Welcome to the Herbal Medicine Apprenticeship for 2019!


Please take the time to read everything. This is not a first come, first serve application procedure. Applications will be taken until the 7th April.

This year I've decided to take my focus away from the farming of medicinal herbs and develop my skills as a herbalist, a naturalist and a teacher as my priority. Last year, I really enjoyed leading my interns into the world of plants. I did find it difficult to balance both running a small farming project and teaching interns within the same time periods. Now I am placing my intentions firmly in the direction of education, with an aim to become an educational non-profit by the end of the year. With this year's newly designed experiential apprenticeship, I hope to offer a more enriching pedagogical experience to all those involved, including myself.

I look forward to what the Spring has to offer.

Mark from NNM.

The Basics ▼

What is it?

This is an experiential, skill based apprenticeship focusing on the knowledge and practice of medicinal plants, wild edibles and herbal medicine.

The educational side of the mentorship will consist of six evening workshops (3 hours) and three outdoor day trips (4-6 hours) and book readings to take home over 3 months. The experiential side will consist of personally using herbs and herbal transformations to take home and use, the making of your own herbal medicines, the recording and sharing of your experiences with those in the mentorship. There is the option of working for NNM as part of a work trade agreement reducing the mentorship cost.

Who will be leading the workshops?

Myself (Mark from NNM) will be leading the majority of the workshops. I also intend to find outside educators to lead at least 2 of the workshops.

Why are you doing this?

I had a lot of fun animating last year's internship. It allowed me to connect to a smaller group of students on a more personal level. It proved challenging and rewarding to myself as a mentor too. If you've ever been to one of my workshops, you'll know I'm always excited to share more knowledge about plants and this mentorship is another way to do just that.

Where will it be?

Workshops will be held in my own home and bedroom apothecary space. This is 2 minutes from Berri UQAM. The day trips will be in or around Montreal.

Are we going to the farm?

I am still growing herbs at a certified organic farm in St. Basile-Le-Grande this year, however, it will not be the focus of my operations for the 2019 season. I have partnered with Mange Ta Cour (http://www.mangetacour.info/) to start growing medicinal herbs at backyard micro-farms in Longueuil. I aim to keep the production side of my project small scale, providing enough for family, friends and teachings.

What language is it in?

This internship will be taught in English. We do work in both French & English environments. Offering more services in French is certainly an area I wish to improve on this year. I aim to know and share all of the plant names in both languages.

What traits or experience are you looking for in your apprentices?

One of the main points of this apprenticeship is to learn by using herbs first hand in your own home and at your own pace. A certain discipline will be needed to incorporate these into your weekly routines, as well as keeping a journal of your findings to share with each other when we meet. Aside from that, a curiousity and enthusiasm for learning about health and herbs. I hope to empower each and every apprentice to stand in their power, claim responsibility for their own health and make informed decisions for themselves. Not to rely on myself (or any other) to provide 'solutions' for anything health related. I am not here to heal anyone, I aim to educate and empower people to make themselves and their communities more sustainable and resilient.

No previous plant related experience needed.

More About The Herbal Side ▼

How do you practice herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine means something different to everybody. I have chosen to follow a North American, Wise Woman approach to my own medicinal practices. This is characterised by a focus on nutrition, local plants and wild foods. Please note the word 'woman' includes both man and woman in the same word, it is an approach open to all genders.

My own personal team of teachers, that I have chosen to learn from are Susun Weed, Stephen Buhner and Nadine Artemis. I also enjoy the works of Steven Martyn, Beverly Gray, Sophie Fallon and James Jesso. Apart from my internship at the City Farm School (www.cityfarmschool.com), I am completely self taught and I have no professional medical background. I am not licensed to give medicinal diagnoses or prescriptions and I always recommend checking first with your medical practictioner before taking any medicinal herbs over the long term.

Can you give some example herbs?

