METTA EARTH institute

A Center for Contemplative Ecology

802. 453. 8111

Herbal Skills Immersion- Programs

Herbal Skills Immersion

A Virtual Offering

The Herbal Skills Immersion is an educational offering based in generosity and gratitude.

Plant medicine is the immediate response of nature to the trials of our times. As we navigate a devastating global pandemic and a need for major systemic change in the face of oppression and racism, Rose offers her medicine to mend our grieving hearts. Calendula blooms for months to share her nourishment and optimism with us when we are feeling troubled by external chaos. Dandelion sprouts up from the cracks in the sidewalk to support us in taking care of ourselves so that we may rise to action and contribute to a more loving world. Through such hardship, plants never cease to be our allies.

Through our appreciation of these wise beings, and our gratitude that we extend towards them, we are gifted with the medicine and immense healing that they share so generously with us.

Plant medicine is abundant and provides astounding gifts in these challenging times. In this virtual offering, we honor the plants who so graciously share their medicine with us. We empower you to embrace this medicine so that you may take charge of your own wellness and share your unique gifts with the world, taking inspiration from the way plants nourish us with their special gifts.

“I am a radiant being

Of light and healing

I feel peace, I am safe

I heal from a whole place.”

-Beautiful Chorus, “Hymn of Healing”

Autumn Offering

Herbal Skills Immersion — Skin & Wound Care

Video Workshop

[SOLD OUT] Herbal Skills Materials Kit
Community Connect Call: Thursday, December 10, 6-7:30pm

Plants have a humble yet powerful way of rooting us in place as well as grounding us in our bodies. Meet common backyard plant medicines and explore them through lenses of folk tradition, modern science, embodiment, and intuition. Engage with us as we weave sacred plant medicine deeper into the fabric of our bodies and communities. Join community herbalists Katherine Elmer, Carl BrokenHorse, and Gillian Kapteyn Comstock for an introduction to medicine making from different ways of knowing and create a few tins of first aid salve and various herbal poultices in your own home using healing plants harvested from the Metta Earth land in community.

All Herbal Skills Immersion courses will feature a pre-ordered Herbal Skills Materials Kit, a virtual video to follow along with, and an interactive Community Connect Call via Zoom. NOTE: Limited quantity of Herbal Skills Materials Kits available per offering.

How our virtual offerings work:

After registering, you’ll receive information about where to source your herbs and supplies. You’ll also receive a video workshop in which our facilitators guide you in learning about various herbs and medicine-making processes. You will have about two weeks to follow along with the remedy-making video on your own time, from the comfort of your own home, before our Community Connect Call. Bonus: You will have access to this video workshop forever!

[SOLD OUT] You may opt in to receive an Herbal Skills Materials Kit, which will be delivered by mail once you register for a virtual offering, complete with all of the dried herbs and supplies that you will need to make your own herbal medicines (you may opt out of receiving this package if you have access to all necessary supplies). NOTE: Offerings have a limit of 10 Herbal Skills Materials Kits available. We have officially SOLD OUT of kits for this pilot offering.

For each offering, after you’ve followed along with the video workshop, we’ll hold a live, interactive Community Connect Call with the course participants and our facilitators. We’ll connect as a community, debrief the medicine-making process, ask & answer questions, and share stories about place & plants. You will be able to join the call by computer video or telephone.

As we have SOLD OUT of Herbal Skills Materials Kits, If you register for the online course only (without a kit), you will receive recommendations for sourcing your own herbs and supplies.


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 virtual offerings 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 Virtual Offering Elements Include:

  • Attunement to align our bodies and spirits with the unique energetic rhythms of the seasons and the plant medicines being offered on the landscape
  • 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
  • Exploration of the many ways in which humans and plants interact synergistically, through the lenses of multiple ways of knowing


Coming in 2021:

Herbal Skills Immersion — Immune Support 

With the intensity of a global pandemic and rising environmental and social justice movements, our immune systems are vulnerable to many stressors. This workshop is an opportunity to lean into the pleasure activism* of nourishment in the form of interacting with plant medicine and prioritizing the wellness of ourselves and our loved ones. Medicine making skills in this offering will focus on key herbal strategies to prevent and relieve symptoms of common ailments including immune boosting remedies such as elderberry syrup and fire cider.

*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!

All Herbal Immersion courses will feature a pre-ordered Herbal Skills Materials Kit, a virtual video to follow along with, and an interactive Community Connect Call via Zoom. NOTE: Limited quantity of Herbal Skills Materials Kits available per offering.

