April 13: Making Sun Care Products Workshop

In this fun and informative workshop you will learn the art of making your own effective, natural sunblocks, SPF lipbalm and after sun care products with no toxic compromises using only 100% natural and organic ingredients.

The workshop covers:

  • What is SPF?
  • An introduction to many different natural products such as base oils, essential oils, butters, teas, etc. that have natural SPF.
  • How to make everyday, light sunblock and stronger sunblock for more intense sun exposure.
  • How to make SPF lip balms including tinted lip balms using natural pigments.
  • After sun care: how to heal your skin when you’ve gotten too much sun.
  • Facial repair serums: what natural substances can be used to reverse sun damage.
  • Equipment, storage and preservation.

This workshop will include both lectures and demonstrations. Participants will receive samples of products that are prepared during the workshop as well as informative, detailed handouts including lots of recipes.

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019

Time: 10am – 5pm

Location: Living Earth School, Maple, Ontario. Carpooling can be arranged.

Tuition: $125 which includes all material fees, handouts and samples.

Instructor: Monika Ghent

Registration: To register, please click here.

Questions: If you have any questions about the workshop please contact Monika at


April 20: The Medicine Song of Sugar Maple

Calling all tree loving musicians! On April 20th my sister, Rita di Ghent, and I are offering any musician, whatever your instrument (including singers), to join us in receiving the medicine song of Sugar Maple.

This is the initial experiment of what we hope will blossom into the medicine songs of many Trees.

As a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer, I’ve been working with the spirit medicine of plants since 2006. About 11 years ago, the Trees told me that they would be giving to me a system of medicine called Tree Spirit Medicine. For the past two years, I’ve been offering TSM workshops. Last summer I was told by the Trees that they had medicine songs to offer us and showed me how they could be received.

The way the song of Maple will be received is through transmission through me of the spirit of Maple to everyone who is present. Maple will sing to each person her medicine song according to what instrument they play/sing. The transmission will last 20 minutes. After it is completed, the musicians will write out or memorize what they received and then we will all gather and play what we’ve been given together. What results will be the medicine song of Maple.

People who are interested in co-creating the medicine song of Maple must be proficient in whatever instrument they play.

Cost: Free!

Date: April 20, 2019

Time: 1pm – 4pm

Location: Living Earth School of Herbalism:

If this calls to you, please contact me at

Looking forward to creating with you!


p.s. Dancers, artists, tree enthusiasts, etc. are also welcome to come!


Beginning April 20: Herbal Field Studies with Michael Vertolli

 This is a series of seven full-day workshops running monthly from April to October. You will learn how to identify, harvest and use many wild herbs that grow in Ontario, many of which are native or naturalized in other regions as well. At each field workshop you will also have the opportunity to make some kind of herbal preparation using herbs that they will harvest during the workshop.

The course begins with an online Introductory Class that establishes the theoretical foundation for the field workshops. The field workshops take place in various wilderness locations outside of the Toronto area. Whenever possible, carpooling will be arranged for participants who do not have vehicles.

For students who enroll in the Traditional Herbalist program that do not live in southern or central Ontario and are unable to attend the regularly scheduled field workshops, the field workshops will be included as an extension to the Level 2, Advanced Workshops.

Topics include: Identifying local herbs through the various stages of their life-cycle; introductory botany and plant anatomy; the ecology of wild harvesting herbs; harvesting instructions for different herb species; drying herbs; making herbal preparations from fresh plants; the medicinal properties and uses of local herbs.

Prerequisite Herbal Field Studies Online Introductory Class.

Required textbooks:  Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Lawrence Newcomb); Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants of Eastern and Central North America (Steven Foster, James Duke).

Dates: Saturdays 10:30 am to 5 pm: April 20, May 11, June 8, July 6, 27, August 17, October 5. Carpooling can be arranged.

Tuition:  $65 per workshop. For students who attend the first six workshops in the year that they first enroll, the seventh workshop is free.

Instructor:  Michael Vertolli.

Registration: Once you have completed the online introductory lecture, please contact Michael at to sign up for the individual field workshops.


June 15: Tree Spirit Medicine Workshop - Black Walnut

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) 


“Acceptance makes an incredible fertile soil for the seeds of change.”  Steve Maraboli

In this experiential workshop, participants will connect with and receive the spirit medicine, wisdom, healing and guidance of Black Walnut.