Happily! The apprentices will get to know the nourishing infusions very well and take each one home with them to try. This includes Stinging Nettle, Milky Oats, Linden Flower, Comfrey Leaf & Red Clover. These will be herbs purchased from organic sources. Other local herbs like Lemonbalm, Lavender, Chamomile and Peppermint to the more exotic Tulsi, Spilanthes and Hops...the list goes on.

What can I expect to learn?

The apprenticeship be taught in 6 workshops. The first three (taught by Mark) are mandatory covering the following topics:

  • The Three Traditions of Healing, The Seven Medicines and Nourishing Herbal Infusions

  • Identifying Wild Edible, Medicinal & Poisonous Plants

  • Herbal Tinctures, Oils, Honeys & Vinegars

The final three will be chosen by the apprentices themselves. Here are a few suggestions of workshops either held by myself or outside educators.

  • Basket Weaving
  • Herbal Sexual Health
  • Herbal Medicine from a First Nation Perspective
  • Herbal Fermentations (Beer, Wine & Sauerkraut)
  • Using Psychoactive Plants as Teachers
  • Herbs for Facilitating Meditation
  • Tree Identification & Medicine
  • How to Make Your Food More Nutritious
  • Wilderness Survival Skills
  • Herbal Smokes
  • Medicinal Mushrooms
  • Introduction to Permaculture
  • Montreal Community Garden Exploration
  • Any other suggestions you may have

How does the apprenticeship work? ▼

How many people will take part?

10-12 apprentices will be chosen, ideally with an even split between the genders.

What are my time commitments?

10-12 hours per month (2 evening workshops + 1 Daytrip) 1-4 hours per month Work Trade (if chosen)

How long does the apprenticeship run?

The initial Spring term will be for 3 months, followed by a month's break. There is the possibility of a Summer & Fall term following similar timescales. It all depends on my own personal energy levels.

Can I bring friends or family members to the workshops?

Young children/babies are welcome to every workshop. I believe we need more young people in our community spaces.

I learnt last year that not everyone will be able to attend each and every workshop/outing of the apprenticeship. With this in mind, I am offering around 5 'audience tickets' to each workshop. Audience members can expect to learn from everything that is offered in the workshop but will not take home any prepared transformations or materials. These audience tickets will be offered first to apprentices' friends or families at a reduced cost and then to the outside public. These tickets will allow the apprenticeship to be more financially sustainable, reach a greater number of people and allow you to share the educational experience with people you care about.

How much does it cost?

$400 for 3 months is the total cost. Payable in two parts. Up to a 45% discount is available for those who are willing to agree to a work trade. $220 for 3 months with 12 hours of work trade at 15$/hour. Higher work trade rates are applicable for more skilled work.

Work Trade Information ▼

What does the work trade involve?

Inspired by folks such as Charles Eisenstein, I see the work trade as a way for us to share gifts together. You can share your time or anything else you may have to offer. Here is a list of what kind of work will be needed, as well as items we currently are looking for. Please don't expect this work to be glamorous or easy (though I will try my hardest to make it fun.) I will ideally choose something applicable to your strengths.

Possible Work Trade Duties: Cleaning of work spaces, harvesting herbs, managing inventory, clearing of drying racks, purchasing of goods, delivering herbs, field work, garden work, grant writing, graphic designing, social media coverage, setting up workshops, organising events, accounting, driving, French translation services and more!

Possible Item Trades: Fresh & dried herbs, home grown food, preserved foods, fresh eggs and dairy, massage services, yoga classes, ceramics, baked goods and anything else you might like to offer.

Hourly rates and bartering values can be negotiated so both parties are happy!

What your company policies?

We maintain a scent-free environment. We do not discriminate on the use of any herbs for any personal reason. We welcome all people from all backgrounds and all genders. Please read our visions section at www.welovenettles.ca/visions to learn more about us and why we do (and love) what we do.

How To Apply

We are now closed for applications. Come again in 2020!


Expected Timetable

The first workshop will take place towards the end of April, running until the end of July. We will all choose together an workshop slot (6-9pm) that works for all of us and a day that works for our outdoor trips.