Wisdom of the Herbs 2019
Certification Program

Wisdom of the Herbs 2019
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Class of apprentices at Wisdom of the Herbs School

Students at Wisdom of the Herbs School

Students at Wisdom of the Herbs School

Student with milkweed at Wisdom of the Herbs School


An Experiential Journey Through the Seasons
April to October
Taught by Annie McCleary

Registration Information

Wisdom of the Herbs is a unique Certification Program that focuses on local wild herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, harvesting and preparing local plants for home remedies and wild edibles, healthy life-style, skillful use of intentionality, and profound connection with Nature. Our hands-on curriculum facilitates deep engagement with the plants through plant identification, plant spirit communication, and sustainable wild harvesting. Seven full weekend meetings span the arc of three seasons, from April to October.

Dates: April 27-28, May 25-26, June 22-23, July 20-21, August 17-18, September 14-15, Oct 12-13, 2019. Class meets 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Wisdom of the Herbs is an 84 hour program.

Graduate Credit: Students seeking graduate credit may earn 5 credits through our partnership with Castleton University.  

The daily rhythm of plant walks in a rich variety of habitats allows students to rapidly build identification skills. We practice using the botanical key in Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, all the while building relationship with plants, combining scientific knowledge with intuitive connection with the spirit of the plant. Learn to identify a wide range of wild edibles, at what stage to harvest them, and how to properly prepare them.

Over the course of program, students make simple home remedies including tincture, infused oil, salve, poultices, capsules, pill balls and smudge, working intentionally with the spirit of the plants. Students apply these skills to put together a first aid kit, fostering personal and community resilience.

We address food as our first medicine and supportive daily practices. Our Saturday potluck lunch serves as a laboratory to practice the essentials of preparing whole and traditionally processed organic foods, locally grown when possible. Explore how to eat by blood type. Learn principles of cleansing and detoxification, and experience how thought, word and attitude affect cellular vitality.

Working joyfully with the nature beings and each other, a rich, safe, grounded container is created, allowing inner shifts and often life-changing openings for participants. Our seven weekend meetings allow time for students to not only experience these profound spaces but also to truly integrate them into their daily lives. Second year participants may return as an Assistant or as a regular student.


  Interview, Tuition, Registration, and Payment Options
(download our printable registration form)

Interview: We are interested in getting you know you, your background, interests and why you would like to participate in Wisdom of the Herbs. Before you register, contact Annie for a phone appointment at 802-456-8122 or

Tuition: Tuition is $2500.The deposit of $250 ($50 for applicants who have received a VSAC non-degree grant) holds your place and is non-refundable and non-transferable. Full payment of the balance is expected on the first day of class unless arrangements for a Payment Plan or non-degree Grant have been made at the time of registration.

Early Registration Discounted Tuition: $2400, when tuition is fully paid by April 1, 2019.

Payment Plan: After the deposit of $250, monthly payments are $322. Full payment of the tuition is expected regardless of attendance. If you miss a weekend, please mail your payment to us. Download the printable payment plan form.

Grants: Qualifying Vermont residents may apply for a Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) non-degree grant. Please apply early. Apply on-line at or to request a paper application, call 1-800-882-4166 or write P.O. Box 2000, Champlain Mill, Winooski, VT 05404-2601.

Graduate credit:  Attention nurses, teachers and others seeking graduate credit for continuing education! Participants in Wisdom of the Herbs 2019 may earn 5 graduate credits  through our partnership with Castleton University. Go to Castleton University's Continuing Ed page and look for EDUCATION IN HERBS. To register, you will be redirected to our Wisdom of the Herbs School page. Contact Annie for an interview. Once you have registered with Wisdom of the Herbs School, you can register on-line with Castleton University.

Commitment at Registration: Attending Wisdom of the Herbs entails commitment to all seven weekends. We make every effort to assure that our participants and our program are a good match; indeed, we often witness a delightful synchronicity in the matching process! Submitting the Registration Form means commitment to attending the program, and to full payment of the tuition regardless of attendance and regardless of payment option.

The Details

Books: Text for the program is Wisdom of the Herbs by Annie McCleary (Table of Contents). Bring Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide to each class, and we highly recommend Peterson’s Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson and Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James Duke.

Independent Projects: Independent projects are an opportunity to delve more deeply into an area covered in Wisdom of the Herbs. Participants present their projects to the group during the last weekend of the program.

Certification: A beautiful watercolor Certificate of Successful Participation will be awarded at the end of the program. Certification requirements include active participation in at least 11 out of the 14 days, demonstration of proficiency identifying wild plants using the key in Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, reading Wisdom of the Herbs by Annie McCleary, presentation of an independent project, and full payment of tuition.

Making up missed class time: Wisdom of the Herbs offers 14 days of instruction, which is 84 hours. We want you to be there each and every session for this precious experience. If you must miss any class time, you are invited to make up 2 days in another year of Wisdom of the Herbs.

Comments from Graduates of Wisdom of the Herbs

I originally signed up for the class because I wanted to learn about local plants and how to use them in food and as medicine. What I ended up with was a life changing experience. M.R.

I came into Wisdom with a background as a clinical herbalist who wanted to learn about the plants and herbs growing here in Vermont. A.M.

One of the most profound ways in which Wisdom of the Herbs and plant communication has affected me is in the way I eat and medicate myself. M.R.

Not only have I gained knowledge about plants and herbs but also I have had the opportunity to grow my understanding of relationships, of how to live in community and harmony with all the beings that populate the Earth. D.H.

I didn't know any plants when I started this program and now I know so many! I also love Newcomb's and feel very confident in my ability to identify plants. M.F.

I learned to identify the plants I knew as a child. S.C.


Wisdom of the Herbs School
1005 County Road
East Calais, Vermont 05650

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Artwork by Janet Fredericks