Autumn 2015 Connecticut Herbal Classes (level 2) with Jiling

I finalized my Connecticut level 2 herb classes, for autumn 2015. These classes are primarily geared towards the students that were with me for spring 2015, though others are welcome too (but let's chat, first.) Lecture days are more advanced, whereas field days are more accessible to folks with less experience.

I'm still working on scheduling basic medicine making (level 1) classes (they'll review the spring session for those who wanted to, but couldn't make it). I'm leaning towards Wednesday evenings, from 6:30- 8:30 PM, following the same approximate timeline (late September to late November) as the level 2 classes.

I'm considering creating a weekly kids' class. I am currently one-on-one mentoring one young student with wild edible and medicinal botanicals, and am happy to take on more students and turn that into a more formal class, if there's enough interest. 

I am also looking for marketing assistance, if you have suggestions. Thanks! 

On that note, here's...

Autumn 2015 Connecticut Botanical Medicine Level 2 Classes with Jiling

Autumn herbal classes will alternate between lecture and field classes.

Lecture classes:
Lecture classes cover a variety of topics, primarily materia medica for different body systems. These classes take place indoors with tea, discussion, and samples. A basic understanding of herbal principles is requested for this class. 

Field classes:
Field classes take place outdoors; all are welcome. These classes may include plant walks, botanical field identification, medicine making, sharing herbal projects, and general discussions/ Q+A. Please dress appropriately for walking outdoors, and bring your current herbal projects to share. Please RVSP, as some classes may take place in other locations, and the schedule/ location may shift with the season, and weather.


When: Tuesday nights, 6:30- 8:30 PM. Sept. 22 to Nov. 24. Come for one, or all, of the classes. Drop-in’s are welcome, though pre-registration is preferred.
Where: Out-on-a-Whim Farm (312 Litchfield Turnpike Bethany, CT)
Cost: Sliding scale $30- $50 per class. Trades welcome; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Register: Contact Jiling at LinJiling@gmail.com or 626-344-9140

Weekly Schedule

1. Herbal overview: constitutional evaluation, actions and energetics (9/22)
2. Field Class (9/29)
3. Nervous system (10/6)
4. Field Class (10/13)
5. Digestive system (10/20)
6. Field Class (10/27)
7. Respiratory system (11/3)
8. Field Class (11/10)
9. Herbal first aid II: commonly seen conditions, materia medica (11/17)
10. Field Class (11/24)



Smell a rose. Really stick your face into it. Notice its intoxicating perfume, how it draws you in, makes you feel. Notice its velvety petals. Open your mouth, and hold one of those petals in it. Breathe that aroma into your mouth, into your body. Lick the rose petal, then slowly begin eating it. Notice its aroma, how it courses through your body, as you imbibe this plant that has been associated with love, the heart, pleasure, and medicine, through cultures all over the world, from ancient times, til present moments.

All parts of the Rose plant (Rosa spp.) are useful: buds, petals, leaves, hips, seeds. I particularly enjoy the buds, petals, and hips. The leaves are more astringent, whereas the buds and petals are calming, cooling, slightly astringent, and balancing. The hips contain more vitamin C and antioxidants, and a tangy flavor. Buds may be collected at the start of the rose season, early spring or late summer, depending on your location. Petals are best collected right after the flower’s been at the height of its bloom, when it’s already been pollinated, and the petals are already preparing to fall off. I bring my gathering bag right under the flower, open my hand wide, then just brush the petals in. Hips can be gathered fresh or dried on the plant. This is a gentle yet powerful plant that is beneficial as both food and medicine, often abundantly plentiful, and highly enjoyable. Here’s a few of my favorite preparations:

Buds, petals, and hips all dry to make elegant teas, or combined with other dried plants for more complex tea formulas. Buds and petals have a gentle sweetness, and help unify any tea formula, especially when one is in need of soothing, relaxing, loving energy. Also wonderful used in a potpourri, or bath.

