Calling all aspiring herbalists and educators


Following a very successful pilot program, we are gearing up for the second season of our Budding Herbalist Internship Program! This is a hands-on educational opportunity for beginning herbalists. For 8 weeks, 5 interns live, work, and study together on our organic farm. Interns help on the farm 4 days per week with the cultivation, maintenance and harvest of medicinal herbs. In the evenings, they attend classes on a wide range of topics in herbal medicine and holistic health. We provide housing in a beautiful, modern guesthouse, as well as essential medicine making supplies to encourage interns to develop their skills over their 8-week stay. Weekends are mostly free to explore the area, with organized plant hikes scheduled every other Saturday.

For 2019, we will run 3 different sessions. Applicants are welcome to apply to all 3 sessions, though participation is limited to one session only.

  1. Spring: May 5 - June 28, 2019

  2. Summer: July 7 - August 30, 2019

  3. Fall: September 8 - November 1, 2019

Echinacea in bloom on our 90-acre organic farm

Echinacea in bloom on our 90-acre organic farm

Located in Sandy, Oregon, Eclectic Institute is in a prime spot for adventuring. We have Mt. Hood National Forest as our backyard, the scenic Columbia River Gorge just 15 miles to the north, and rapidly-growing Portland, Oregon just an hour drive west. There is no shortage of beautiful wilderness, world-class hiking, and epic fun to be had around here.


Eclectic Institute is tucked just outside of the Bull Run wilderness area, about 30 miles east of Portland.

The classes are taught by many different teachers in order to provide a well-rounded approach to health and herbalism. They are experts in their field, many of whom operate their own herbal schools in the area. The program will primarily be taught from a traditional western perspective, at an introductory level. There will be classroom-style learning in addition to plant hikes in Mt. Hood National Forest. Some of our courses include:

  • Introduction to Holistic Herbalism & Constitutional Medicine

  • Basic Botany in the Classroom and Field (2-part series)

    • includes working with non-native plants and ethical wild-crafting

  • Bioregional Herbalism

  • Sustainable Herbalism: Why we work with weeds

  • Decolonizing Herbalism (4-part series)

  • Herbal Actions & Formulations

  • Astrological Herbalism

  • Introduction to Flower Essences

  • Natural Dyes 101

  • Raw Goat Milk Soap Making

  • Herbal Extractions (a 4-part introductory series on crafting herbal remedies)

  • Food as Medicine

  • Digestive Health & Cleansing

  • First Aid in the Forest

Please note that courses may vary slightly from one season to the next. While we like to maintain consistency as much as possible, sometimes we have to swap out one class for another, due to teachers’ availability.

Read more about these courses, and who's teaching them, here:

From our 2018 program to 2019, we are expanding the program from 6 weeks to 8. As such, we will continue adding courses to the curriculum, though at this point they are TBD.

During the course of each session, interns will have the opportunity to assist with Eclectic Institute’s other community education events. This will serve as an excellent way to reinforce their learning by teaching it to others!

  • In Spring, we will run a 1-week herb camp for kids age 8-12

  • In Summer, we will run a 1-week Garden-to-Table cooking camp for kids (ages TBD)

  • In Fall, we will offer a mini workshop series for adult learners

Overall, we aim to create an internship program that is rooted in accessibility and anti-oppression work. We take cultural appropriation seriously, and will strive to cultivate a culture of respect.

Flynne welcoming 2018 interns in milky oats field

Flynne welcoming 2018 interns in milky oats field


There are no direct costs associated with the program. Housing, education, and medicine-making supplies will be provided to interns. Interns will be largely responsible for providing their own food. The guesthouse will be stocked with some bulk items and essentials to get interns started, and there is an organic vegetable garden next to the guesthouse for interns to glean from. Anything beyond this will need to be purchased by interns. There are plenty of grocery stores and a farmers market in Sandy, a quick 10-minute drive from the farm. Based on expenditures from 2018 interns, you might expect to spend about $250 throughout the course of your stay.

To be considered for this internship:

  • First and foremost, you must love plants. No experience or training in herbalism is required, just a willingness to learn and a commitment to work hard.

  • Half of this program is working as a farmhand on a medicinal herb farm. It is an opportunity to learn some organic farming skills alongside our seasoned farmers. This internship is best suited to someone who likes working outdoors and getting dirty, and is happy doing physically demanding or repetitive labor. There will be a lot of walking, lifting, and bending over for extended periods of time. We will expect you to show up for work each morning on time and ready to follow the instructions that the farm manager will have for you.

  • You must actively enjoy living with other people from diverse backgrounds. If you have appreciation for people from all sexual orientations, gender identities, racial and cultural backgrounds, and physical and mental abilities, this program welcomes you. We aim to put together a group of emotionally mature, respectful, and culturally sensitive individuals. You should also keep in mind that you will be sharing a house with 4 other people, so if you have difficulty in shared spaces or with open, direct communication, this may not be for you.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, we would love to hear from you! Please fill out an internship application form and send to

Thank you!

Jed Thaggard

Education Coordinator

2018 interns on a plant hike with Nicole Telkes discussing Bioregional Herbalism

2018 interns on a plant hike with Nicole Telkes discussing Bioregional Herbalism


We are looking to expand our curriculum for 2019, and are accepting applications! Please look over the classes that we currently offer, and be in touch with suggestions that you think would be complementary to this coursework.

While it is an herbal-focused program, we are hoping to offer our interns a well-rounded approach to holistic health and its intersection with environmental sustainability. Further, we are aiming to address issues related to access to healthcare in marginalized communities. We are particularly interested in including teachers from diverse backgrounds and healing lineages, as we think the most complete learning is achieved when viewed through a wide-angle lens.

Please propose any topics you feel would augment this program! Classes will be scheduled for 3-hour time slots on weekday evenings and select weekend mornings/afternoons, in Sandy, Oregon. Most classes will be taught to 5 students at an introductory level. Pay rate will be $40-50/hour DOE.

Please send a resume and brief cover letter, which outlines the following:

  • Who you are and what you do

  • What is your educational background, or where did you receive your training?

  • What is your experience with teaching?

  • If your proposal includes skills that originate from people native to this area, do you have tribal affiliations, or have you been granted permission from Native elders to teach them?

  • Do you have any examples of your work? (publications, blogs, website, Instagram, etc.)

Please also send your proposed course description and outline.

Materials can be sent to - and please also let me know if there are any questions you may have. Thank you for your interest in being a part of this program! We look forward to hearing from you!


Jed Thaggard

Education Coordinator