Community Herbalist Retreat

Community Herbalist Retreat

Regular price $350.00 Sale


We invite you to join us for our Community Herbalist Retreat - an annual three day plant and spirit centered celebration for practicing and aspiring herbalists, held in a beautiful rural Maine setting during the height of summer. 

We have an outstanding  weekend in store for you!

Our retreat setting is the Blessed Maine Herb Farm - our lush herb gardens and the woodland, waterways and fields that surround us. We'll have use of our School House at the edge of the medicinal herb gardens for indoor classroom space and a tent as needed, and will plan plenty of enjoyable time for walking the Medicine Trail and splashing around in the Wesserunsett Stream between formal classes.

The Community Herbalist Retreat is a relaxed, intimate, inspiring and rejuvenating time spent in the slow lane among the plants and with those who share a love of herbal medicines.

This sense of community, of building a cohesive plant honoring, reciprocal, eco friendly, woman centered, entirely magical, deeply spiritual, loosely woven, yet immensely supportive group of like minded people, all coming together for the weekend...well, it's a lot of fun and it's an excellent herbal learning experience, on so many levels, and, honestly, it's deep soul nourishing inspiration of the finest kind.

Bring your notebook, yes, but also bring your curiosity, your child spirit, your willingness to enjoy and relax, to share, to drop your mask and relate soul to soul in a loving and supportive plant centered community setting.

Come play...we'll be celebrating our beauty, deepening our understanding of the medicinal as well as magical properties of plants and trees. We're going to create amulets, flower mandalas and herb bundles, and practice plant identification skills...we're also going to journey within, tend to our inner selves as well as dance with plant spirits and sing some songs. During the course of the weekend, we will rock ceremony, prayer, dream, storytelling, singing, drumming, art making, and of course, our morning yoga...while enhancing our sense of mutual support as we build confidence and skills necessary to move forward as community healers. Seven fabulous meals, camping and all materials are included in the fee.


“It was a privilege to be on your land and to be with you and the students who you brought together…I felt present and my heart was opened - and i felt that other people were in the same place too. Vibing together is the best. I experienced healing. And so much enjoyment being with these beautiful people who you brought together and attracted….I also experienced something that left me heightened and inspired - and was lifted up. I think you helped me to get to another level….Anyway, I had a meaningful experience during the retreat. And I want to thank you for that…Thank you again, I look forward to coming back.”


"As I am sitting in my home decompressing from the weekend, I want to thank you for a special weekend. I am so grateful to have been a part of such an extraordinary experience - it’s just what I needed to reset myself after an incredibly challenging school year teaching. My heart is so full right now and I am over the moon as I process the connections to feminine energy, to our Mother, and of course my own mother. Thank you for sharing your space, energy, and love with us; you are a beautiful soul! Hope we meet again…."


"I just attended and taught at a weekend retreat at Blessed Maine Herb Farm, in Athens. It filled my soul to reconnect with dear friends, meet new ones, eat delicious food, learn new things, sleep like a rock, do yoga, create art, partake in sacred ceremony, sing, chant, drum, and rattle. I've released some of what I don't need and made space for new growth. It was nourishing and transformative."

"Thank you, Gail Faith Edwards, for sharing your knowledge, your holy space, and your wild heart with us. Thank you to the staff with boots on the ground for taking such good care of us. Thank you to everyone who attended and held space of safety and unconditional acceptance. I'm already looking forward to next year." 


"I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed the retreat . . . I got a little emotional at the end, because so much of what you and others were saying and doing resonated so strongly for me. I haven't been with such a like-minded group in such a long time! I felt so truly gathered in and lifted up . . . definitely soul restorative! Thank you for holding such a beautiful space for us all!"


"Thank you again for three wonderful days at your retreat!"


Presentation Information
Our weekend begins on Friday morning (arrival/ set-up between 10AM-11:30) and continues to mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Here's what we've got planned thus far:

Grounding with Oak with Suzanne Stone

Grounding with Oak - Majestic, solid Oak offers such support, relation & solace for many folx, human & beyond.  We explore ways to work with & honor Oak through story sharing, tree sitting/meditation, poetry, song, identification, folklore, medicine, magic

Suzanne Belle Stone has the fortune of sleeping nightly beside a great Red Oak. A student of Gail's, she is a Community/Intuitive Herbalist who lives with & honors the spirals of the seasons. She tends & is tended to by herbal/tree allies & land spirits where she resides along the coast on unceded Wabanaki land, often called Maine. Here she grows & co-creates herbal creations with these plant allies. Suzanne teaches classes that focus on honoring relation with the verdant world, hands-on co-creating with plants, kitchen & Tree medicines, planetary & plant folklore & magic of her Irish/Scottish/French/Celtic ancestry as well as paying homage to the wisdom of other traditions & ways. Most recently, she has the honor of working with children in a Forest Day & homeschooling enrichment program during the school year & receiving her certificate of completion for Reflexology.

