Sunday, July 3, 2011

Planting the Seeds of Community Herbalism (and a contest!)

Welcome to The Thread! There's so much happening this summer at both the Goldthread farm and the apothecary that it's hard to know what news to share first. One of the most exciting developments, however, is the addition of a new program to our educational offerings, an 11 month long Community Herbalist course that begins this September. With classes taking place over the course of eight weekends throughout the year and culminating in a week-long intensive in August 2012, we're hoping students from both near and far can join us. Together we'll learn how to use herbs as the foundation of a cost effective, sustainable health care system at the individual, family, and community level.

Appropriate for health care professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of complementary medicine as well as those without previous experience who have a sincere interest in herbal medicine, participants in the Community Herbalist Program will study herbal theory and philosophy from a traditional Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic perspective, gaining in-depth knowledge of materia medica, formulation, traditional diagnosis, pathophysiology, herbal therapeutics, and traditional and modern dietetics.

Classes will take place at our 3+ acre medicinal herb farm in the beautiful hills of Conway, MA as well as at our herbal apothecary in Florence, MA. Students will have the opportunity to dig in the dirt, plant, harvest, and get to know medicinal herbs firsthand; learn about the distillation of essential oils with Goldthread’s on-site 85-gallon wood-fired distiller; and participate in the process of making a wide variety of commonly used preparations such as tinctures, salves, infused oils, creams, teas, decoctions, syrups, elixirs, cordials, compresses, poultices, tablets, powders, medicinal ghees, honeys, and more.

The Teachers:
William Siff is an experienced Clinical Herbalist and Licensed Acupuncturist who draws from Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbal traditions. Bill owns and operates Goldthread, a medicinal herb farm, apothecary, distillery, and education center in Western Massachusetts and travels throughout the US teaching about grassroots herbal medicine.

Mary Ryan graduated from Oxford University in England with a Masters in Human Biology and a PhD in medical anthropology in 1997. For her PhD she apprenticed in Asian medicine and researched its benefits for broader application in aid work. She maintains her acupuncture license in Europe, and is board certied in Chinese herbal medicine.

Full details (dates, cost, and curriculum) are available at Goldthead’s website:

You Share - We Share:
Help us spread the news about our Community Herbalist Program and be entered to win a delicious 2 oz. bag of Goldthread's Tulsi Rose Chai Tea (a fusion of Goldthread Farm Tulsi, Rose petals, and Chai spices) and a 9 oz. jar of Goldthread's spirit elevating Holy Basil Raw Honey! 

How to enter (it's easy):

1. Share this post on your own blog (it's ok to snag the photos for use in your post). You can earn a second entry by also becoming a follower of The Thread.

2. Come back to this post and leave us a comment, sharing a link to your Community Herbalist post and letting us know if you've also become a follower so we can enter your name in our drawing twice.

We will close the contest Sunday, July 31 at 12:00 pm EST and choose a winner by random draw, which we will announce the first week of August.

Thank you for helping us share the news!


  1. yay!

    two chances to win chai?
    so cool...

  2. I love the idea of this place and wished I lived closer so that I could experience some of it first-hand. But, second best is the chance to experience some of it in my own kitchen via a win from Goldthread. I'm just saying....wouldn't it be great?

  3. such a beautiful farm and i am only two hours away so may make it down some day soon.

    i became a follower. chance one!

    also posted about the farm. chance two!!

  4. Fabulous! Linked to your post with the marigold picture on my latest post.

  5. Wonderful post...linked in at Maggie's Garden to help spread the word. Thanks

  6. 1. I am a follower.
    2. Here's my post
    3. I am very intrigued.

  7. Hi, I found your blog on Karen's blog( the comment above mine);. I am very interested in your work. I became a follower . i am in France, hope that's not a problem....

  8. Great idea,and very beautiful farm you are developing. I appreciate it Herbalism