The Tree Spirit Medicine of Black Walnut is about acceptance of what ‘is’. Black Walnut helps us to acknowledge and align with the ‘isness’ without resisting or denying it. When we’re in acceptance of what ‘is’ in the present moment, of all the unclaimed parts of ourselves, of the shadow self that lurks in our subconscious, we enter more fully the flow of life and shift naturally and fluidly into an expanded sense of consciousness, wellbeing, freedom and peace. From this peaceful and expanded place, we move with discernment and healthy boundaries, responding as life flows and moves around us, reaping the harvest of seeds planted in fertile soil. 

Date: Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm.  

Location:  Living Earth School in Maple, Ontario. Carpooling can be arranged.

Tuition:  $95.

Instructor:  Monika Ghent.

Registration: To register, please click here.

Questions: If you have any questions about the workshop please contact Monika at


July 7 - 12, 2019: The Spirit of Herbs with Michael Vertolli

Although the conventional belief is that the vast wealth of knowledge of the medicinal uses of herbs that has been accumulated by traditional cultures around the globe has resulted from trial and error, according to their traditions much of this knowledge and wisdom has come from a more direct source. The ability to connect and communicate with the many beings with whom we share the Earth— including plants—has long been considered one of the most important attributes of traditional healers. In the last few centuries, reductionism, rationalism and materialism have come to characterize the philosophy that underlies Western medical dogma. This has also had a significant influence on the practice of herbalism. The focus of the curricula of many herbal schools has shifted to the study of the pharmacological properties of chemical constituents of herbs as demonstrated in animal, in vitro and human clinical studies. As a result, the intuitive side of herbalism has been largely ignored or denied at a great cost to our connection to the medicines and effectiveness as healers. To truly master the art and science of herbalism it is necessary to develop both its intellectual and intuitive elements and find a balance between the two so that each supports and enhances the other.

There are many theories that have been proposed to explain the intuitive aspects of herbalism, however, this is something that can not be fully understood intellectually and must be directly experienced. The Spirit of Herbs workshops are intended to help participants to obtain this experience and ultimately to be able to integrate it into their daily lives and healing practice.

Although the content of these workshops may be practiced by individuals of any philosophy or faith, it does require an open-minded attitude. Some people may have difficulty accepting some of the views that are expressed. Anyone who is concerned about this should enquire further before enrolling in any of these workshops.

The Spirit of Herbs workshops are not intended to initiate anyone into the practice of "shamanism" although they do include some practices that are common to what have recently been generically referred to as "shamanic"—traditional healing systems that require practitioners to engage with the world in both a physical and spiritual capacity. Although useful to some extent, this term is limited and overused. It is sometimes considered offensive to traditional healers who prefer to use the appropriate terminology of their own tradition. Regardless of what we call it, the traditional healing path requires a personal calling and a life-long commitment. To be initiated into this path requires many years of intensive apprenticeship with elders who hold recognized lineages in their respective traditions.

The Spirit of Herbs is a six day intensive workshop that focuses on the energetic and intuitive elements of herbalism. It will help you to expand and deepen your connection to plant medicines and Nature. This workshop utilizes a variety of meditation and attunement exercises that will help you to experience a greater awareness of and connection with all aspects of the natural world and to develop your ability to intuit medicinal and energetic information directly from plants. It will also help you on your own healing journey and to live in deeper relationship with yourself and the world. The remainder of the workshop provides the theoretical background and guidelines to help you to integrate this knowledge and experience into your daily life. Whether you are called to work with plant medicines on a professional or purely personal level, you will find this workshop to be a life-changing and healing experience.

Dates:  Sunday July 7th to Friday July 12th, 2019. This workshop is now open for registration. There is a limit to the number of participants. It is best to register early as it often fills up.

Location:  Maple Sweet Rural Retreat, Rocklyn, Ontario. Car pooling can be arranged.

Tuition:  $850.

Food and Accommodations:  The fee for the workshop includes the cost of meals and accommodations. The meals are mostly vegetarian and organic as much as possible. Indoor accommodations consist of shared rooms that sleep two persons. Occasionally single rooms are available. Tenting is also an option.

Instructor:  Michael Vertolli.

Registration: Please click here to register.

Please contact Michael at if you have any questions or require further information.