METTA EARTH institute

A Center for Contemplative Ecology

802. 453. 8111

Herbal Skills Immersion

Herbal Skills Immersion

The Herbal Skills Immersion is a virtual educational offering based in generosity and gratitude. Acquainting ourselves with plants through indigenous American, Celtic, and Nordic cultural traditions, modern science, and intuition, we journey together to honor the roots of humans’ relationships with the natural world.

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, Rose offers her medicine to mend grieving hearts. Calendula blooms for months to share her nourishment and optimism with us when we are worn down by external chaos. Dandelion sprouts up from the cracks in the sidewalk to support us in caring for ourselves and each other so that we may rise to action and contribute to a more loving world. Through such hardship, plants never cease to be our allies

Video Workshop: Skin & Wound Care

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 locally in community.

Join Us From Wherever You Are

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 remedy-making processes, embracing various ways of knowing in the process. You may follow along with the video workshop on your own time, from the comfort of your own home. Bonus: You will have access to this video workshop forever!

Extending gratitude to these wise plant beings

We are gifted with the potent healing that these plants 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.

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.


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. 

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.

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.

Program Details

Video Workshop

The Herbal Skills Immersion video workshop includes over three hours of content, filmed and produced by Matt Cloyd, and presented by Carl BrokenHorse, Katherine Elmer, and Gillian Kapteyn Comstock. 

The workshop is segmented into sections such as, “How the Medicines Came to the People,” “How to Attune to Plants,” “Harvesting With Love and Respect,” “Introduction to Herbal First Aid,” and more. 

Each plant that we work with in the Herbal Skills Immersion is introduced through a clinical, folk, and medicine keeper lens, and you’ll find that these ways of knowing are so integrated that all three of our facilitators bring forth all of them and more simultaneously. 

We’ll celebrate our new knowledge of these plants and herbal traditions by making medicinal remedies with them. BrokenHorse and Gillian will share two different recipes for wound salves, and BrokenHorse will also share a recipe for a wound-healing spit poultice.

Weaving together clinical, folk, intuitive, and medicine keeper perspectives, this workshop is created within the lenses of storytelling, attunement, and sense of place.

With safety, wellbeing, and sustainability as priorities, this community-based approach to sharing herbal knowledge brings forth the coexistence of ancestral knowledge, community wisdom, and evidence-based information.

Gift Economy

Metta Earth is offering the Herbal Skills Immersion using a “gift economy” model. We trust that the collective generosity of our community will help sustain our work and enable us to continue giving.

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.

Suggested Contribution: $60 (for course development)

Metta Earth is Pleased to Partner With:

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.

Learn More About Metta Earth Botanicals

Metta Earth Herbals Prospectus

Metta Earth Herbal Handbook

Metta Earth Botanicals

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