Autumn Herbal Retreat

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Since returning from Ireland I've been busily preparing for the upcoming Women's Herbal Retreat. Compiling recipes, filling boxes with herbs, jars, and supplies, and generally getting excited about the long weekend to come. 

In just over a week I'll be gathering with a wonderful group of women for four days of cup-refilling and medicine making in the north woods, with Lake Superior spinning her magic literally just outside our door. 

Counting Green Magic Summer Camp, this will be my fourth retreat. And I have so enjoyed each and every one! The community, the sharing of wisdom, the laughter, the food… it's hard to choose a favorite part of these long weekends together. A passion for making remedies and life-long friendships have taken root at these gatherings, and I'm honored for the part I have been able to play.

I don't have any more retreats planned at the moment, so if you've been holding off now would be a great time to join us. (There is just one bed remaining!) Details follow. 

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Included in your retreat:

  • 3 nights lodging at the beautiful Lake Superior Barn, all linens provided
  • Home-cooked, organic meals and snacks
  • Guided plant walk
  • Hiking trails through 300 acres of private forest and the Lake Superior shoreline
  • Outdoor wood-fired hot tub, sauna, and campfire circle (weather permitting)
  • Relaxed, casual classes to learn about and handcraft herbal medicines
  • Herbs, ingredients, and packaging for the remedies you will create and bring home
  • Recipes and instructions to make the remedies again

Though food and beverages will be included in your stay, alcohol is not provided. However we invite you to bring along a favorite bottle of wine to enjoy in the evening around the fire!

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Location:

We will gather together near Maple, WI on the shores of Lake Superior. The Barn will be our home for the weekend, providing ample space for classes, meals, and relaxing. 

The Barn is approximately 1 hour from Duluth, 3 hours from Minneapolis, and 5 hours from Madison. If you will be flying to the retreat please email me and we will arrange affordable transportation from Duluth International Airport to the Barn on Thursday and a return trip on Sunday.  

Meals:

Meals will be simple, nourishing, and home-cooked. Most ingredients will be organic and many will be local. Some will even be herbal! If you have special dietary restrictions do let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate.

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Activities:

Our schedule is relaxed, providing plenty of time to hike in the woods, sit by the fire, or soak in the bath. Be sure to bring your walking shoes, outdoor clothing, and any handwork projects you enjoy like knitting, sketching, or journalling.

And – of course – we will have ample time to learn about herbs.

Each day (Friday through Sunday) we will explore herbs and making remedies. These sessions are designed with beginners and advanced beginners in mind. Don't be deterred if you have limited experience working with herbs! Weather permitting we'll also take a guided plant walk, exploring the woods and field for medicinal plants. 

At the end of the retreat each participant will bring home a collection of their own hand-crafted remedies including tinctures, teas, syrups, salves, oils, and more. (Pictured below is most of what each participant created and took home from the Spring 2017 gathering.)

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Arrival and Departure:

Arrive on Thursday October 26 between 5:30 and 6 PM. Depart on Sunday October 29 by 1 PM.

Accommodations:

There are four different room options for your stay. (The more affordable options tend to sell out most quickly, so don't delay if that is your preference!)

TS: Twin bed in shared bunk room (five guests per room): $675 per person (one bed remaining)

QB: Queen-sized bed in shared bunk room (five guests per room): $700 per person sold out!

QD: Private room, queen sized-bed, double occupancy: $750 per person sold out!

QS: Private room, queen sized bed, single occupancy: $925 per person sold out!

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About your hosts: 

Rachel Wolf has a background in Environmental Education and spent her career-before-motherhood working with children and adults both in the classroom and out in the natural world. More recently Rachel's time has been divided between interest-led homeschooling her two kids, freelance writing about herbs and plant remedies, and running her herbal body care company, LüSa Organics. Rachel is a passionate teacher who delights in making topics accessible to a wide age range and hands-on learning is her specialty.

