Giving Ground is open year round. Guests can stay for as long as they wish. Each day will include time for instruction, meditation and relaxation. Giving Ground's accommodations are heated for year round comfort. Reservations are important as Giving Ground limits its overnight student/guests to no more than four at one time.
This year we are trying something new for our workshop schedule. Instead of exact weekend or week-day dates and times, you can choose your own dates, weekend or week-days, day-long or overnights. Telephone Giving Ground at 1-888-276-1336 or 1-218-848-2302 and together we'll figure out which dates work best for you and for us here. Through the years we've done a lot of scheduling this way anyway, so we're incorporating what already seems to work best, into our calendar routine.
See below for herbal topics and adventures. Choose your theme focus and then telephone us to register for your preferred dates. Don't e-mail with this information, as we may need to negotiate a bit back and forth, and a telephone dialogue will be quickest and most efficient for this.
Workshops include all meals, cottage beds made up, heat and lights on. All laboratory materials and recreational equipment (canoe, snowshoes) will be supplied. Depending on the season, some workshops can include a canoe excursion. Often, a traditional Finnish sauna bath is available.
NOTE: We can design a special workshop to meet your specific interests.
$329 per student/guest per workshop - Workshops are three days with two overnights unless noted otherwise below.
$85 per student per single day workshops/adventures - This includes a luncheon, herb walk and all materials necessary to make wild weed products to take home.
Beginning Herbology and Aromatherapy
History of herbal medicine, beginning vocabulary, caveats, wild-crafting (wild gathering) protocols and cautions. Emphasis on aromatherapy: we will steam distill an essential oil, and will make dream pillows for ourselves or for gifts. Canoe, woodland herb walk, sauna bath, meals, cottage beds made up, fans and lights on!
Beginning Herbology with a focus on wild weed medicine of historic and Native American knowledge
We'll listen to early music written by the first woman herbalist whose writings have been saved: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). We'll celebrate our selves and our woman's health. Emphasis will be on wild herbal preparations to alleviate menstrual cramps, menopausal "symptoms," toning our reproductive organs for life.
Scientific principles of how herbal medicines work to heal, wild gathering protocols and cautions. Herb walk, on snowshoes if necessary, and we'll make several medicinal products for your home medicine cabinet from vegetable matter we pick on the trails.
We'll discuss how to conduct a spring cleaning fast of three or ten days' duration, how to do it safely, what the caveats are, when not to do it and when to discontinue it. We'll have an early spring - or late winter - herb walk, possibly still on snowshoes, breathing in the scents of spring that are there even if snow is still on the ground. We'll explore many ways to "take" medicines, and there'll be herbal products you make to take home, that are appropriate for Passover or Easter gift-giving. We'll have a traditional Finnish cleansing sauna bath, and make up some herbal masks and body massage lotions for during and after sauna.
Spring Faery Herb Class
Special fee of just $85.00 for young student and caregiver, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM of a single day.
For parent or caregiver and child age 8 and up; A child's beginning wild herb class. Each family will decorate a tiny wooden tea chest with natural materials, and then we'll fill the chest with dried flower blossom tea. There'll be a lovely luncheon and a woodland tea to drink with honey, and we'll have an herb walk during which we'll be on the look-out for fairies
We'll focus on our own physical and spiritual health; we can't take care of our children as well if we are ourselves exhausted. Laboratory preparations you will make and take home will include herbal lip balm, aroma-therapeutic and cooling spritzes for after gardening or after the heat of summer days, and healthy hand, face, and body moisturizing lotions. Includes a traditional Finnish sauna bath, with herbal face masks we make in the apothecary, a canoe trip for the spirit, a woodland herb walk.
Herbal Medicine for Dogs and Cats
At the heart of this workshop will be healing preparations for some of the common ailments our companion animals suffer. Skin rashes and dryness, hot spots, digestive problems, cuts and wounds, will be among our topics, as well as some healthy "weed" supplements we can add to our pets' food for a vitamin and mineral boost. You will take home medicinal products for your own animals. Includes a traditional Finnish sauna bath.
Herbal Medicine for Children
We will concentrate on several childhood ailments such as fever and colds, ear-aches, digestive upsets, strep and sore throats, coughs, rashes, lice. We will work up formulas in the laboratory, and complete preparations, which you'll take home for your family. We'll make herbal bug repellent for ourselves and for our children. Includes a canoe trip for the spirit and traditional Finnish sauna bath.
Greens in salads, green salves, green tonic medicines, green hydrosols we steam distill during the weekend. First root crops in, as well! It should be full summer by this time, and we'll revel in the harvests. Includes a traditional Finnish sauna bath.
Herbs of the Old Testament
We'll study the history of herbal medicine, beginning vocabulary, caveats, wild-gathering protocols. We'll concentrate on medicinal herbs used by the ancient Old Testament families living along the Red Sea and in the Mediterranean regions. We'll make the kinds of salves, oil infusions and tinctures those early families might well have made, using olive oil and beeswax and wild herbs that for the most part, grow still in rocky, dry, windy areas--only right here!
We'll walk and walk, and dig in the autumn earth, bringing roots home with which to make some fine herbal tinctures for winter. It will be like filling up your jam closet and freezer. This is the most ancient rhythm of herbal medicine, and your glass jars of root tinctures "working" will be a feast for your eyes. We will discuss the protocol of digging roots; this must be the most conservative of harvests in order to sustain the plant communities. Includes a traditional Finnish sauna bath.
Tree Resins and Holiday Gift-Making
We'll explore some lovely ways to "take" herbal medicine, and our study will range from tree resins gathered here along our herbal trails, to a frankincense and myrrh hand and body lotion we'll make up and tie with gold braid. We'll talk of the ancient trade routes for those two precious medicinal tree resins from Africa. There will be bottles, jars, fabric, ribbon - everything you'll need here to complete some unique herbal presents for the winter holidays. Includes a traditional Finnish sauna bath.
Stone Soup! Kitchen medicine: culinary herbs as medicines
Some medieval history of herbs, new vocabulary, an overview of the scientific basis for some herbs' medicinal values, cautions. We'll put together an elegant winter soup with very deliberately chosen ingredients for winter health. We'll also concoct a winter medicine from pantry ingredients, for the common cold, the flu, sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis. You'll take this home, as well as taking home various herb tea mixes we will make up with your own personal winter health in mind. There'll be hand-outs as always, so no one will feel he or she is in a lecture hall scrambling to take notes. We'll have an herb walk (quite exotic in winter!) or herb snowshoe walk, and we'll have a warming Finnish traditional sauna bath. All containers and ingredients supplied, snowshoes supplied, all meals served in your cottage, beds all made up, heat and lights on. Maybe we'll be treated to a display of northern lights while you're here. We'll serve hot chocolate as one of the premier culinary medicines.
Boreal Forest Winter Medicine
In the "dead" of winter, besides all the animals who come closer to the clearing because of suet and seed feeders, there are more plants available for making medicines than you might expect! We'll look into some of the medieval history of herbs, some new vocabulary, an overview of the scientific basis for some herbs' medicinal value, wild-crafting (wild gathering) protocol, and cautions. We'll take an herb walk, or herb snowshoe walk on our trails, and we'll pick some herbs primed in winter to help humans with cold, flu, coughs and sore throats and various infections. We'll make up a tincture, and a powerful but very benign triple antibiotic, anti-fungal salve, both for you to take home. We'll make up some herbal tea mixtures with your own personal winter health in mind. We'll have a warming Finnish traditional sauna bath. All equipment and ingredients supplied, along with all meals, cottage beds made up, heat and lights on.