Summer Program with Mountain Herbalism based in Denver, Colorado

Class Full for 2019!


Start Date: Friday, May 26, 2019


Our classes are hands-on outdoor adventures.  You will learn the skills of plant ID, ethical wildcrafting, herbalism, and medicine-making through direct personal experience.  The program consists of 10 all-day field classes where we will travel to the different Rocky Mountain ecosystems within driving distance of Denver.  The material learned in the field will be supported by 10 evening lectures where we can cover herbal topics more suited to a classroom environment.

Graduates of our program will have the skills to identify, locate, harvest and process medicinal and edible plants of the Rocky Mountains.

We keep classes small and will accept 6-10 students each year.  We believe in a collaborative teaching model, and will have 2 teachers on every field trip.  No previous experience in herbalism or botany is required.

We are still accepting new students for this year’s 2019 Field Botany Program!  If you think you may be interested in joining us, the first step is to fill out a 2019 Botany Program Application.  Once we receive your application, we will contact you about scheduling an in-person interview.  Interviews last about an hour and give you the opportunity to meet the teachers, ask questions, and find out more about the skills and curriculum we cover.

Instructors: Adrian MintzmyerJoshua PaquetteElizabeth Diaz, and Guest Lecturers


Plant ID Skills

  • Botanical Terminology – In order to access the existing wealth of botanical knowledge you need to speak the language.

  • Identifying Plant Families Patterns with Field Characteristics – You don’t need to memorize every plant.  If you can recognize what plant family its part of, you can sometimes make a solid guess about its edible, medicinal, or poisonous nature, and can more easily look it up.

  • Botanical Keying – Use of dichotomous keys to identify plants with certainty.

  • Poisonous Plants: For safety, we will learn to identify plants that are poisonous or of unknown edibility that may be mistaken for edible or medicinal plants.

  • Sensitive Or Rare Plants and Ecosystems.

Ecology and Sustainable Wildcrafting Practices

  • Identifying Ecological Zones – The Rockies are home to many different ecosystems, and different plants grow or grow differently in each system.

  • Plant Location and Stand Assessment – This is the skill of finding herbs in the wild and deciding how much can be harvested sustainably.

  • Wildcrafting Ethics – Techniques for harvesting plants for medicine in a way that encourages their growth and proliferation.

  • Wildcrafting Skills – How to harvest and process barks, roots, leaves, stems, and flowers.

  • Indigenous History and Colonization- We will discuss how Eurocentric concepts of dominance, supremacy and power impact our relationship with land.


  • Medicinal Uses- We will cover medicinal applications of plants we harvest in class in depth.

  • Body Systems- In evening lectures, we will cover human body systems and herbs for each system.

  • Medicine Making – Together we will process all plants that we harvest, and participants will keep a sample of each preparation.  Students will learn the skills of making:

    • poultices

    • medicinal teas

    • tinctures

    • infused honeys and syrups

    • oils

    • salves

2019 Class Schedule:

Sunday All-Day Field Trip:

Field Trip 1: May 26th
Field Trip 2: June 2nd
Field Trip 3: June 9th
Field Trip 4: June 16th
Field Trip 5: June 23rd
Field Trip 6: June 30th
Field Trip 7: July 7th
Field Trip 8: July 14th
Field Trip 9: July 21st
Final Camping Trip: July 27th-28th

Evening Lectures are 6:30-9pm on Tuesdays:

Lecture 1: 5/28

Lecture 2: 6/4
Lecture 3: 6/11
Lecture 4: 6/18
Lecture 5: 6/25
Lecture 6: 7/2
Lecture 7: 7/9
Lecture 8: 7/16

Lecture 9: 7/23

Lecture 10: Included in the final camping trip!


$1550 tuition includes the field class series, the evening lecture series, and the final camping trip.
$1250 early bird pricing (giving your deposit before 3/31/19)
$400 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place.
$100 discount for payment in full before May 1st.

Payment plans available!

Scholarship applications available here, and additional scholarship info here.

Included In Tuition:

  • A booklet of all handouts and notes for all classes.

  • A botanical identification kit including a botany lens, a razor knife, a dissecting tool, and a metric ruler.


  • Flora of Colorado. By Jennifer Ackerfield.  First edition, 2015. (You can buy this from us if desired: We get bulk prices from the publisher.)

  • Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore. (We will use the newer 2003 revised edition.)

Personal Equipment:

  • Backpack that can hold your books and gear.

  • Outdoor Clothing: The key to being comfortable at all elevations in all weather is proper equipment.  This includes a sunhat, sunscreen or light-weight long-sleeve clothing, a rain coat (it does rain a lot at high elevation!), winter parka (we’ve had snow mid-July in our alpine plants class), hats/gloves, layers, and shoes for walking in marshy meadows (going barefoot is an option if desired, but some prefer waterproof boots).

Processing Equipment

  • Everyone will need a cutting board and sharp knife (a kitchen or pocket knife is fine), a small trowel (ideally a hori-hori knife), and pruning shears/clippers.

  • When processing herbs into medicinal extracts, students will need to supply their own alcohol, olive oil, and wide mouth mason jars.


  • Carpooling expenses: The gas expense is shared with the passengers in the car.

Summer Program with Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism based in Lafayette, Colorado

Class full for 2019!


Start Date: Friday, May 17, 2019


The Rocky Mountain Field Botany course is designed to provide a thorough introduction to field botany, positive plant identification, wild-crafting ethics, and sustainable harvesting and preservation techniques for the beginning to intermediate student. The main focus is on hands-on experience, along with a variety of lecture formats and labs. This year we will have an additional focus on wild edible plants.

Class Schedule

Classes will be held every week over the course of 6 weeks, with one weekend-long extended field trips. Please see the schedule below and your Course Calendar for dates and times.

  • Friday, May 17th, 9:00 am – 5 pm

  • Friday,  May 24th, 9:00 am – 5 pm

  • Friday, May 31st,  9:00 am – 5 pm

  • Friday, June 14th, 9:00 am – 5 pm

  • Friday, June 21st,  9:00 am – 5 pm

  • Friday, June 28th, 11 am – 5 pm (extended field trip weekend)

  • Saturday, June 29th, 9-5 pm (extended field trip weekend)

  • Sunday, June 30th, 9-3:30 pm (extended field trip weekend)

Program Costs

  • Tuition $ 1,000 (for current CSCH students) $ 1,250 (graduates and general public)

    • With a deposit of $ 300 (for current CSCH students) $ 400 (graduates and general public)

  • Books and materials $ 200 (subject to cost change and non-refundable)

  • Application Fee $ 50

Total Cost of Course $ 1,250 (for CSCH students) $ 1,500 (all others)


High School diploma or equivalent.