Herb Garden Experience

This is an opportunity for students (or anyone wanting to learn about herbs) to participate in a functioning herb garden on top of the Niagara Escarpment and experience working with the herbs used by a practicing herbalist.

This requires a commitment of a minimum of 50 hours which can be scheduled as convenient.  Herb days are Wednesdays and Fridays, with the addition of some Saturdays between the Victoria Day weekend and Labour Day, i,e, weather permitting.  Please contact Susan for a current schedule of available dates.

  • The first hour will be an orientation:    tour of the garden, dispensary, solarium  and office with discussion of harvesting and processing of herbs and general outline of the day’s activities.
Susan Elliotson's Herb Garden Experience
This bed needs weeding!

Activities include:

  •  weeding, digging, planting/transplanting and garden maintenance throughout the day and season.
  •  between 9 a.m. and 12 noon harvesting herbs as they are ready, beginning in April.  Tentative dates for harvesting will be confirmed once the herbs are ready.  Because of the unpredictability of weather and the growing season, confirmation will be a day or two in advance and may have to be cancelled on the morning of the day.  This will be done by e-mail or text message.
  • processing of harvested herbs, either to dry or to make tinctures or ointments.
  • digging root herbs can be taken throughout the day but afternoon or evening are best and will be done in early spring, and begin again in late August or September.
Susan Elliotson's Herb Garden Experience
Dandelions ready to go!
  • Orientation may be combined with weeding, planting, harvesting, digging or processing.  Because of the nature of medicinal plants, harvesting and weeding are often combined, depending on the herbs involved.
Susan Elliotson's Herb Garden -Drying Herbs
Drying Herbs – Chamomile, Red Clover and Calendula
  • All weeding, planting, harvesting, digging or processing will include discussion of the plants worked with, their properties and actions, both medicinal and horticultural.
  • Participants should bring their own lunches, hats, sun lotion and insect repellent.  Water, tea, bathroom and refrigerator facilities will be provided.  (Sorry, I don’t do coffee but there is a Tim Horton’s within 1K .  Lunchtime discussions often include creation of formula which are compounded in the afternoon.  Students will be encouraged to watch and/or participate in this.
  • The temperature here may be as much as 10°C cooler than in Toronto or Mississauga so take that into consideration when dressing for the garden. Dress warmly and in layers.  The sun gets very hot.
  • For details of inside work, check the Herbal Pharmacy header.
  • Travel time to my garden is about an hour by car from Toronto, 50 minutes from Mississauga, depending from where you start. There is no public transportation in Caledon.  Car pooling is encouraged.
  • Tools for weeding, planting, harvesting, digging or processing will be available but students may prefer to bring their own gloves, shovels, trowels or secateurs.
  • A maximum of six participants at a time can be accommodated.
  • Anyone wishing to participate should contact Susan directly at elliotsone@sympatico.ca . Rarely available to take phone calls, Susan usually responds quickly by e-mail or text messages.
  • This is an approved Placement Employer Partners Co-op Program (PEP Co-op) for students of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.