This winter we’ll delve into Fox Haven’s herbal stores and explore winter traditions and rituals that build phytonutrients into our lifestyle; whether you need restoration to recover from the year or stimulation to power you towards new goals.

This hands-on collaborative study session will include winter plant ID and harvesting, kitchen experimentation and crafting, group research and formula making and many many opportunities to develop relationships with local plants. The group project topics serve as an anchor and focus for each person throughout the time we learn together. The creativity, research and preparation that each group puts into their final product (whether it be tea, ferment, lozenge, salve, broth ect.) will enrich each of our understanding of herbal actions and winter herbs.

Class fee includes herbal supplies for all classes and take-homes, study guides, and field trip fees.

$ 200 for the whole series

DROP-INS WELCOME: $50 per class


February 9th : Teas, Broths, Spices and Energetics

This circle begins with a tea tasting and discussion of herbal actions – from the circulation stimulating jolt of Rosemary to the soothing, easy-sipping infusion of Oats. We’ll learn to listen to cues and responses herbs invoke and begin crafting blends to accompany our seasonal situations. Using taste wheels, traditional recipes and creativity we’ll come away with herbal combinations that we can test throughout the winter.

Spice blends and broths have long been a form of delivering nutrients to the body. We’ll explore the art of toasting and grinding seeds and spices to create fragrant, stimulating additions to our food, cosmetics and therapeutics. Then we’ll play with our perception of broths adding wild edibles, nutritive herbs and spices to bring complexity to both our dishes and our gut biota.

Groups will be formed to start working with an herbal action. Each group will work together over the weeks to craft presentations and formulas that exemplify their interpretation of their given topic: Warming, Stimulating, Soothing, Restorative, Building

February 23rd: Lozenges and Syrups

Herbs like Elderberries, Rose Hips, Marshmallow and Cranberry lay tucked away in wait for when we need them most. We’ll explore lozenges – both sweet and bitter – and syrups made from nutritive plants gathered on our farm.

March 8th: Field Trip to Holly Poole Kavana’s Homestead

Who knew wild herbs could be found and procured in the outskirt of D.C. Herbs can be found growing in bonded field, lots, even between the cracks in sidewalks. On this field trip we’ll get the chance to see how herbs grow in the wild. Holly will discuss the Anatomy of a Cough and we”ll make a cough remedy together.

Holly Poole-Kavana is a botanist and herbalist practicing in Washington, DC. She is a lifelong plant enthusiast and has a bachelor’s degree in botany. In 2005 she shifted her focus to herbal medicine and studied with a series of experienced herbalists in the classroom, clinic, and outdoors. Since 2010 she has operates Little Red Bird Botanicals, a small business that provides individual herbal consultations, an herbal CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), locally-grown herbal products, and education. Holly also works as a birth assistant and labor doula.

March 22nd: Winter Roots, Edibles and Tonics Foraging and Project Presentations

Fresh Pine and Spruce Tips, Yellow Dock, Burdock Root, Barberry, tender late-winter greens and many more flavors will be explored. Which flavors stimulate the liver? Which soothe throats? Which plants have a tradition of healing deep winter infections? Which herbs fall into our group’s herbal action study? We’ll walk, talk, gather and taste.

What do you mean by research and final presentation?

During the first class we will discuss herbal energetics and winter ailments. We’ll split into teams or groups and choose an ailment we want to learn more about (last year groups chose topics like skin health, seasonal affectedness disorder, herbal support for our romantic/love life and respiratory ailments) and then each group will be assigned an herbal energetic to work with in conjunction with their study topic. Over the 8 weeks together we’ll explore lots of topics in class, make herbal goodies to take home and use each other as a sounding board for ideas and questions. In between classes each group will be doing a little research on their topics and experimenting with a preparation (this can be as simple as drinking a tea every day and recording the effects) and at the end of our study we’ll share our findings, recipes, data and take-aways. Last year groups led us in lymphatic massages and sensory meditations, we tried herbal aphrodisiac treats and took home some scrubs for dry skin. Through the power of our teams, we’ll all come away with new knowledge, recipes and practical ways we can use herbs!

Can the final project be done individually instead of as a group?

Yes! Winter is a time for reflection, introspection and slowing down and we honor that. It’s also a time to sit in circles sharing stories, working together and easing each others load. Everyone will have a “group” that they can work with to conceptualize herbal energetics and share information and research with but if making an individual presentation is your preference we welcome that desire for personal creation.

What do you mean by “take-homes”?

We’ll be experimenting with making all kinds of things like tea-blends, creams, steams and bitters and we’ll be plucking pine needles, gathering winter roots and poking around looking for tender edibles. All of these things may find their way into your basket to go home after class.

For any additional questions, contact