Mountain Gardens
2004 wildfood (1).jpg

Workshops

 

Learn to identify, propagate, cultivate, harvest and prepare medicinal herbs and other useful plants.
Classes taught at Mountain Gardens, North Carolina’s premier demonstration garden of medicinal plants, with herb shop / pharmacy, extensive research library, seed collection & plant nursery, adjacent to Pisgah National Forest.

 

Half day classes are 1:00 – 5:00 pm Cost: $50
All day workshops are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Cost $100 (bring your own lunch)

Cost includes handouts, seed and plant distributions and samples of herbs and preparations as appropriate.

Each session will include: a plant walk in the garden and/or adjacent National Forest, lecture/demonstration, hands-on practice, resources and bibliography for further study.

For information on driving, lodging, and refunds, click here.

To register for an event, please either call: 828-675-5664 or follow the link for each date to register online.

We offer a 25% discount to students, Celo residents, and groups of 3 or more. Email us for a code.

 

These workshops take advantage of our unique combination of diverse habitats, extensive plant collection, extraordinary library and well-equipped herb shop, plus my forty years of study and experimentation.

As a ‘botanic garden of useful plants’, one of our purposes is to introduce and promote new useful plants, for gardeners, growers, herbalists and chefs. Areas of special interest include wildfoods, medicinal herbs, (native and oriental), health-boosting (tonic, adaptogenic) plants and east-west parallels in botany and pharmacy.

Seeds and plants of most of the species discussed will be available for purchase; additionally participants will have the opportunity to purchase freshly dug, bare-root plants at a considerable saving.

 
 
 
Seed Saving
Sep
22
1:00 PM13:00

Seed Saving

This workshop will cover all aspects of seed saving: when and how to collect seed, various methods and apparatus for seed cleaning, drying and storage. We will also discuss seed germination, particularly as it relates to storage (which seeds are best stored dry, which need to be kept moist and stratified by exposure to winter temperatures.) We will also look at requirements for maintaining vegetable varieties – which species will cross pollinate, isolation distances, etc.

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Tonic Wines
Sep
29
1:00 PM13:00

Tonic Wines

Longevity tonics & rejuvenative herbs as meads & liqueurs. This workshop will cover many of the same plants as above, and also those rasayana ‘rejuvenative’ herbs used in Ayurvedic (India) medicine which can be grown locally. Instead of food, the focus will be on using these herbs to create medicinal wines, herbal meads and longevity elixirs (liqueurs). These are very popular in the orient, being healthful and delicious. The same herbs used to retard aging are also used for boosting athletic performance, ‘body-building’ and martial arts. You can purchase herbs to take home and make your own brew, from a large selection of recipes.

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Tonic Foods
Sep
8
1:00 PM13:00

Tonic Foods

Tonic & rejuvenative herbs in garden and kitchen. Bupin, ‘repair substance,’ is a group of Chinese herbs which can be combined with meat (optional) and vegetables to produce ‘medicated cuisine’, for tonification and boosting immunity. Consisting mostly of seeds, fruits and tuberous roots, they are tasty and are consumed as part of the meal (a few fibrous ones are used to prepare stock, then discarded). There are classic combinations involving 6-12 or more herbs, and many of these are sold pre-packaged in the larger oriental supermarkets. An exciting new (to us) direction for adventurous chefs. Many of these can be grown locally (an exciting new direction for adventurous growers). Also: congee, the standard Chinese breakfast of soupy rice, to which herbs can be added to address a wide variety of health concerns. I’ll share a collection of cookbooks.

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Herbal Preparations
Sep
1
9:30 AM09:30

Herbal Preparations

Techniques and preparations from Eclectic herbalism of the 19th century. We will also look at techniques and apparatus used to produce traditional Chinese preparations. I have assembled a good collection of pharmacy textbooks, formularies, dispensatories, materia medica, etc. from the era when medicine was herbal medicine. I’ll introduce the texts and demonstrate techniques and apparatus as we make a tincture, percolation, infusion, decoction, essential oil / hydrosol, herbal mead, salve, and honey pills. (I hope we can squeeze all that in.)