Herbal Skills Immersion — Nutritive Herbs & Bitter Roots 

This offering focuses on consuming plants as nourishing food and medicine to deepen your relationship to the natural environment while nourishing yourself and preventing disease. We will also explore the benefits of bitter herbs to liberate the body’s intrinsic vitality and “spark”, unleashing and focusing our unique offerings as activists and earth lovers. 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. Together we will prepare nutritive tea blends, root broths, and deliciously root-y “Bliss Balls.”

All Herbal Skills Immersion courses will feature a pre-ordered Herbal Skills Materials Kit, a virtual video to follow along with, and an interactive Community Connect Call via Zoom. NOTE: Limited quantity of Herbal Skills Materials Kits available per offering.


We are living in potent times, and our partnership with these facilitators is a sacred healing collaboration to engage our shared work in a time of climate emergency and social injustice.

Katherine Elmer

Clinical/Community Herbalist, Co-Director of Spoonful Herbals and Railyard Apothecary

Katherine Elmer, MS grew up in the green hills of Central Vermont and revels in the opportunity to connect with clients around a shared love of place and nature through whole foods nutrition and herbal medicine. She is a clinically-trained community herbalist and lecturer on Herbal Medicine, Integrative Health and Food Systems topics at the University of Vermont.

She has a Master’s in Natural Resources from UVM and has completed professional training through the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. Katherine manages medicinal plant gardens on UVM campus and is the faculty advisor for the UVM student Herbalism Club. She also teaches regular community classes and herb walks in the Burlington area.

Katherine is the co-founder of the Burlington Herb Clinic at the Railyard Apothecary as well as an educational organization called Spoonful Herbals, which offers a local Herbal CSA share program, a Community Herbalism Apprenticeship, “Backyard Apothecary” consultations to farmers and homesteaders, and medicinal plant gleaning events (“Herb Mobs”) on area organic farms and public green spaces.

She is a proud mom to a 9-year-old son Liam, a 10-year-old labradoodle Maatje (pronounced Mott-yeh), and she lives in Burlington’s Old North End.

Gillian Kapteyn Comstock

Metta Earth Founder & Co-Director, Folk Herbalist, Herbal Remedy Maker, Sense of Place Guide

Gillian Kapteyn Comstock, MA, is the founding co-director of Metta Earth Institute and the Metta Earth project, which integrates regenerative farming, contemplative practices, community living, and sustainability education. Gillian offers mentoring, program facilitation, and leadership trainings.

As a holistic psychotherapist, certified permaculture designer, and advanced yoga guide, she synthesizes disciplines to support cultural renewal. She is dedicated to creating sanctuaries for others to experience vibrant presence.

With a passion for discovering the wild in mind, body, and earth, she has led yoga retreats, wilderness quests, and trainings in nature sanctuaries around the world.

For the last dozen years Gillian has intertwined this work with grounding in regenerative agriculture and focalizes this in the care of gardens and greenhouses, carbon farming and grazing processes with Icelandic sheep, Milking Shorthorn cows, and heritage breed chickens, as well as the growing and wildcrafting of herbal teas and medicines.

For more than two decades she has been a participant in the Assisi Institute community, which engages in a highly dynamic interdisciplinary investigation of Jungian psychology, creative process, mythology, and the new sciences.

A mother of three adult children and grandmother of five, Gillian has lived a life immersed in cooperative community, the gift economy, and innovative social processes resonate with natural systems and wild nature.

Emma Radeka

Plant Medicine Activism Coordinator, Marketing/Social Media, Content Designer, Earth Responder

Emma Radeka is a senior at the University of Vermont, pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Integrative Healthcare. Her areas of academic study reflect her passion for healing the earth, ourselves, and our communities, with a focus on plant medicine, sustainable agriculture, place-based education, and community organizing for environmental and social justice.

Emma’s passion for education includes teaching dance classes, ski lessons, plant medicine workshops, and being a Teaching Assistant five times during her college career. Notable academic experiences have included completing a capstone report focused on accessibility in place-based education, organizing a meeting with Gov. Phil Scott to discuss the importance of gun control in Vermont, and developing plant medicine offerings for students via the UVM Herbalism Club. She also participated in an immersive 4-month study abroad program in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica that focused on sustainable development, tropical ecology, and community organizing.

After serving as a Garden & Education Intern for Spoonful Herbals in 2019, Emma joined Metta Earth as the Plant Medicine Activism Coordinator in the spring of 2020. She is currently working remotely from Rhode Island, where she is also converting a cargo trailer into a tiny mobile home.

