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Herbal Aid Ed: A nine-month herbal medicine series focused on growing & making herbal remedies for collective care!

Many Hands Apothecary Herbal Aid Education Class at Awbury Arboretum

The Many Hands Community Apothecary is a group of garden beds located in The Farm at Awbury, which are cared for and supported by students of Awbury Arboretum’s nine-month Herbal Aid Ed course.

Herbal Aid Ed is a nine-month course of study designed and taught by community clinical herbalist Alyssa Schimmel to serve collective care through growing and making herbal remedies in, with, and for the community.

The program covers an introduction to 40+ plants from a range of cross-cultural traditions, weaving together the wisdom from many hands and many lands. These include the cultivated, wild, and native medicines of our Philadelphia bioregion on the ancestral indigenous territory of the Lenni Lenape / Wingohoking.

Each class includes hands-on time in the Many Hands Community Apothecary garden on site at Awbury Arboretum. We will cover various growing methods, as well as seasonal medicine processing methods, including infusions, decoctions, tinctures, salves, infused honeys, vinegars, electuaries, syrups, flower essences, incense, powders, soaks, and more!

2024 Classes

Saturdays: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
(except Sept)
April 6th, May 11th, June 8th, July 13th, Aug 3rd, Sunday Sept 1st, Oct 12th, Nov 23rd, and Dec 7th

2024 Garden Days
(Open to the Public)

Wednesdays: 4:00PM – 6:00 PM
April 17th, May 22nd, June 12th, July 14h, Aug 14th, Sept 11th, Oct 16th
Many Hands Apothecary Herbal Aid Education Herbal Medicine
Many Hands Community Apothecary Herbal Aid Education Class at Awbury Arboretum

During each monthly class, students make shares of medicine for personal, family, and community distribution and become healing advocates in their community. The program hosts ongoing opportunities for wider community engagement during garden volunteer days and medicine making sessions.

Students leave with medicines they’ve made, which include extras for them to share through community distribution days. Since 2021, Herbal Aid Ed students of the Many Hands Garden & Apothecary program have distributed over 500 pieces of herbal medicine to the Germantown community.

Students in the program have gone on to become educators, work at nature centers, offer medicine making programs to youth and senior groups, start their own herbal lines, and have a wide array of skills to craft affordable and effective remedies for themselves, their families, and communities.

Come join us in our garden classroom to grow your self-sufficiency and earth connection!

Alyssa Schimmel Herbal Aid Education Instructor in the Many Hands Community Apothecary at Awbury Arboretum

Instructor Bio: Alyssa Schimmel

Alyssa Schimmel is a community herbalist, licensed massage therapist, gardener, grower, teacher, and forager passionate about sharing knowledge of regional food and medicine ways in community. She serves as the course designer and program lead of Many Hands Community Apothecary Herbal Aid Ed at The Farm at Awbury Arboretum, a mutual-aid herbal education program and community medicine network. She previously served as Education Director of The Philadelphia Orchard Project, where she developed the School Orchard Program serving 14 K-12 schools and she has collaborated with Awbury Arboretum, teaching medicine-making to youth of the Teen Leadership Program, catering seasonal dinners and teaching medicine-making and wild foods classes throughout the Philadelphia region. She has taught at institutions including Swarthmore College, Haverford College, The Village, Main Line School Night, and more. Her training includes studies through Wild Ginger Community Herbal Center, Sky House School of Herbal Medicine, Human Path school, Mountain Gardens, and formal study through David Winston’s School of Herbal Medicine.

Questions?  Please contact Alyssa at