She is not a qualified medical herbalist and she knows her own skills' boundaries. She shares her knowledge freely, not seeking personal gain but wanting to show others what she has learned, to pass on the wisdom of the ancestors to the next generation.
A herbwife is continually learning and growing through working with others either as an apprentice or by offering her own apprenticeship.
If you would like to be a herbwifery apprentice, you can apply now to become a 2017 Springfield Sanctuary Apprentice. The opportunity will close on Friday, 9 December 2016 and applications will not be considered after that date.
Each apprentice is expected to:
- choose up to twenty herbs to study during the year
- choose one herbal ally to study in depth during the year
- attend at least six of the fifteen workshops throughout the year (four of which must be at the Sanctuary),
- attend two out of the three work days designated during the year
- attend the Herb Festival held on the second weekend in September, helping with organisational tasks including setting up in the week beforehand and taking down on the Sunday afternoon/evening and contributing to content
- complete the tasks set by the mentor within given timescales
- work within the Sanctuary herb beds – digging, weeding, planting, harvesting etc., taking responsibility for a designated area.
- keep a herbal diary and/or online blog detailing activities and learning
- participate in online activities to feed back personal progress and contribute to discussions
- evaluate personal progress at the end of twelve months
By the end of twelve months, the apprentice will have:
- improved knowledge and understanding of up to twenty personally chosen herbs.
- grown herbs from seeds, cuttings or divisions and taken note of their development using drawings or photography.
- shared in practical tasks to manage the Sanctuary herb beds.
- harvested flowers, aerial parts, berries and roots
- made teas, decoctions, macerations, syrups, infused oils, salves, tinctures, vinegars, flower essences and elixirs
- familiarised themselves with a variety of body processes such as respiration, digestion, circulation etc. and looked at several herbs which can help to balance these processes.
- participated in online action learning
- completed tasks set by the mentor and fed back the results to the other apprentices
- begun to share knowledge, enthusiasm and herbal extractions with family and friends