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2025 Registration opens in August!

Sign up for our newsletter to be notified and take advantage of our Earlybird Special pricing!

Hands-on Approach

By “studying herbs”, we don’t mean watching a video! 
Despite the rush to online classes,

we believe the most effective herbal studies occur

in person, hands-on, and in nature.

Our students learn through:

  • Herb walks and field trips~ forest and creek areas

  • Demo & discussion by enthusiastic professionals

  • Supervised harvesting: ethically and in gratitude

  • Hands-on medicine making in class

  • Take-home medicine samples and assignments

  • Community building and sharing experiences

"My heart and my Head are full of love for plants,
for these teachers, and for this wonderful journey!"

V. Hanson


Course & Syllabus



Creates your foundation in herbs with Materia Medica of 25 local herbs. Hands-on classes  familiarize you with herbs to safely use with family and friends, prevent common illness, treat injury, and boost nutrition.


Selected by our faculty for 1)safety, 2)ease of identification, and
3)usefulness, these plants will b
e studied in terms of scientific names/ common names, botanical identification, part of plant harvested and used, preparation/dosage, actions/indications, and safety/contraindications.



We will visit the herb growing in its outdoor habitat, learn to connect with the plant’s energy, handle it, smell it, taste it, and prepare its medicine together.



Finish the course with your own home apothecary! You will take home samples of class-made herbal decoction, infusion, maceration tincture, infused oil, salve, lotion, syrup, and vinegar.



Our professional staff presents these traditional herbalism introduction classes with respect and enthusiasm. We include  Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Native American traditional herbalism as well as Appalachian folk traditions



An important herbalist skill for safety reasons, we cover botany and taxonomy as well as plant communities and relationships with other flora/fauna.



The art and ethics of plant harvesting guide us so that we protect at-risk species and live in right relationship with the natural world. How do we harvest safely, effectively, and in consideration of plant life and needs of other species?

Although we all came in with varying degrees of knowledge (understanding) of the topics, there was no shortage of help with those that may have needed assistance.
—Henry Layne Jr.

HERBalachia Faculty

Our all-star faculty are the cream of the crop and get rave reviews every year! 
Our team includes Master’s degree herbalists, botany professor, Native American medicine woman, mushroom and herbal propagation experts, among others.

Most of our instructors have been with us since the school's beginning in 2016.

Their enthusiasm and generosity in sharing their Wisdom is unsurpassed!

 Program Schedule 2024

Weekend format: Sat & Sun, 10am - 5pm

Apr 20, 21
May 18, 19
Jun 22, 23
July 20, 21
Aug 17, 18
Sept 21, 22

Please note: Approximately 3-4 hours per week of home projects and reading are required in addition to class hours.



Blackberry Blossom Campground

Unicoi, TN 37692

If you would like to spend the weekend at Blackberry Blossom Campground,
make your reservations now!

Tent camping, cute travel campers, and a luxurious AirBnB suite are available.


When necessary, we adapt our program to follow CDC guidelines, and our ‘COVID pivots’ have been given rave reviews by students.

We are committed to doing whatever it takes to SAFELY enjoy our time together.

2024 Herbalist Lifestyle Program

Tuition $1950

Application and payment


Option 1:
Complete your online application and



Option 2:
Complete yo
ur online application and PAY DEPOSIT of $650.
This holds your place in our 2024 program and our Program director will contact you to set up your payment plan.

Full tuition is due by March 31, 2024. 

NOTE: Deposit is non-refundable. 
No refunds will be made after the first day of class, April 20, 2023.

Please budget an additional $200 for books and class supplies.

For questions, please contact Michelle Bouton:

  • How much experience do I need?
    No experience is required! Familiarity with herbs, gardening, and cooking is helpful, but we all started somewhere and nothing can beat enthusiasm and willingness to study!
  • What is the application process?
    Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis through registration and deposit, with 18 spots each year. Detailed information regarding required textbooks and tools will be emailed a couple of months before classes begin.
  • Will weather affect scheduling?
    In the mountains, rainy and cold spring days are not unusual, we are plant people and we will forge ahead with raincoats and umbrellas! Students are advised to plan ahead with gear and clothing to keep comfortable (a thermos of hot tea helps, too!). Occasionally, if we have severe weather and the schedule allows, we will exchange the outdoor and indoor class times.
  • What about COVID?
    We adapt our program when necessary by strategically utilizing Zoom for ‘didactic’ classes ONLY if necessary to maintain CDC guidelines, as we feel the learning value of in-person classes is greatest. Should adjustments become necessary, know that we keep things lively by mailing out packets of herbs to smell and taste, and teas to prepare so you can follow along at home. Our “COVID pivots” have been met by rave reviews by our students! While occasionally inconvenient, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to SAFELY enjoy our time together.
  • What happens if I miss class?
    For absences, you can keep up through reading assignments in your student handbook and textbooks, and should contact classmates to ask about any missed notes. We are unable to provide recorded classes at this time.
  • Is there homework?
    Yes, to receive a certificate of completion you are expected to maintain attendance, read assignments and complete home projects which include creating a variety of medicines, a Materia Medica journal, and a final project presentation. If you do not need a certification, you are very welcome to come and attend classes without doing the homework.
  • What materials are required?
    You will be sent an list of required texts and materials. We typically use 3 texts, which total about $100 and are excellent reference books for future studies. Additional supplies may include: Journal for notes, observations, sketches. Botany hand lens (jeweler’s loupe) Sharp knife for stripping bark Day pack for carrying tools, ID books, lunch, rain gear, water, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. Good hiking shoes or sandals
  • Can I treat patients when I graduate?
    Not yet! Our Herbalist Lifestyle Program does not cover the physiology, pathology, diagnostics, or professional development to prepare you for consulting with individuals as a professional herbalist. If becoming a practicing herbalist is your goal, the program is an excellent first step on that journey.
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