This program application is now closed.

We wish we could be together in this wild garden, but with the pandemic still limiting our access to the Loyola gardens, the desire to grow and learn about plants is only getting stronger! So this year we’re trying something new: a virtual program where you can learn from home and grow some of the plants to work with in your own spaces.

In the herbal stream of the CFS program, you can learn how to grow, use and transform a few common medicinal plants and learn some of the basics of body systems and plants. This course is designed for newcomers to the study of herbalism, as the classes are designed to start with the basics and build on that knowledge. If you already have spent a good deal of time learning about medicinal plants and have practiced transformations previously, then this school may not be ideal for you.  But if you are interested in learning the basics of perennial gardening, discussing issues of health and how systemic oppression impacts health indexes, and looking at some of the basics of physiology, botany and energetics, then this course will be a great stepping stone towards those goals.

As an organization that works the land of unceded Indigenous territory, we honor and acknowledge those who have historically stewarded and continue to steward this land. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters of Tiohtiá:ke (so-called Montreal), known as a gathering place for many First Nations, including the Kanien’kehá:ka of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg peoples. As a program that centers health and environmental justice, an ongoing dialogue and understanding of the consequences of colonialism and white supremacy are absolutely essential to this learning process.




The workshops are over the course of 8 weeks (with one week break in May) on Saturdays. This series of workshops is designed to familiarize students with the main theories, concepts and practices of herbalism and body systems.  All workshops will be given over Zoom on Saturdays, from 10am-2pm. The workshops will be presented by your CFS teachers and a number of experienced herbalists, specifically Anusha Smith and Tamara Filyavich.*




Zoom Saturday April 3
10:00am – 2:00pm Introduction: Botany part 1, planting seeds, space prep, materia medicas
Zoom Saturday April 10
10:00am – 2:00pm Herbs, Anti-oppression, Interactions & contraindications & vocabulary
Zoom Saturday April 17 10:00am – 2:00pm Cardiovascular system: Herbs & Nutrition for Heart Health
Zoom Saturday April 24
10:00am – 2:00pm Immunity and Adaptogens
Zoom Saturday May 1st
10:00am – 2:00pm Respiratory & Gastrointestinal pathophysiology and herbs
Zoom Saturday May 15th
10:00am – 2:00pm The Neuro-endocrine system, community care and spring ephemerals
Zoom Saturday May 22nd
10:00am – 2:00pm Final session: Botany part 2, Plant IDs and Transformations 101 (Ready for the Spring and Summer)

 *There is a week off on May 8th.


In addition to the Saturday workshops, students will be able to grow some herbal plants at home and learn about these plants as they are growing! Since everyone’s home environment is unique, we will have opportunities to troubleshoot collectively and discuss where and how to plant these seedlings out once the winter turns to spring. Therefore, in addition to the Saturday workshops, there will be some check-ins on Tuesday evenings (5:30-7pm) which will include plant growing check-ins, a Materia Medica (in-depth plant focus) and an opportunity to share collectively with one another.

Times for our (almost) bi-weekly sessions on Tuesdays are below, with the focus:

Tuesday April 13th, 5:30-7pm: Catnip & Beebalm

Tuesday April 27th, 5:30-7pm: Astragalus & Ashwaganda

Tuesday May 4th, 5:30-7pm: Motherwort & Tulsi

Tuesday May 18th, 5:30-7pm: Mugwort & Borage

All students will be given seeds (combinations will include some of the following seeds: Tulsi, Ashwaganda, Beebalm, Mugwort, Horehound, Milk Thistle, Borage, Astragalus, Primrose & Milkweed), potting soil, small seedling starter pots & some herbal products before the beginning of the program. People will need to supply a large bowl or container for mixing the soil, space near a window (or grow-lights if you have them), and a clean spray bottle for watering. Again, the first Saturday session will be focused on how we can each uniquely make this work in our spaces, so you don’t need any advance knowledge about growing before we begin.



Our applications are currently closed for this session.

COST: $ 300 (can be paid in two installments) What does the cost cover? The fee covers the cost of the 7 workshops, growing materials and supplies, as well as the training you will receive from the CFS coordinators. Full or first installment payments must be received before the first class to register.

BURSARIES: We are offering a bursary program for those who need financial assistance. This bursary application question is located at the bottom of the general application. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, however we may only be able to offer you a portion of your requested bursary. If you have questions, please email them to