Flora & Fire: Botany, Primal Skills, and Plant Connection Online Module

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This is an online course and you do not have to be at our physical campus to take the course. It can be done from any place with an internet connection.

This is a 3-day intensive course that dives into plant identification, herbal medicine making & outdoor skills, and includes a 6-hour online module preceding the on-site course. There is an option for assignments and certification.

In this intensive, you’ll learn the fundamentals of plant identification, including botanical terminology, plant family pattern recognition, and ecology. We’ll also cover wild foods, medicinal plant uses, wild-crafting ethics, sustainable harvesting methods, in-the-field medicine making techniques and plant preservation.

As part of connecting to the plants and landscape, we’ll also be working with fire-making skills, including how to make fire by friction using materials from the land.

This hands-on workshop is designed to cultivate your connection and build your confidence in identifying and working with medicinal plants.

Full intensive includes:

Botany and Ecology

  • Plant Identification Terminology
  • Patterns method of plant family identification
  • 8 common medicinal and edible plant families
  • Sustainable wildcrafting techniques and land stewardship
  • Ethics of wildcrafting
  • Habitat and Ecology
  • Poisonous plant identification and safety
  • Wild foods
  • Working with medicinal plants
  • At risk plant species
  • Introduction to botanical keying

Medicine making

  • Alcoholic extractions
  • Tinctures and linements
  • Water Extractions
  • Infusions, decoctions, baths and steams

Principles of Herbal Medicine

  • Energetics
  • How to work with 8 herbal medicines
  • Herbal Safety

Primal Skills

  • Cordage
  • Fire by Friction

Completion of the online + on-site course will award a total of 32 hours for the Herbal Clinician program or towards the Apothecarist medicine making program.

For students wishing to register for only the online module, there is a separate registration option. Completion of the coursework and final test will award 6 contact hours.

Introduction to Botany and Plant Identification: Online Module

This 6 hour comprehensive introduction to botany is included in the tuition for the 3-day onsite intensive, or can be purchased separately.

Join herbalist and botanist Kat Mackinnon for an in-depth class on botany and plant identification. This is for beginner to intermediate students looking to sharpen their general botanical skills, and especially hone their edible, medicinal, and poisonous plant ID knowledge. This stand-alone class is a prerequisite to the 3-day onsite Flora and Fire: botany, primal skills & plant connection intensive.

The full online course covers:

Introduction to Botany

  • 4 directions, ways of knowing

Botanical Terminology

  • Organoleptics and the Suchness of Plants (aka turning on your instincts)
  • Habit
  • Habitat and Ecology
  • Leaf Anatomy
  • Leaf Arrangement & Shapes
  • Monocots and Dicots
  • Flower Anatomy, 4 whorls
  • Flower Symmetry
  • Fruits
  • Inflorescence

Introduction to Taxonomy and Plant Names

  • Classification of species
  • Latin Binomial and Common Names

Introduction to Plant Families

  • Top 10 Medicinal and Edible Plant Families

Wildcrafting Ethics

  • At Risk Plant Species
  • Sensitive ecological zones
  • Ruderal spaces and “weed” species
  • Stewardship and caretaking

Poisonous Plant Species ID

  • Top 10 Poisonous North American species

Botanical Keying

  • Introduction to working with a dichotomous keying
  • Tips and Troubleshooting

About the Instructor: Kat MacKinnon

Kat is a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist through the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, where she studied with Paul Bergner in the Vitalist tradition. Kat holds intensives on wild foods, medicine making, and botany, and teaches at various other schools, conferences, and apothecaries, in addition to her clinical practice through her business Meet the Green.

She is also a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalists Guild. She spent 12 years working for the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Lafayette, CO in the capacity of Clinical Program Director, as well as primary faculty for the Fundamentals, Advanced, and Botany programs.

Though a transplant from the East Coast, Kat has a passion for bioregional herbalism, so in the past 10 years, she has developed a particular love for working with herbs of the Colorado Plateau.

She began her formal career with plants by studying forestry at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, AZ, and the plants, animals, and incredible harsh beauty of the Southwest have been one of the great loves of her life ever since.




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