Wood and utilized for the last 20+ years by many herbal practitioners in the Midwest, this simple technique helps you pick remedies for your friends and family.  Learn to sense the quality of different peoples’ pulses and feel shifts when different remedies are administered.  Absolutely hands-on.  This workshop will be offered twice during the festival so you will have more than one chance to learn this valuable skill.

Reading your health through your feet, Foot Glyphology with Spencer Blackie

Foot Glyphology is the art of learning how to interpret the lines on the soles of the feet for their reflexive insights into the health of the body.  We will look at common patterns of lines on the feet and compare those with other signs reflected in the body for determining possible health challenges.

Restorative Gathering in a Damaged Landscape: Foraging with the intent to restore our health, our ecosystem, and our connection to it with Sam Thayer

We live in a landscape that is largely altered by human activities, with many of our native plant communities compromised or destroyed–and yet the plants that remain continue to valiantly express their will for life. In this class we’ll be looking at the edible species that can be gathered from even the most degraded landscape and discuss how to harvest them sustainably. But we go beyond that, to become caretakers of our plant communities and agents of ecological recovery. Gathering wild plants turns the land into a sacred garden, healing the land we care for as we nourish our bodies and souls with the direct relationship we were meant to have with Nature. We’ll discuss practical techniques for managing our plant communities, propagation, and a realistic outlook on invasive plants.

Step up Your Salve Game: Techniques, Raw Materials and Creative Thinking for Topical Preparations with Erin Piorier

One of the first things many herbal students learn to make is a classic salve made of infused herbal oil and beeswax. In this hands-on workshop we’ll explore variations on salve making.  Expanding the range of raw materials that you work with and playing around with a few different techniques, molds and container types, you can create a wide-range of targeted medicinal items and luxurious skin care preparations and cosmetics.  We’ll discuss additions like zinc oxide, herbal powders, clays, micas, glycerin, essential oils and premium fixed oils,  and we’ll sample a variety of preparations including anti-fungal ointment, diaper rash cream,  sunscreen, chest rub, lip balm and butter, massage bars and solid perfumes.  You’ll see that you are limited only by your own imagination! As a group we will make a topical preparation utilizing some of the ingredients we have discussed.   Bring a 1/2 or 1 oz salve container for your product.

What your face says about your health with Spencer Blackie

Face reading is the art of recognizing and interpreting tissue texture, coloration, and physical features of the head and neck as they relate to physical expressions of  possible health challenges. We will compare general and specific features as they relate to health and remedial recommendations.

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Hi Nicole, Registration is not open yet but Lise and I are working on selecting our teachers and workshops for the 2016 festival. This year’s festival will be held on Sunday, September 18th.

    1. Hi Lira,
      Here’s the link. https://minnesotaherbalist.com/minnesotas-herbal-festival/minnesota-herbal-festival-registration/
      It’s on the main herbal festival page, but it’s one of those links you have to put your cursor over in order for it to illuminate. Sorry if that was confusing!

      Scroll down to pay via paypal and I will send you a confirmation email. Or print the page, fill it out and mail it with payment. Let me know if you have other questions.

  2. Is there scholarships or volunteering available to lower the cost of the ticket? Myself and two other women who have been teaching ourselves herbal medicine are very interested in coming, but can’t afford the price due to our low incomes.

    1. Hi Kelley, Preregistratn is not necessary. In fact, you can switch workshops mid-session if a particular class is not what you had in mind. Note that, you up may want to plan ahead with a few bucks cash for the tincture and oil/salve making class if you plan to attend those because there is a supply fee and you leave with a tincture or infused in for home use.

  3. Hi there,
    I’m curious if y’all have any work-exchange or volunteer options for reduced registration? I’m really hoping to be able to attend, learn, and participate in my herbal community!

    Thank ya kindly!!

  4. I’d love to bring my 14 yr old son. Would he be considered a child upon registration, or would I need to purchase a ticket for him as well. Thanks!

    1. Hi Val,
      Kids who are coming to play around ouside or babysit younger kids or babies in arms are free. If your son is coming as a participant to take part in classes and workshops, please register and buy a ticket. Let me know if you have other questions! You can reach me directly (where I respond a lot faster) at herbalist.erin@outlook.com

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