Leaky Gut with Cecilia Quimby

.During this class we will explore “Leaky Gut” What is it? Do you experience bloating, gas, indigestion, cloudy brain, food sensitivity, autoimmune issues. We will discuss strategies to improve digestion which include herbs, fermented foods, bone broth and intermittent fasting.

Cecilia Quimby is a Registered Nurse, for 40 plus years, and is currently working in Southern Maine in Home Health. She studied herbalism with Gail Faith Edwards, Mischa Schuler and Deb Mercier. Cecilia is a longtime Tai chi practitioner. 

Creating Flower Mandalas as Ritual and Blessing with Pam Post 

We will discuss mandala making as a form of meditation, altar, ritual, and prayer and as a traditional practice spanning years and cultures. We will intentionally gather our plant material and assemble our mandalas, share an intention if that feels right, then release our mandalas and send our prayers out into the world.

Pam Post is a botanical artist living in Waldoboro, whose medium is plant material. She began creating flower mandalas while studying at Blessed Maine Herb Farm as an apprentice community herbalist in 2019. Her designs have been featured on greeting cards and calendars and  in books. She also eco prints plant compositions on paper, silk, wool and leather. Her ecoprinted scarves, books and purses are sold durning summer months at mid coast farmers markets 

Learn to Make a Japanese Knotweed Flute with Julie Hundley

Using a prepared knotweed stalk, we will each make a flue that is similar to a Native  American flute. Each flute has its own sound and after some practice you can play beautiful tunes in your garden or other sacred spot.

Julie is a biodynamic gardener and beekeeper and has been caring for Sunnyknoll, six acres of heaven in Southern Maine for the last 25 years. After having taught for 25 years, Julie retired and transformed Sunnyknoll into a place where she can teach others how connect with the natural world through relationship with plants. Julie spends her growing season with aspiring gardeners, many of whom are young teens, teaching about the honorable harvest and recognizing plants as living allies with much to offer spiritually, emotionally and physically. Through reciprocity, students are inspired to learn to pay attention, look deeply and and give thanks to our other living relatives that inhabit the garden.

Vibrational Essence

Tribe, Connection, Healing, Safety, Beauty...

These are some of the words we associate with the annual Community Herbalist Retreat, at Blessed Maine Herb Farm. Wouldn't it be great if we could bottle up the feelings these words conjure? We can! And we look forward to sharing this technique with you! Join in a communal creation of a "Blessed Essence" to tap into whenever you need a little support from your tribe ~ everyone will receive a bottle to take home.


Saturday and Sunday Morning Yoga with Ryan Jackson

Morning Yoga in the Garden
We will meet in the garden to enjoy a spine based yoga series, suitable for all levels. Both energizing and calming, it is sure to be a positive way to start the day. No props are required, just bring a yoga mat or a large towel.

Yoga Nidra with Sound Bath with Ryan Jackson

In this meditative practice of stillness, we will hover between wakefulness and sleep, a place of deep healing. It provides an ideal setting for both cultivation and letting go. During this Nidra, we will have the addition of Himalayan singing bowls washing over us, assisting in relaxation and release.

 Herbal Cordials and Hawthorn with Ryan Jackson

In this presentation, we will learn what an herbal cordial is and how it can be a fun & easy way to take your herbs. We will touch on some of hawthorn’s many healing properties and make our own hawthorn cordial to take home!

Ryan Marie Jackson lives with her husband, two daughters and Cobberdog in Massachusetts. Currently, Ryan is teaching yoga as well as local herbal classes. She has coached people through various healing nutritional programs while helping them learn about and use herbs for support. Food was Ryan’s first plant medicine, learning about diet as the basis for healing.  She has been gardening for most her life and still has not yet learned how to avoid buying way too many plants every spring. After having children, over 17 years ago, herbs became an intuitive way to care for her family and she has been studying whole-heartedly since.  She has attended many classes throughout the years, learning from well-respected herbalists from around the world.  Definitely a wild-hearted herbalist, her inspiration comes from the plant spirits as well as the mind-blowing science of it all

Our Ancient Lineage as Women Healers - with Gail Faith Edwards

We women have an ancient lineage as healers, as herbalists. We will trace the roots of our tradition that extends in an unbroken line, far back into prehistory.  We will acknowledge and honor all those who have used plants as well as water, salt, stones, minerals, animal parts, music, story, chant, rhythm and trance to nourish and heal, to divine and to offer direction and guidance to their communities. 

Fa Lo Santuccio, Do a Little Holy Thing with Gail Faith Edwards

The practice of Benedicaria is all pervasive in Southern Italia. These spiritual practices and traditional ways of restoring health to body, mind and spirit, long referred to as "just the way we do things", became known as Benedicaria, a term that links spiritual faith, from the dawn of time, to our physical well-being. We're going to continue exploring the pharmacopeia and practices of the Benedetta, and also to deepen the traditional Southern Italian Healing Dream work we’ve been exploring the past few years. This work will be informally woven into our weekend together.