Rose petal honey
Fill a glass jar with fresh and clean rose petals, then fill again with honey. Honey is antibacterial, so if the petals are not too moist, then this preparation can last indefinitely. Store in a cool, dark place. Useful for superficial wounds and burns, or used as you would any usual honey. Decadent.

Rose petal sugar
Layer rose petals and your sugar of choice atop each other in a glass jar, until the jar is full. Let sit. If the petals are dry, then this turns into a delicious rose candy. If the petals are moist, then it turns into a candy-like syrup. If you add water (my mom’s favorite preparation), then it becomes a delicious rose wine. If making rose wine or any other fermentation, just make sure that all of your tools are sterilized first, to prevent unwanted mold growth. Otherwise, enjoy.

Rose petal/ hip jam
Rose petals make for a lighter tasting, highly aromatic jam. Rose hips create a sweet and sour jam. Try both! Just boil down the petals or hips in water, until the water is reduced to half. Add enough sugar that it tastes just slightly (or very) overly sweet. Have your sterilized tools prepared beforehand, then can it up! Enjoy through the winter. If making rose hip jam, try to de-seed the hips before heating them, as after heating they become very sticky, and difficult to work with. I like using fresh hips for this. I cut them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then plop the fleshy de-seeded bodies right into my cooking pot. Use this jam as you would any other jam. It tastes absolutely amazing, and can really help brighten up a long cold winter, or even just a tough day.

Rose petal coconut oil
Fill a jar with freshly wilted rose petals. Place the jar into a pot of water, creating a double-boiler type situation. (Or just use a crock pot.) Heat it all up, gradually filling the bottle with coconut oil, which melts with the surrounding heat. Let sit for a few hours, then strain. Delicious eaten, used as a decadent personal lubricant, or combined in other recipes, such as chocolates, or other sweets.

Rose petal vinegar
Fill a jar (notice a pattern, here?) with fresh rose petals. Fill again with apple cider vinegar, so that it covers the petals. Let sit for 2 weeks, then strain out the petals. This vinegar is delicious, with all the wonderful aforementioned rosy properties. It is also helpful as a wonderful sunburn remedy, or toner.

Roses are missible in a variety of menstrua, meaning that they go well into lots of different things, even being adaptable to different people. Other rose-related project possibilities include rose petal tincture, rose elixir, rose hydrosol, rose glycerite, rose hip seed oil, rose water, and rose petal chocolates. Get to know your local rose varieties. Experiment with these and your own preparations, and if nothing else, just spend time with them: pick them and place them around your home, admire them, and always remember to stop to smell, touch, see, feel, taste, and know the roses.


Sauerkraut Recipe

Fun, easy, delicious, and improves gut microflora health. Eat it, and feel your gut microbiota dancing. Make it, customize it with wild edibles, feast, and then feel them dancing even more joyously. Enjoy! 

1.       Chop/ grate cabbage finely into a large bowl. (You can add anything… onions, garlic, turmeric, various wild roots, etc.)
2.       Massage salt into the cabbage, adding 1 T salt at a time. Add 2 T of salt per head of cabbage. This will release the cabbage juices. Keep massaging it to break down the cell walls, until there seems to be enough liquid released to cover all the solids.
3.       Stuff it all into a clean glass jar. Submerge it under its' own juices, with a stone or glass jar to push down the plant matter below the juices. 
4.       Cover with cloth, and let sit for a week or so. 
5.       Enjoy!



Sit somewhere where with many talking people, such as in a cafe or on a busy street. Emptying out your own mind, open up your ears, and just listen. Listen to the streams of conversation floating in and out of your consciousness. Start writing these down, allowing them to be as disjointed as they sound. Don’t track of follow any of the conversations. Just record the pieces as they come in. You can move around to other places and continue to write down what you hear, as you hear it. Enjoy the disjointed yet conjoined collaborative conversation “piece” that arises from this exercise!