The Earthwalk Northwest Plant Apprenticeship and Ethnobotanical Studies Program is an intensive wild plant and herbal course that has been newly developed by Karen Sherwood. Join us for this long awaited program as we journey through the seasons, learning the many faces and great potential the plant nations offer. Students will study the edible, medicinal, and utilitarian potentials of plants in both a modern and a traditional context. As in all of our programs, we emphasize hands on learning with field identification, collecting, then bringing our harvests back to prepare into amazing creations. Classroom study will help round out our experience as we learn the characteristics of plant families and beginning botany.

Exploring our Green Allies

Here is an exciting opportunity to build your confidence and explore the plant world while guided by instructor Karen Sherwood of Earthwalk Northwest. Expand your knowledge and gain a hands on experience as we journey through the seasons, learning the many faces of our green allies. We will begin this journey in the spring of the year, strengthening our understanding of plant communities, and finishing our studies in the fall. As the plants change their appearance and pass to us ever changing gifts, we will learn to identify, harvest, and honor our plant allies throughout their seasons. An in depth study of plant families will be taught along with beginning botany. Herbarium projects will reinforce this teaching. A strong focus on wild edible plants will lead to the creating of many wild foods dishes, ranging from survival fare to gourmet cuisine. Regular field trips will help to support these studies. Traditional or ethnobotanical uses of plants will be taught as we explore the role of native plants utilized by First Nations People.

Edible & Medicinal Plants

Wild plants can unlock the portal to good health and balance. In the Apprenticeship Program, we will take an in-depth look at how all beings are given life through the gifts of the plant nations. Students will learn to identify, harvest, prepare, and incorporate wild plants into their daily lives through edible, medicinal, and utilitarian uses. Seaweeds, or marine algae, will also be covered as we travel to the pristine waters of the San Juan Islands to learn about the gifts of the sea.

Ethnobotanical Studies

Not only will we explore the many modern uses of plants to incorporate them into our daily lives, we will also study traditional uses of plants used by indigenous peoples. To round out our ethnobotanical studies, students will make traditional harvesting tools to utilize on our foraging adventures.

Program logistics

Schedule -  Class is held Wednesdays from 9 am to 3 pm. There are also several weekend and overnight classes during the year.

Structure - The bulk of the program consists of hands-on classroom work; outdoor study and collection field trips; and informative lecture. Students are also expected to complete homework and guided research on their own.

Location - Class time is at the Earthwalk Northwest classroom in Bellevue, WA, about 20 minutes east of Seattle. Regular class field trips leave from the classroom as well. There are three overnight trips in different locations: Eastern Washington, lower Puget Sound, and the San Juan Islands.

Tuition - Tuition is $3,800 and includes six months of weekly class instruction, class materials, and field trips.

Students who enroll in both the Ancestral Skills and Ethnobotany apprenticeships will receive a $500 discount off the combined cost of both programs.

Installment plans are available for payment. Please contact us to set up these arrangements

Please see Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.