Mar 212018


Plant Healers at the borders of medicine and celebration…

Classes for Herbalists, Healers, & Culture Shifters – at the upcoming 2018 Good Medicine Confluence 

For the first many years of Plant Healer’s annual international gatherings, our characteristically beautiful rural For the first many years of Plant Healer’s annual international gatherings, our characteristically beautiful rural event sites had too few buildings of us to expand the number of classes to accommodate topics beyond essential foundational folk herbalism.  Fortunately, since moving our Good Medicine Confluence to its new mountain-top site in Durango, Colorado, we have been able to procure sufficient spaces to expand our topics to include additional modalities, and means for a wildly healthy and deeply meaningful life. In May, 2018, we will be presenting 5 days and nights of classes and entertainment for the same prices as most conferences charge for only 3: over 70 inspiring teachers presenting over 140 unique classes that have never been taught anywhere before, exploring the depths and frontiers of empowered healing in all its many forms from botanical medicine to healthy foods, nature therapy, cannabis and entheogens, and the radical remaking of the current cultural paradigm! 




Herbs can be taken not only as teas, tinctures, and so forth, but can also be used in beverages – including smoothies, hot tonics, sodas, kefirs, bitters, syrups, beer, botanically enhanced cocktails, and yummy mead!

The latter additionally additionally provide the stress-relieving effects of recreational alcohol, with flavorings of frivolity, joviality, and less inhibited celebration!

Those attending this year’s Confluence in Durango, may want to plan to attend the following classes by Jereme Zimmerman, Ash Sierra, Susan Evans, Lisa Valantine, and Yarrow Willard

at the permeable border between curative medicine and downright enjoyment!


Brewing Beyond The Dominant Paradigm

Jereme Zimmerman (1.5 hrs)

Are you tired of the limitations the modern homebrewing paradigm has placed on creativity? Do you feel intimidated by the extremes placed on following exacting recipes, brewing “to style,” obsessive chemical sanitation, and loading your brews with laboratory-produced ingredients? Do you yearn for the days when brewing was approached with reverence, ritual, and respect for the earth that provided the ingredients for soul-altering brews? In this class, be prepared to drop all notions of what modern brewing is supposed to be and learn to approach it from a broader historical, holistic and earth-healing perspective.

Learn to work with nature rather than try to dominate and control it in creating your own natural brews. Join the modern-primitive brewing movement comprised of folks who respect what the “old guard” of the modern homebrewing movement has done but are ready to move on by resurrecting older brewing practices (and aren’t afraid to make mistakes along the way). We will start with a discussion of what homebrewing means in modern times and what brewing was to historical peoples. All experience levels are welcome and all perspectives will be respected. Whether you’re just beginning to pursue brewing and fermentation or are a veteran looking for different approaches, there will be something for you.

Zimmerman will then discuss and demo various techniques, ingredient combinations, and perspectives in brewing wild beers, meads, wines, sodas, and everything in between. In historical times there was less an emphasis on what exactly to call a brewed beverage as there was on brewing something tasty, nutritious and healing. For modern people researching these ancient beverages, it quickly becomes apparent that the words we now use to distinguish between different beverages had many meanings as languages and cultures changed over time. We will be brewing the way older cultures brewed: taking a sugar source, or combining sugars, adding water, flavoring it with various ingredients, and turning it into a delicious, healing fermented beverage. Beverages will have varying degrees of alcohol and some can be enjoyed by the entire family, as was often the case historically. Let loose! Brew with wild abandon!


Gardens to Glass: Botanical Cocktails, Bitters, Syrups & More

Susan Evans (1.5 hrs)

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a margarita mix? Mainly the very chemicals, dyes and preservatives that herbalists and other healers seek to avoid. Designing your own drinks is a lot less expensive, more fun and definitely healthier. Discover how to create delicious mocktails, cocktails, shrubs, bitters and syrups from your garden and market.

Enjoy the fresh and seasonal tastes from easy to make, hand crafted creations. Make your own blue spruce gin and jalapeño tequila. Discover fresh fruits, herbs and veggies that make tasty concentrates you can store in the fridge and use for anything from a hibiscus lime cooler to a conifer cocktail. Become your own mixologist as we discover easy ways to use plants and produce for healthier, tastier hydrating.


Sweet Yellow Honey Wine Meade Ready to Drink

Brewing Wild Meads and Sodas

Jereme Zimmerman (2 hrs)

Fermented honey, water and flavoring ingredients: call it what you want. By modern brewing culture’s regimented definitions, alcoholic beverages made with honey as the only or primary sugar source is mead. However, the lines were blurred in ancient times. Ancestral cultures fermented whatever they could get their hands on. They knew that any sugar source could be fermented into a mind- and spirit-altering beverage. Honey was very likely the first, as it is fermentable in its natural state by simply adding some water. However, the magical effects of fermented honey-water were likely discovered along with realizing that fruits and other items that were foraged and grown would quicken fermentation and enhance the effect of the final product. Malting of grains to draw out sugars and enzymes for fermentation into beer-like beverages was very likely discovered much earlier than archeologists initially thought. Hence, many early fermented beverages (as we know from biomolecular analysis that has been performed on ancient pottery shards) were grog-like mixtures containing elements of mead, beer, wine, and even cider.

