Have Any Questions? info@spoonfulherbals.org

Workshops & Events

*Please note – due to COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled many classes and events, and have moved many classes and events to being online.  We will keep this posted with more info as time goes on.

Starting June 1st, herbal CSA members will be offered exclusive access to short educational videos in our new
“Wellness Sovereignty with Backyard Herbs for Vibrant Health” remote learning series.

Join our community herbalism movement and grow your knowledge of self-care with local medicine plants! This is a potent time for reconnecting with our local communities (humans and plants!) and we are honored to participate in re-skilling our neighbors in the art and science of backyard and kitchen herbal medicine. 


Herbal Skills Immersion

Seasonal Retreats for Climate Justice Activism

Come to any or all of these.

2020 Dates:

Summer: August 28-30

The Art & Science of Herbal Teas

Fall: October 23-25

Nutritive Herbs & Bitter Roots

Winter: December 11-13

Herbal Spa and Winter Immune Support

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.

Common Weekend Retreat Elements Include:

  • 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


    Summer Herbal Skills Immersion—The Art & Science of Herbal Teas

    August 28-30

    Friday 4pm-Sunday 2pm

    Join us to celebrate and savor the delicate flavors of summer and the abundance of flowers and fruits as we enter the harvest season. This weekend’s medicine-making skill building will center on the art and science of herbal tea blending for flavor and healing benefits, and simple strategies for transforming flowers and berries into artisan beverages such as spritzers and herbal mocktails. All Herbal Immersion weekends will feature the general retreat elements featured above.

    Fall Herbal Skills Immersion—Nutritive Herbs & Bitter Roots

    October 23-25

    Friday 4pm-Sunday 2pm

    Fall offers us an opportunity to move inward with reflection as we prepare to store energy for the winter like the roots that we harvest during this time. It is also the time when we put our gardens to bed, showing our gratitude and care for the plants and the earth that sustain us throughout the seasons. This weekend focuses on consuming plants as nourishing food and medicine to deepen your relationship to the natural environment while nourishing yourself and preventing disease. Basic principles of therapeutic herbalism and whole food nutrition will be covered in the context of modern public health challenges and simple solutions from your land and kitchen. All Herbal Immersion weekends will feature the general retreat elements featured above.

    Winter Herbal Skills Immersion—Herbal Spa and Winter Immune Support

    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:

    Summer: August 28-30—The Art & Science of Herbal Teas
    By Donation for a Gift Economy

    Fall: October 23-25—Nutritive Herbs & Bitter Roots
    By Donation for a Gift Economy

    Winter: December 11-13—Herbal Spa and Winter Immune Support
    By Donation for a Gift Economy

    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.