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Winter Seasonal Retreat: Herbal Skills Immersion

December 11, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – December 13, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
Metta Earth Institute
334 Geary Road
South Lincoln
Vermont 05443

For the 2020 growing season, Metta Earth Institute will be joined by clinically trained community herbalist Katherine Elmer of Spoonful Herbals and Railyard Apothecary. Katherine brings an enthusiasm for deep healing, in place, through nature connection. Plant medicine is one of many paths for remembering that we are “of nature” through healing our body, mind and spirit so that we may more fully participate in the life we are blessed to live on this Earth.

We are living in potent times, and our partnership with Katherine and Spoonful Herbals is a sacred healing collaboration to engage our shared work in a time of climate emergency and social injustice.

Katherine will be joined by herbalism intern Emma Radeka and Seneca Medicine Keeper Carl Brokenhorse Koehler as we deepen our plant medicine stewardship efforts in the 2020 growing season. Join us as we weave sacred plant medicine deeper into the fabric of our bodies and communities.

Wellness Sovereignty

Wellness Sovereignty is the right to healthcare tools and resources that align with your values, budget, and location. For our partners at Spoonful Herbals, this looks like a community of individuals who know and trust the plant medicines in their backyards and natural areas, and have the skills to transform them into home remedies for themselves and their families in alignment with the principles of sustainability and the honorable harvest. Join us for any or all of these herbal immersion weekends to explore and claim your Wellness Sovereignty intentions and develop concrete skills to harvest and prepare herbal medicines for yourself, your family and your community.


  • Experiences and ceremony to align our bodies and spirits with the unique energetic rhythms of the seasons and the plant medicines being offered on the landscape
  • Council-based discussions about Climate Justice and Activism with and inspired by medicinal plant allies
  • Basic kitchen medicine-making skills to grow our wellness sovereignty and build capacity to lower our carbon footprint through responsible and systematic disconnection from reliance on pharmaceutical medicine
  • Nourishing “food as medicine” meals to demonstrate and build a foundation for whole-food, place-based nutrition practices
  • Contributing to herbal justice activism through gleaning medicinal plants and preparing medicines in service with those currently underserved by herbal medicine and access to clean green medicine lands


December 11-13

Friday 4pm-Sunday 2pm

The quiet stillness of the winter months offers us the gift of slowing down, deeply listening to ourselves and the earth, and ample time to make medicines from what we have gathered during the warmer seasons. Winter is an opportunity to lean into the pleasure activism* of nourishment in the form of foot baths, luscious body butters, and cozy long conversations with the comfort of a hot mug of tea. Medicine making skills in the winter weekend will focus on key herbal strategies to prevent and relieve symptoms of common winter ailments including immune boosting remedies such as elderberry syrup and fire cider. All Herbal Immersion weekends will feature the general retreat elements featured above.

*Pleasure activism is a phrase and movement popularized by Adrienne Marie Brown and the title of her new edited book published in 2019. Check it out, it’s amazing and life/movement-changing.


Includes meals, shared accommodation, & program administration:

Be Part of a Gift Economy Project

Metta Earth is interested in economic processes that create paradigm CHANGE. We we would like the Herbal Skills Immersion to move into an exploration of gift economy versus modern capitalism. Tapping into the wisdom of earth connected cultures, we see this as a form of radical activism, a change of narrative from the current systems that are creating enormous social injustices. Inspired by the Buddhist tradition of dana (donation) we want to actualize regenerative processes together.

A donation for each of the Herbal Skills Immersion retreats supports a gift economy practice.

Please attune to your capacity to make a donation.

Gifts in kind are possible also.

Please note that each of these weekend retreats cost $100 for food, $100 for lodging, and $100 for program. If you can donate more than this, others are supported who need to donate less.

Metta Earth and Spoonful Herbals are approved organizations for students to apply grants the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC).

Metta Earth is nestled in the quietude of the mountains, the stunning headwaters of the New Haven river with abundant waterfalls and pools for swimming, wilderness trails to walk or bike, and 158 acres of Metta Earth land to explore. The nearest town is Lincoln, VT (see full directions).

Meals are vegetarian and lovingly prepared with seasonal, local and organic foods. Much of our food comes from our own organic garden and farmstead. Participants have the opportunity to learn about harvesting, cooking, food storage, and other aspects of organic local food.

Options for sleeping accommodations feature peaceful rooms in the main Metta Earth house. The Metta Earth main house provides bathrooms, laundry, phones, wireless internet, library, kitchen and dining facilities, and teaching, study, and practice space.

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