The Herbal Classroom

What is The Herbal Classroom?

The Herbal Classroom is a non-profit, 501c(3), educational center situated on the same property as Avena Botanicals. The Herbal Classroom offers classes in herbal healing and Biodynamic® and organic herb gardening. Indoor and outdoor classes occur in our beautiful garden and octagon-shaped classroom with a mission to encourage students to use their hearts, hands and minds to engage in learning the healing ways of plants.  

View the Upcoming Class Schedule

The Herbal Classroom's Mission

The Willow House Classroom

The Herbal Classroom's mission is to train individuals and health care providers to work as educators, herbal practitioners, farmers, and gardeners in providing herbal knowledge and high quality herbs to their community in responsible, earth-friendly, and community-minded ways.

With several generous tax-deductible donations, we constructed a 1200 square foot community classroom on Avena's farm in 2008. Though not completed, we have hosted many successful educational programs over the years since. With increasingly more people using healing herbs in their wellness routines, the demand for locally grown herbs and herbal training courses is growing.

The Herbal Classroom building needs to be completed so we can meet the requests of students and healthcare providers seeking to serve their families and communities with herbs. As the cost of health care continues to rise, nutritional and herbal knowledge is becoming ever more important for supporting healthy communities.

In recent years, the Herbal Classroom:

  • Offered two paid garden internships -- one for four months and one for one week -- through our program supporting Black, Brown, and Indigenous gardeners/farmers and herbalists.
  • Piloted a paid artist in residence for a Black artist, healer, dancer.
  • Hosted a few Black and Brown healers who needed a place to rest.
  • Gifted several pounds of dried herbs and other herbal remedies to different apothecaries led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous herbalists and to a Black herbalist serving unhoused folks in Providence, RI.
  • Hosted three garden walks led by herbalist Deb Soule -- a walk for Wild Seed Project and two garden walks for medical students.
  • Gifted Calendula salves to projects serving women and children challenged by domestic violence via the Help Grow A Row project.

In 2024, the Herbal Classroom will launch its own website; stay tuned, it is almost finished and we will share the link to this new website here and in future Avena Botanicals newsletters.

Your support of the Herbal Classroom means so much. Every amount given will strengthen our ability to offer meaningful programs and herbs to folks who have historically been marginalized.

We are currently seeking tax-deductible donations to finish the classroom building, support the development of new educational programs, support two yearly BIPOC internships, and support the gifting of herbs to Indigenous-led apothecaries and projects serving domestic violence survivors.


Sister Project to The Herbal Classroom: Grow a Row

The Grow a Row project is a grassroots initiative with a mission to inspire more dialogue, support, and understanding of the root causes of violence and oppression by encouraging people to grow and dry Calendula for healing purposes in their communities.

Anyone who has a small or large organic garden can "grow a row" of Calendula, collect the flowers regularly, and dry them. Store the dried flowers in a glass jar in a cupboard or in a clean brown paper bag. Then, contact a local organization that serves women and children who have experienced abuse. Tell them about the Grow a Row project and your wish to donate dried flowers for tea or herbal baths or to donate Calendula oil or salve that you make from your flowers.

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