Emma is the Artistic Director of the UVM Salsa Dancing Society, and enjoys to ski, sail, and mountain bike in her free time. She is passionate about volunteering with Migrant Justice and the BioSur Foundation of Costa Rica. 

Carl BrokenHorse

Seneca/Haudenosaunee Medicine Keeper, Herbal Remedy Maker, Story Teller

BrokenHorse is an author and historian; sacred activist and medicine keeper of European and Seneca/Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-o-son-ee) descent. He has been studying indigenous medicine for over 20 years.

Coming from a long line of peacemakers and great orators, BrokenHorse uses the written and spoken word and the power of indigenous tradition to decolonize, rematriate, and heal.

Juliana Lewis

Resident Apprentice Herbalist, Plant Medicine Harvester, Herbal Skills Materials Kit Creator, Earth Responder

Juliana Lewis is the Resident Apprentice Herbalist and Plant Medicine Harvester at Metta Earth. Her passions include working with plants, nature education, and exploring forests.

Matt Cloyd

Producer, Videographer, Tech Support, Earth Responder  Matt Cloyd (pronouns: they/them) is a peace-maker and civic technologist.  

Matt lived and worked at Metta Earth for the 2020 growing season, where they produced Metta Earth’s first online offering. Since departing, Matt continues to work with Metta Earth on the World Reach team, providing organizational consulting and online program production.

Matt graduated a 200-hour teacher training program with The New School of Yogic Arts in February 2019, and continued their education with trauma-informed teacher training workshops.

As a student, Matt co-founded and directed Dartmouth College’s Sustainable Living Center. Matt graduated with a BA in Geography modified with Studio Art, a custom major which enabled a holistic study of how people interact with both their built and natural environments.


Gift Economy

Metta Earth is offering the Herbal Skills Immersion using a “gift economy” model.

To put it simply: everyone is welcome to enroll and to request a materials kit, regardless of whether the suggested contribution is out of reach. Instead of making finances a barrier, we are trusting that the collective generosity of our community will help sustain our work and enable us to continue giving.

Suggested Contributions

Please attune to your capacity to give, and give only what is comfortable.
If you can contribute more, please know that you will help us gift herbal healing education and supplies to community members in a different financial situation.

Online course and supply kit: $110 ($50 for materials & shipping, $60 for course development)
Online course only: $60 (for course development)


If you would like a scholarship to support attending the Herbal Skills Immersion (or any Metta Earth program), you may apply for a grant through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC).

Metta Earth and Spoonful Herbals are approved organizations through VSAC.

“I have great faith in the power of herbal medicine to heal not only people, but also culture, species, and ecology. It’s really pretty simple: we need plants in our lives. Even only a little bit.
And once their green tendrils begin to grow in our hearts, like the first pea vines of spring, there is no turning back.
Thank goodness – thank greenness.”

– Guido Masé, Herbalist (co-founder of Railyard Apothecary and the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism; Herbalist and Senior Scientist at Traditional Medicinals)


Railyard Apothecary

Railyard Apothecary is Burlington’s local herbal apothecary. We are a non-profit organization with a primary goal to provide high-quality, affordable medicinal herbs and health education to the Burlington community and beyond. All of our herbs are from organic and/or sustainable sources, either from local farms and forests or from international organic distributors. By partnering with local farmers, wild-crafters, and educators, we hope to serve as a hub for the herbal community in Northern Vermont.

We are committed to creating a space for the community and ourselves where we can work towards healing cultural wounds. Through herbal justice, we strive to create a space where shifts in habits, systems, and thinking can move away from white supremacy, patriarchy, and wasteful consumerism and towards respect for people and the planet, inclusivity, and listening to historically silenced voices, with the goal of contributing to a world in which people are respected as individuals, and can thrive. Find us on Facebook or Instagram.

Spoonful Herbals

Spoonful Herbals is the collaborative effort of community herbalists and educators Katherine Elmer and Kara Buchanan.

Spoonful offers an annual Herbal CSA, which includes 3 seasonal herbal self-care packages, all for $150, with convenient share pickup at Railyard Apothecary:

  • each providing 4-5 varied formulas
  • detailed educational guidance about the plant ingredients and their users
  • educational events for members

Spoonful also runs a 6-month Community Herbalism Apprenticeship program where students learn how to identify, harvest, and create remedies from native and locally-grown medicinal herbs.

Spoonful’s Herb Mob program engages volunteers to bring locally harvested (gleaned) medicinal plants into our apothecary from local organic farms and green spaces. Find us on Facebook and Instagram.