In this class, we will blur the lines a bit, but will focus primarily on honey as the sugar source. Zimmerman will present his method for initiating a wild ferment and creating a yeast starter from honey, water, and other ingredients that can be used to initiate fermentation for a wide range of fermented beverages. He will discuss how to make everything from wine-like meads (8-12% alcohol by volume and higher), to “small” meads (4-7% alcohol by volume), to low-to-no alcohol meads (which can more properly be considered probiotic honey sodas), and everything in between. Topics of discussion will range from the simplest and quickest of meads, sodas and grogs, to well-aged meads that will transport you for a time to the realm of the gods. We will also discuss mythological and folkloric traditions regarding mead, in particular those of the Norse early Germanic, and Celtic peoples, but will also reference how many other cultures around the world have fermented honey-water traditions. You’re a Viking; you can do this!


Intoxicating Non-Alcoholic Remedies

Ash Sierra (1.5 hrs)

Alcohol is a great tool in the world of medicine making, but what if you and alcohol don’t mesh? There are many reasons to be making non-alcoholic remedies; Maybe it’s a trigger for past addictions or you run a clinic that see’s clients working on sobriety. Maybe you are formulating for young ones. Maybe the fieriness of alcohol is unbalancing or your liver needs a break. Possibly you simply want to expand your medicine making recipe book. This class will cover a variety of options for crafting yummy herbal potions with options like honey, glycerin, hydrosol and vinegar. Extraction methods and preserving rations will be explored as well as what works great and what might not. We’ll talk about making teas, syrups, oxymels, medicine balls and more while sampling a few along the way.


Crafting New Herbal Beverages: From Hot Tonics to Smoothies

Yarrow Willard (1.5 hrs)

There is nothing more nourishing than a well balanced, fortified herbal beverage that tastes great! Join me in learning to craft powerful tonic drinks, layering in herbal teas and powders, superfoods, mushrooms, tinctures, fats, sweeteners and more. We all know that herbs have healing powers and when added in the right places can greatly enhance our lives and restore harmony when our health is out of balance. Though what makes herbs work is a combination of two things: Effectiveness and Compliance. Effectiveness is measured by the way herbal attributes match the situations requirements, but compliance is a much more complicated creature all together. In order for people to be compliant they often require a mental, physical and emotional value or reason for working with the plant medicine. If it is not easy or doesn’t taste good, most people will quit before the herbs have a chance to really do their thing. Even though there are many ways to achieve good compliance, this class will focus on how to create great tasting drinks that leave people wanting more. This is an effective delivery system for easily adding many herbal allies into our lives.

In an interactive demonstration with examples and samples, we will make the most nutrient dense, health enhancing, delicious beverages possible. This class is like a road map to best practices for using a multi layered approach for effective herbal compliance. We will look at crafting herbal drink formulas, that contain nice top, middle and based notes as we explore a delivery system that drives medicine deeper into the body as well as activate the pleasure centers of the brain.


Making Healing Herbal Sodas – Water Kefirs Using Seasonal Botanicals

Lisa Valantine (1.5 hrs)

Learn how enjoyable it can be to create your own water kefir soda using simple organic ingredients and healing herbs and botanicals – roots, leaves, and berries.  

Water kefir grains, also known as tibicos, tibi, Japanese water crystals and California bees or in older literature bebees, African bees, ginger bees, beer bees, Jack’s Magic Beans and balm of Gilead, are a symbiotic culture of beneficial bacteria and yeast that are used to brew delicious soda.

Water kefir soda, brewed throughout the world, is believed to have originated in Mexico.   This delicious healthful beverage which is naturally effervescent is a great gateway to the gut-healing world of fermented food – and especially beneficial for people who do not wish to consume dairy products or tea cultured products such as kombucha.  When we create these sodas with healing intentions we begin to expand and deepen our experience and knowledge of the healing world of plants.   

I have been teaching others how to create these amazing botanical beverages and sodas for years.  They are amazingly popular during the holidays and for special occasions and celebrations.  I particularly enjoy working with seasonal botanicals – so that the flavors change and reflect the season of the year.  Elderberry Sage in the autumn, Spicy Plum in the winter, Dandelion Burdock in the spring, and Watermelon in the summer are just a few of my favorites.  In this class, I will demonstrate each step and stage of the fermentation process and then will be sample seasonal sodas.  Depending on what is locally and seasonally available I anticipate having at least three or four sodas available and ready to sample.


For More Information about this event and its teachers, or to purchase Advance Discount Tickets, click on:

Good Medicine Confluence Website:

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