I'm a total beginner. Which program is right for me?
You have a few options: the Herbal Immersion Program, Herbalism & Ecosystems, and Gardening for Medicine all start from the very beginning. Our students in those courses run the gamut from utter novice ("This is new and exciting territory!") to experienced health care practitioner ("I know my diagnostics, but I don't have a solid botanical materia medica") to seasoned naturalist ("I can identify these plants, but can they be used for anything?") to lifelong gardener ("Please just give me a reason to love these dandelions!"). We will tell you what we mean when we talk about infusions, tinctures, monoaceous plants, and mucilagenous extracts. We're available for questions, and you'll find that your fellow students are also an amazing resource, too. Most of our shorter series, like Herbalism in the Home, are completely accessible to beginners, too.
I've already taken an herbalism course. What do you have to offer me?
Good question. The answer? A lot! We are big fans of gathering knowledge from different sources, learning in different ways, and covering the same material time and again. Since herbalism is a vibrant folk tradition, there are many approaches. Every botanist has different insights; every herbalist has different methods. If you get five herbalists in a room, you'll probably get eight opinions as to how to handle an illness, make a plant medicine, or work with a client. Learn from at least a few different plant medicine lovers, and we guarantee that you'll be a better herbalist for it. We welcome you in both our introductory courses as well as our intermediate offerings.
I love botany! Do you have any classes where we use our botanical identification skills to key out plants?
Indeed we do! Check out our Siskiyou Camping Trip (usually offered in late May/early June) or our Botanizing the Gorge series (offered in April). We will key the f--- out of some amazing, special plants!
Are you offering Arctos's intermediate program, Spreading Our Roots, in 2017?
Sorry, but we're not. We're focusing all of our energy on the courses that you see listed!
How long have you been teaching?
Missy and Gradey started teaching together in 2006, offering workshops and medicinal plant hikes. In 2007, the Herbalism & Ecosystems program, a joint venture between both Gradey and Missy, began.
Before we started the Arctos School, Gradey was already a botany instructor, showing herbal newbies the ropes around plant identification. Missy had been leading a wide variety of workshops on civil rights, facilitation, feminism, and more since the 1990s.