IMG_0856  garden harvest  wildcrafted skin care  Medicine making  roses  IMG_0842

~Learn to make high quality herbal products & wild foods~
~Deepen your herbal know-how and nature connection~
~Save money by making your own at home~
~Make great gifts for your friends & family~
~Reduce your carbon footprint and take another step towards self-sufficiency~

Upcoming Classes

Wild Food & Medicine CSA, Fall 2014

Wild CSADates: September 30, October 14 & October 28
Location: San Juan Ridge, Nevada City
Cost: $120 -$130

The Wild Food & Medicinal Herb CSA (Community Supported Awareness) provides hands-on education for those who want to connect more intimately with their local landscapes and move towards more sustainable practices with respect to food and medicine.  CSA participants will:

•    learn how to safely use abundant local plants for food and medicine
•    experience their local bioregion more intimately
•    join a greater community to share knowledge about ethical wildcrafting

Read more about the Wild Food & Medicine CSA here.


Introduction to Home Scale Herbalism – Fall 2014

Date:  Oct 7 & 21, Nov 4 & 11 6-8pm, from 6-8pm
Location: The HAALo Herb Shop in Nevada City
Cost: $120 – $130 for the four-class series

This series is designed for beginning home herbalists who want to feel more confident using self-prescribed herbal medicine for health and wellness.  Topics include general principals of home-scale herbalism, tools of the trade, discussion of various forms of herbal medicine, safe and appropriate application, as well as how to make your own herbal preparations at home.  An emphasis will be placed on locally available plants with a long history of safe and effective use.

The core series includes four classes, held on Tuesday evenings:

  • Getting Started with Home Scale Herbalism
  • Tincture, Tea, Powder, or Pill: How to Take Herbal Medicine
  • Making Tinctures at Home
  • Medicinal Oils and Salves

Read More.

Seasonal Medicine Making Series – Fall 2014

photoDate: November 18, Dec 2 & Dec 9, 6-8pm.
Location: The HAALo Herb Shop in Nevada City
Cost: $90 – $100 for the three-class series, plus materials fee

Medicinal plants are growing all around us. How do we use them for health and wellness? In this 3-session series, you’ll learn how to use local wild and cultivated herbs to make seasonal remedies for the fall and winter season, and begin building up your own herbal remedy pantry. The local plants we’ll use and discuss will be determined by availability, but will likely to include pine, cedar, elderberry, choke cherry, manzanita, echinacea, elecampane, grindelia, ganoderma, horehound, calendula, self-heal and more. Class discussions will include plant identification, how to process fresh herbs and roots, and how to safely and ethically wildharvest. Every session, participants will take home three herbal medicines made in class.

Read more class details on HAALo registration page.


A Weekend Retreat at Esalen: Organic Skin and Body Care from the Garden – Spring 2015

IMG_3606Date: April 17-19, 2015
Location: Esalen Big Sur, CA

Take a personal retreat and discover the joy of making your own organic skin and body care in the beautiful gardens at Esalen. Over the weekend, you’ll enjoy a series of herbal skin treatments and have the opportunity to make your own customized set of herbal skin and body care, including skin cream, facial scrub, lip moisturizer, and more. After completing the class, you will have a set of organic herbal skin care products to take home, the recipes and know-how to make them again on your own, basic knowledge of how to prepare herbs, and the ability to make great gifts.   Located on the beautiful coastline of Big Sur, Esalen offers breathtaking views, inspiring gardens, and healing hot springs.  Read more.


Herbal Medicine Field Series – Spring 2015

Dates:  TBA
Cost: $120-$130, with discounts for early registration
Location: Field sites within 30 minutes of Nevada City

photo2The curriculum is designed to build the essential skills needed for using local herbs for health and wellness, and includes a mixture of lecture, plant walks, experiential activities and demonstrations. Participants will leave each class with a freshly made herbal prep, relevant hand-outs, and a template for three personalized herbal monographs for local medicinal plants.  A framework for self-study between classes will be provided and encouraged.

More details to come!


All classes are taught by Rachel Berry unless otherwise noted.  Read what participants say about Rachel and her classes here. To receive updates on upcoming class dates, as well as timely tips for processing seasonal herbs, please use the subscribe box in the right column of this page.

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The following classes are not yet scheduled.  Private classes for small groups can be customized for special interests and events.  For more details contact Rachel@sierrabotanica(dot)com.

Herbal Baby Care Basics
A great class for parents who want to learn some basic strategies for herbal baby care, make some of their own pure and clean baby care products, and avoid chemicals or other harsh  ingredients often found in commercial baby products.  Read more.

Herbal Personal Care
Gain independence from commercial personal care products (for hair, body and teeth) and start making your own from herbs and other whole, organic ingredients.  Save money, reduce your exposure to unwanted chemicals, and reduce your carbon footprint! Read more.

Herbal Skin & Body Care
Make your own nourishing skin care from the garden. Learn to make  fresh, high quality products with local  ingredients to increase your self-sufficiency and save money at the same time.  Read more

Herbal Remedies for Summer: Insects, Poison Oak, Sunburn & More
Learn how to make simple yet effective herbal remedies for some of our common summer nuisances in the foothill region. Read more here.

Local Remedies for the Cold & Flu Season
Prepare yourself for the cold and flu season using local plants and common herbs from the kitchen cupboard.  We’ll discuss herbal approaches for prevention, treatment, and easing the uncomfortable symptoms of the common cold and flu.  We will make an elderberry syrup, herbal throat lozenges, a medicinal honey, and herbal steam.  Read more here.