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Grow Chinese Herbs
Aug
25
9:30 AM09:30

Grow Chinese Herbs

We’ll tour our large collection (100+ spp.), and discuss habitat, propagation & cultivation, harvesting and processing methods. Chinese medicinal herbs encompass a complete range of plant types (annual & perennial herbs, shrubs, vines, trees) and habitats (garden, woodland, wetland, etc). There is an established market, nationally and locally, but almost no growers. Be a pioneer!

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Perennial Vegetables
Jun
16
1:00 PM13:00

Perennial Vegetables

Become a hunter-gatherer on your own land. Once established, many of these species are care-free, and can be harvested for years to come. Knowing the appropriate habitat is one key to success. Another is knowing in advance the potential weediness or invasiveness of a species. Diversify your diet, CSA, or restaurant sales.

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Grow Adaptogens
Jun
9
1:00 PM13:00

Grow Adaptogens

These are herbs that help the body adapt to stress, in other words, health and longevity promoting herbs.  This is my favorite category of herbs and I have put a lot of effort into acquiring and learning to grow them.   After a brief introduction to the concept, worldwide, and relevant literature, we’ll tour the garden examining  and discussing the plants.  We’ll conclude in the herbshop and look at a full range of Chinese tonic herbs and discuss how to use them.

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Grow Chinese Herbs
May
26
9:30 AM09:30

Grow Chinese Herbs

We’ll tour our large collection (100+ spp.), and discuss habitat, propagation & cultivation, harvesting and processing methods. Chinese medicinal herbs encompass a complete range of plant types (annual & perennial herbs, shrubs, vines, trees) and habitats (garden, woodland, wetland, etc). There is an established market, nationally and locally, but almost no growers. Be a pioneer!

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Spring Useful Plants
Apr
28
1:00 PM13:00

Spring Useful Plants

This half-day session will cover ID, uses, ecology, propagation, cultivation and harvest of a wide variety of edible, medicinal, and craft (fiber, dye. paper, basketry, etc., etc.) plants. We’ll be touring the garden and also the large library of resources I’ve assembled.

We offer a 25% discount to students, Celo residents, and groups of 3 or more. Email us for a code.

View Event →
Sep
9
1:00 PM13:00

Tonic Foods / Bupin

Tonic & rejuvenative herbs in garden and kitchen. Bupin, ‘repair substance,’ is a group of Chinese herbs which can be combined with meat (optional) and vegetables to produce ‘medicated cuisine’, for tonification and boosting immunity. Consisting mostly of seeds, fruits and tuberous roots, they are tasty and are consumed as part of the meal (a few fibrous ones are used to prepare stock, then discarded). There are classic combinations involving 6-12 or more herbs, and many of these are sold pre-packaged in the larger oriental supermarkets. An exciting new (to us) direction for adventurous chefs. Many of these can be grown locally (an exciting new direction for adventurous growers). Also: congee, the standard Chinese breakfast of soupy rice, to which herbs can be added to address a wide variety of health concerns. I’ll share a collection of cookbooks.

View Event →
19th Century Apothecary
Sep
2
9:30 AM09:30

19th Century Apothecary

Techniques and preparations from Eclectic herbalism. I have assembled a good collection pharmacy textbooks, formularies, dispensatories, materia medica, etc. from the era when medicine was herbal medicine. Very detailed instructions for up to 50 different types of preparations, on a scale and using apparatus suitable to a home kitchen. I’ll introduce the texts and demonstrate techniques and apparatus as we make a tincture, percolation, syrup, essential oil / hydrosol, herbal mead, salve, and lozenges. (I hope we can squeeze all that in.)

View Event →
Grow Chinese Herbs
Aug
26
9:30 AM09:30

Grow Chinese Herbs

We’ll tour our large collection (100+ spp.), and discuss habitat, propagation & cultivation, harvesting and processing methods. Chinese medicinal herbs encompass a complete range of plant types (annual & perennial herbs, shrubs, vines, trees) and habitats (garden, woodland, wetland, etc). There is an established market, nationally and locally, but almost no growers. Be a pioneer!

View Event →