The Instructors ~  

 This kind of program is what happens when an herbalist and permaculture designer get together!

Engage in the Healing Power of Nature…

The Medicine Garden program is a Living Garden Project for students of botanical medicine to integrate the use of herbs into personal lifestyle and meaningful relationship. It is an opportunity to create relationships of reciprocity as you learn how to care for the plants, soils, and planet that care so deeply for you.

In this 8 month program we will learn about medicinal plants in their cultivated habitat, along with growing, harvesting, and plant medicine processing. From earth to bottle we will go through the complete life cycle of medicine work starting with learning how to listen to the plants and communicate with them.

We will learn how to use our senses to experience plant medicines and determine their medical applications according to Vitalist traditions. Students will learn how to approach plants as teachers and use them as guides for our own personal healing, as well as how to help facilitate healing for others.  

We will learn to experience the garden as a complete organism; integrating practical strategies to create living soil, healing water, and conscious connection to the healing ecology of plant and soil life that ultimately sustain us. As we work directly with the elements to cultivate the medicines that we collect we build a future that supports all of Life to thrive.

The roots of health and vitality lie in our connection to Nature. The Medicine Garden Program will strengthen your personal relationship to plants and their healing powers while enabling you to take better care of soil, water, and Earth!

Key Topics Include

  • Vitalism: Working with the Healing Power of Nature
  • Plant Spirit Communication
  • Materia Medica: the properties of herbs
  • Create Living Soils that cycle nutrients
  • Catch and store water
  • Sequester carbon
  • Nourish plants to achieve higher levels of health
  • Field to Bottle Medicine Making – tinctures, infused oils, acetates, oxymels, elixirs, and more
  • Earth Centered Healing Practices

Medicine Garden Full Program



Each class will include a diversity of content that moves in season according to what is in the garden ready to harvest, process and plant. This is a truly in-depth, hands-on experience.

"Cultivating Vitality"
     • Intro to Living Soil, Plant Communication and Vitalism
     • Alterative Herbs and Medicine Making
     • Understand the global health effects of soil depletion
     • Plant Medicine processing: from soil to bottle and Earth to belly

"Growing Vital Relationships" 
     • Working with the elements: Soil inoculants, Biodynamics, Planting with the Moon
     • Topical Herbs, Sedatives, and Medicine Making
     • Sense awareness and plant communication
     • Intro to irrigation, healing waters, and herbal bathing. 

"Integrating Vitality"
     • Cover crops, mulching, and winter gardening
     • Cold Frames and Compost shares
     • Fresh plant harvesting: roots, barks, berries and seeds
     • Immune and Digestive Herbs medicine making

Cost ~ Full Program   TO BE ANNOUNCED

Renee Wade, Gardener and Permaculture Designer

Renee will teach classes on:

  • How to create Living Soils that cycle nutrients
  • Methods to catch and store water
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Nourishing plants to achieve higher levels of global health
  • Regenerative Farming practices

Renee Wade is a certified Permaculture Designer with a BA in Ecological Agriculture. Her focus is on creating landscapes that are functional parts of the larger ecosystem; these are landscapes rooted in living soils with the ability to cycle nutrients, catch and retain water, grow healthy and nutritious plants, and nurture both humans and wildlife...(read more)


We are sad to announce that due to the ongoing pandemic, we have made the decision to postpone our program until 2022. We came to this decision based on what is best for our own personal health and those of our community members. 

We will continue to nurture our wonderful garden at the farm so it can once again be the beautiful learning space for our school and programs. 

We are accepting a few people as 'Garden Volunteers' who would like to come and work on designated tasks in the garden. If you are interested in this, please contact Heather Luna at or call 530-265-2063.

We appreciate all of the interest in this program and we look forward to once again being able to bring our community together for future classes!


Heather Luna, Clinical Herbalist, Clinical Nutritionist

Acorn School of Herbal Medicine Director

Heather will teach classes on:

  • Vitalism: Working with the Healing Power of Nature
  • Herbal Therapeutics
  • Materia Medica: the properties of herbs
  • Field to Bottle Medicine Making 
  • Earth Centered Healing Practices 

A Clinical Herbalist, Clinical Nutritionist, and resident of Nevada County since her teens, Heather Luna is a graduate of the John Woolman School, the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. She will be sharing teachings of the plants from a Vitalist perspective and how to apply them in healing practice rooted in Earth Centered Traditions...(read more)

​​Location & Weather

At the Garden:
    Bluebird Farm
    11153 Cement Hill Road
    Nevada City, CA 95959

Classes are held inside the gardens at Bluebird Farm which is located just two miles from downtown. There is parking at Bluebird Farm, but if you can carpool, please do so. Please enter the driveway slowly. You will see the fenced garden area to your right. Do NOT park in front of the garden! Stay on the main driveway and turn into the first parking area on the left.

Rainy weather does not cancel class. The instructors will be in contact with alternate plans if the weather is too wet and the Garden is too sensitive to host us.

How to prepare for class

Students are to dress appropriately for getting dirty. (Prepare to roll on the ground!) 

  • Garden friendly shoes! We encourage your relationship to the Earth through direct contact and bare feet. However this is not the best way to use a shovel when digging, so please bring shoes to class but take them off as much as possible.  Waterproof garden clogs or light weight breathable footwear can be ideal depending on the weather. Plan to bring extra footwear to change into afterwards if we get muddy!
  • Weather appropriate layers of clothing:
    • On cooler days wear long pants (with wooly unders or leggings), short sleeves shirt or tank top with long sleeve shirt on top. Plus a hoodie or wool sweater. **Remember you can always shed layers, but you can’t magically make new layers appear while out in the field.
    • On warm sunny days bring a sunhat. Wear light weight loose long sleeves to prevent sunburn and bug bites, and short or long pants to your comfort. 
  • A backpack to store gear and extra layers of clothing 

What to bring to each class

  • Bring a sack lunch and snacks for the day
  • Water bottle 
  • Notebook and pen
  • A personal blanket or towel to sit on outside
  • Cameras and recorders are welcome

Required tools and materials

We will use these tools for garden work and medicine making in the field. Please mark or label all your own tools and equipment.

  • Pocket knife
  • Garden snips/clippers/hand pruners
  • Small shovel/trowel/ hori hori/ or other digging tool
  • Folding garden saw
  • Baskets or collecting bags (canvas or paper)

​​Recommended Texts

(Click on the book title to find the book on Amazon)