Gail Faith Edwards, is a Community Herbalist with more than forty years experience. She is the author of several books on herbal medicine, operates a vibrant medicinal herb farm, school and herbal products business and consults with clients. She teaches internationally, leads sacred journeys to Southern Italy twice a year and has students around the world.

Ceremony of Condolence - Saturday night fire, Summer Solstice Ceremony

World affairs have been such this past year that many of us are dealing with a bottleneck of fears, frustration, deep sadness, helplessness, even despair. The very real effects of Global Warming, the increasingly rapid extinction of plants, animals and cultures, the heavy heartache over what is happening in the Middle East, combined with on-going corporate greed and world-wide political conflicts, are just a few of the issues that have impacted all of us negatively, and continue to do so, whether we are conscious of it or not. It is difficult to be a creative and optimally functional member of community while weighed down by worry and sadness over things for which we have little control.  During our Ceremony of Condolence we will each have a chance to speak what is in our hearts.. We will employ flame bathing, rhythm, feather and herbal waters to ceremonially burn, brush and wash away this clinging negativity, to lift and cleanse our spirits, remove what weighs us down, and give each of us a fresh new start and hopefully inspire creative and transformative ideas about how best to take action in our local communities for the benefit of all

Magical plant gathering

After the release of that which no longer serves us and welcoming fresh, new energy into our lives we will gather herbs for magical purposes, as is traditional on this sacred night.

Sunday morning magic hour - creating amulets and herb bundles.

Sunday morning Barter Faire - bring your beautifully handcrafted items to barter! 

Blessing of Roses Ceremony will close our weekend.

SEVEN EXQUISITE ORGANIC MEALS AND CAMPING ARE INCLUDED IN YOUR FEE. All our meals will be freshly prepared with local, organically grown produce, and this is included in your fee. In fact, our mealtimes are sure to be one of the many highlights of our time together!

Choose your camping spot in the herb gardens or up in the new orchard, next to the newly planted pollinator habitat, an acre full of native wildflowers. The views are beautiful up there and the sky is so big. You can get fresh wild water at the spring or use the water provided from our kitchen. It all comes from the same fabulously pristine source, an ancient glacial lake buried deep under the earth here.

You will need to bring a tent and camping supplies if you intend to camp, a knife, basket or bag, notebook and pen, and personal items of choice. We have a limited amount of rustic indoor sleeping space for those who prefer indoor accommodations. You will still need to bring a sleeping pad, blankets, etc. Please let us know when you register that you would like this choice. Again, these spaces are limited and assigned on a first come, first served basis.

A list of local motels and bed & breakfasts will be provided to those who ask.

Please note that the retreat is a smoke free zone. Dogs, drugs and alcohol are not permitted.

We ask that all cell phones be turned off during classes and we have a strict no cell phones in the gardens policy to protect our pollinators. You may use your cell phone, as necessary, in the driveway area.

Detailed Schedule 2023
Our 2024 schedule has not yet been formed, but will follow a similar pattern: 

10:00 -12:00 – arrival/camp set up
Opening prayer 12:00 noon
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
2 – 3:00 – Oil Extraction with Kathy Gray
3:00 – 4:00 - Tick Prevention and Care with Cecilia Quimby
4:00 - 5:30  Fantasy and Folklore with Deb Fate Mental
5:30 - 6:30 dinner
7:00 – 8:30 Storytelling with Gail

7:00 - 8:00 - Yoga with Ryan Jackson
7:00 coffee and tea
7:30 – 8:30 breakfast served
9:00 - 10:00 Stroll the herb gardens together 

10:00 - 11:30 Petroglyphs on the River outing - sing the Water Song to Bless the Waters    

12:00 – 1:00 lunch                                                                                                                                             1:30 - 2:45 Honey Electuaries with Julie Hundley                                                                                               3:00 - 4:00 - Making Color with Gail Faith Edwards
4:15 – 5:30 Grieving with Pine with Susan Stone
5:45 – 6:45 dinner
7:00 – 8:00 Fa Lo Santuccio - Healing Dream Preparation with Gail Faith Edwards
8:00 - 10:00 Summer Solstice Fire - Magical Plant Gathering

7:00 - 8:00 yoga with Ryan Jackson
7:00 coffee and tea
7:30 – 8:30 breakfast served
7:30 - 8:30 Stroll the gardens independently
8:30 - 9:30 – Creating Protective Amulets and Fumigation Wands/Smudge Sticks
9:30 - 10:30- Barter Fair! Bring your herbal or other handmade creations to trade!
10:30 - 12:00 - Flower Mandalas with Pam Post
12:30 – 1:30 lunch
1:45 - 2:30rose blessing closing ceremony
2:30 - 4 PM camp breakdown and depart

Note: If you are staying off the farm please arrive in time for the opening ceremony at 12 noon on Friday.

Register and pay in full for the Community Herbalist Retreat at the link provided at the top of this page. If you are a currently enrolled student in the Year-Long Body Systems course you are eligible for a 25% discount on our registration fee. Email for coupon.