A rigorous and intensive hands-on immersion into herbalism and the cultivation of herbs.
We’re committed to the future of herbalism. One way we demonstrate that commitment is by providing hands-on learning and inspiring tomorrow’s herbalists, farmers and naturopaths. Our Herbaculture Internship Program offers a rigorous and intensive immersion into the cultivation and use of plants commonly used in herbalism. This program is offered at our Certified Organic, GMO-free herb farms in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains in Josephine County, Oregon.
Students spend an average of 28 hours a week learning from professional herb farmers and herbalists, cultivating and harvesting more than 50 different medicinal herbs, and maintaining our 1.5 acre Botanical Education Garden and additional planting areas.
Working on the farm is demanding. Students will be challenged both physically and mentally. Therefore, students must be in good physical condition. They should be mentally prepared to work, study, and live alongside nine other like-minded individuals from a wide range of educational, cultural and experiential backgrounds.
Our classes take place Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Fridays and several Saturdays. Topics include: plant identification, responsible wildcrafting, Western herbalism, Traditional Chinese Herbalism, Ayurveda, plant communication, extract making, human physiology, nutrition, cultivation of herbs, and more.
The Herbaculture staff includes Herb Pharm herbalists and farmers, as well as local herbal practitioners. There are typically 11-15 different teachers per session. Teachers and classes are subject to change.
There are no fees assessed for participation in this program. Dormitory-style housing is provided in a large, modern guesthouse. However, students are responsible for their own food expenses, consumable household items, and transportation. Interns must contribute an average of $150 per month toward communal food purchases. We strongly recommend that interns carry health insurance and/or set aside an emergency medical fund for the duration of the program.
Please note: To support the health and safety of our future interns and our community, we have suspended the program until further notice.
Applications are currently closed.
For any questions about the program, please see “Frequently Asked Questions” below and/or contact the Program Coordinator at [email protected].
In 2020, amid the COVID-19 public health situation, we made the hard choice to suspend our Herbaculture Internship Program for the year. We remain heartbroken — the program has run every year since 1980. Educating future generations of herbalists is an integral part of our root values. But, we ultimately believe this is the best way to support our interns’ health and safety, given the communal, immersive nature of the program.
We know our interns invest a great deal of time and energy making plans to attend our program and we are deeply grateful to everyone who applied for 2020 sessions. It is difficult to describe how much the internship program means to our teachers, as well as to our company. The farm will not be the same without the interns’ curiosity, enthusiasm and joy, but we will bring back the program when the time is right.
Because this is a very physically demanding program with production fieldwork, communal living, and an intense schedule of classes, you need to be both physically and mentally fit.
The strongest applications come from candidates that are well rounded in three respects equally. They: 1) can demonstrate a sincere interest in herbalism 2) have some experience in production farming, working outdoors, and doing repetitive tasks, and 3) have lived in communal house settings.
You can expect to have roughly 135 hrs of formal instruction. The classes cover a wide range of topics and give interns a broad look at herbalism as a whole. Due to the diverse range of backgrounds and levels of experience this program draws, classes range from introductory to intermediate. You can expect to be exposed to both clinical/scientific, as well as, subtle/energetic approaches to herbal medicine. Although we are not accredited, some colleges have accepted our program for credit.
Our Herbaculture Program is a synergistic experience and requires start-to-finish participation from all of the students. To be considered you must be able to attend for the entire duration of the program.
No, you should not plan on any other commitments. The combination of field work, program classes, communal household life, and needed time for reflection and rest makes for a full schedule.
While you are welcome to apply together, each application is considered independently; you will be asked to indicate whether or not you would accept the position alone.
No. You may only attend one session per year.
On rare occasions, opportunities do arise; however, you should not plan on this.
The curriculum for the classes largely remains the same for each session. The three sessions do differ in the types of work you will be primarily doing on the farm, the plants you will be working closely with, and the weather conditions you will be working in.
Spring and Fall can be wet and cold; Summer can be very hot and dry (and occasionally smoky due to local forest fires). All sessions include planting, cultivating, harvest and some herb processing such as drying, garbling and cleaning, as well as, landscape work such as weeding, transplanting and pruning.
Yes, if you can arrange for the appropriate visa.
There are an array of career opportunities available for students who have studied diverse aspects of herbalism. Past students have gone onto other herbal programs, naturopathic or medical schools. Some have pursued midwifery, advanced plant sciences, Agroecology and conservation of at–risk plants, herb farming, landscape horticulture, massage therapy and community service.
No, but without one you will only have easy access to the few shops in Williams and be dependent on others if you wish to go to “town”.
Local Airport: Medford, OR;
Greyhound: Medford or Grants Pass, OR.
Transportation from the airport or bus stations will be arranged through the program coordinator.
There is WIFI in the communal house as well as one PC.
There is very limited cell reception at the house. The house and farm are located rurally with good cell service about a mile down the road. The house is equipped with land lines.
Many hands make light work, as the interns separate Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) leaf and flower from the stem.
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