Community Herbalist Hybrid Program (Online/In-Person)

ryn teaching elder

Our nine-month hybrid option combines online video instruction with in-person workshops & field trips to provide well-rounded training in practical herbalism.

For those who live within driving distance of the Boston area, this option allows you to work through the Community Herbalist program with the support and accountability provided by a cohort of peers and direct contact time with Ryn & Katja.

After completing this program, you'll be confident in your ability to care for yourself, your family, and your friends with natural methods. You will also have a solid foundation for further training should you desire to continue into the Clinical Herbalist program and become a practicing clinical herbalist.

Our 2019 program has begun, and applications for this year are closed. We are accepting applications for 2020.

My previous study was, honestly, kind of all over the map. Having an organized program gave me the structure to make sense of what I'd studied so far and where I was going next.
~ Susan M., student

Why Hybrid?

We recognized that the majority of our time spent together with students in our in-person program, as it was previously structured, was spent in lecture - simply because it's a high-bandwidth way to convey information person-to-person. But, we also noticed that it rendered our class sessions into a "firehose of information" type experience.

That ends up meaning that students are taking notes for 7-8 hours straight, three days in a row, and although that's what we've done in the past in order to accommodate work schedules, etc, we really felt like it would be much better to spread that lecture time out over the course of the month, and to be able to spend more time in discussion and doing hands-on work when we're together. Up until now, the limitation has been the schedule: how do we spread the lectures out and still accommodate so many different people's work schedules? Well, we've found a way!

This year, we're transitioning to a hybrid model program, combining online and in-person work each month. It'll work like this:

1. Self-Paced Online Learning

When we accept your application & receive your deposit, we'll enroll you in the Family Herbalist & Community Herbalist programs in our online learning platform. Valued at $2500, these are primarily made up of 200+ hours of video lectures and demonstrations - all of the "telling" and "showing" parts of our material. This is also where you'll access handouts, supporting text documents, and key resources for bolstering these teachings. This way, you can have lecture and take notes when it fits in your schedule best, and when it's best for your learning style. If you're a morning person, watch the videos in the mornings! If you learn best in small chunks, you can do a little bit every day. And as you go along, if you have questions right in that moment, you can put them in the discussion panel that's right next to the video.

2. In-Person Sessions

We'll meet for in-person contact time in Boston for one weekend each month, March to November. These will be Saturday & Sunday sessions, 10:00am-5:00pm. We'll focus on hands-on experiences, kitchen/lab time, and outdoor time with the plants - in environments ranging from city parks, to conservation land, to feral forest. We'll also have time for student-led discussions and question & answer sessions about the material you're studying each month. By moving the lecture time out of the weekends, we'll be able to really dive deep into your questions, and we'll be able to spend much more time making things and working on plant ID than we have been able to in the past.

3. Support & Accountability In Between

You'll get a schedule of lessons and assignments to complete between each live session - both within the online course platform, as well as home and field experiments. This way, while everyone's able to move at their own pace, you'll all bring a shared body of information to work from and we'll progress together, in an organized and accountable way.

We believe this model will help us convey the same high-quality information to you, while also allowing more flexibility and letting each student's needs be met. And we're really excited that we'll be able to expand the hands-on time together! We hope you're as excited about this as we are!


The average of the hourly tuition rates at a dozen rural and sub-urban herbalism schools in the Northeast is approximately $15/hour; in urban areas, the average is $19/hour.

In an effort to make our program affordable to as many people as possible, we choose to offer our course at the lower rate even though we're here in the heart of Boston. Tuition for our 200-hour program thus comes to $3000 total.

Enrollment in the program constitutes a commitment to pay the entire tuition.

A non-refundable deposit of $300, which is applied to your total tuition, is required to complete enrollment and reserve your space in the program. We expect to reach our maximum capacity for students again this year, so it is wise to submit your deposit as soon as you are notified that your application has been accepted.

The remainder of the tuition may be paid all at once by cash or check, or in monthly installments. If you prefer to pay in installments, you can sign up for an automated recurring debit via PayPal. (This will require you to have or create a PayPal account, but you will then be able to use any credit card or bank account to pay.) There is a $10/month administrative cost for this option.

Either the full tuition payment must be made, or the PayPal subscription must be completed, within 14 days of our first in-person session.


We extend an elder's discount of 20% to anyone over the age of 60. A 20% discount is also available to veterans and active service members.

We support Native American tribal members, local farmers and street medics with discounts and scholarships when possible - contact us for more information.

Course Materials And Incidentals

There are no required books for the program, but several are strongly recommended. A budget of $50-$100 should more than cover the costs for a few basic books, and many of the books we recommend are available in the Boston Public Library system. All of our assigned readings are in the form of articles, studies, monographs, and other resources which are accessible online for free.

Students will also need to acquire their own herbs and other medicine-making ingredients and tools: tea strainers, oils, beeswax, alcohol for tinctures, bottles, etc. We provide information about local herb shops and suppliers.

We estimate total incidental expenses should amount to no more than $25-75 per month.

Refund Policy

We always have a significant waiting list for this program: if you decide three months into the program that you want to drop out, a person on the waiting list can't take your place. For this reason, we offer a two-week window at the beginning of the session when you can withdraw from the program if it doesn't seem to be a good educational match for you. After that point, we do not offer tuition refunds.

  • The $300 deposit is non-refundable. Please do not ask for a deposit to be refunded. This deposit is deducted from the total tuition once the course begins.
  • A refund of the remainder of the tuition paid will be given to a student who withdraws in writing within 14 days of the first day of class.
    After the drop date, students are committed to the course and no refunds will be issued.
  • Automated recurring debits will continue to be collected even if the student is unable to attend the in-person sessions. All students are expected to pay the full tuition even if they decide a a later point to discontinue the program.

Schedule & Location

The Community Herbalist Hybrid program meets one weekend a month, March - November: classes take place 10:00am - 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday each weekend we meet, and are held at our school/clinic space: 25 Saint Mary's Court, Brookline MA 02446. We enjoy a potluck lunch together each day during which time we build community and share knowledge among the group.

We take herb walks together each month at a spot of conservation land a block away from the school.  In the summer months we also meet at a greenspace on the Charles river one morning each weekend, or at the Arnold Arboretum; both are a short distance from the school by car or T. For these excursions, we arrange carpools and give directions and maps. These herb walks are not strenuous, but can last for several hours at a time.

One of our weekends is a camping trip, which will include hiking and sleeping in tents. Students will be given the details of this excursion upon enrollment.

The 2019 Community Herbalist Hybrid program will meet in person on the following dates:

  • Mar 9-10
  • Apr 13-14
  • May 18-19
  • Jun 29-30
  • Jul 20-21 - camping
  • Aug 10-11
  • Sep 14-15
  • Oct 12-13
  • Nov 2-3


Our 2019 program has begun, and applications for this year are closed. We are accepting applications for 2020.

If you're not local to Boston, or missed the enrollment period for this year's group, you can still get your herbal education started today - check out our Family Herbalist and Community Herbalist online programs!

Here's what some of our Students and Graduates are doing with their herbal education!

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