After a decade owning her own business, Kate Zomboracz is finally willing to admit she is, in fact, a cook.  Her devotion to local, organic food came from a strong environmental ethic developed while studying philosophy, environmental biology & sustainable agriculture and has evolved into her family's Community Supported Kitchen.  She works, lives and learns side by side with her three (wild and free) kids and husband.

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How to Register:

Registration is now open! If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP via email at your earliest convenience. 

As we anticipate all of our slots filling quickly, please reply with your first choice bunk option and any acceptable second choices using the codes above (TS, QB, QD, QS).

50% of payment is due at time of registration, with the remaining 50% is due on October 1. Registration is non-refundable but we'll certainly do our best to fill your spot if life gets messy and you find you can't make it.

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Some words from past retreat participants:

"This retreat was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Because how often do your dreams become reality? Rachel's warm and gentle spirit permeated the whole experience. Her wisdom is priceless. We shared an amazing fellowship, phenomenal food, and learned lifelong skills as well as took away a remarkable amount of herbal remedies! So grateful for the experience and cannot wait to do it again!"

and…

"The herbal retreat was incredibly relaxing and fulfilling and the food provided was amazing, wholesome, and nourishing. The herbal information provided was invaluable. This is the information your grandmother and mother would have given you centuries ago, but here you are, in a company of beautiful women, learning it midway through life. It is wonderful, uplifting, freeing, and will forever be in your heart and mind."

 

Green Magic Summer Camp

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Last weekend, Lupine and I gathered with a delightful group of 21 parents and kids for four days of crafting, play, and medicine-making. 

And what fun we had!

Over the course of the weekend these 10 moms and 11 kids hiked together in the woods, did copious amounts of crafting, forged new friendships, and explored 9 common backyard plants. Then each family learned how to make salves, syrups, tinctures, and more – and brought home more than a dozen new remedies, made by their own hands. 

The kids, ranging in age from 6 to 13, didn't miss a beat in connecting and sharing with one another, regardless of age. Coming from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and even North Carolina, there was much of that new-friendship magic unfolding throughout the weekend as the kids (and parents) got to know one another better with each passing day.

Before we knew it our remedy and craft project stashes were adding up, and our weekend together was drawing to a close. By the time Sunday rolled around addresses and pen pal promises were exchanged and enthusiastic goodbye hugs were given.

And while I came home profoundly tired, I also returned profoundly grateful.

Grateful for these 21 beautiful souls that I was honored to share and connect with for four wonderful days in the woods. Grateful for their passion, curiosity, and willingness to try something new. Grateful that these kids (and their moms) are going home just a little more confident and a little more aware of all that plants can do.

And grateful that Lupine and I got to play along, too.

Green magic indeed.

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hello-goodbye! (we’re off to summer camp)

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Just popping in for a lightening-fast hello and goodbye before we dash off to camp, which begins in just two days.

Lupine and I have been busy (so busy!) packing herbs, supplies, recipes, and craft projects for the weekend – and crossing our fingers that this as much fun for everyone (us included) as we think it will be.

Oh, my. This is going to be delightful! 

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week and a glorious weekend, wherever life takes you. And… wish us luck! 

 

 

Save the date! Autumn Women’s Herbal Retreat

I know. It's barely spring. But I thought a little "save the date" teaser was in order…

Because we're gathering on the shores of Lake Superior once more! 

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I've reserved the Lake Superior Barn for an Autumn Women's Herbal Retreat and I would love to have you join me. We'll gather from October 26 through 29th to explore the South Shore, relax in The Barn with a community of kindred spirits, and learn much about herbs and handmade remedies. 

I don't have any retreats yet planned for 2018, so if you've been hoping to join me this would be the time. (There is a chance that I'll do more, but I haven't committed yet. Honestly, I'm unsure as to how many retreats I will be able to fill in the long-term. Are you a small pool of interested ladies who love Clean or love LüSa or love what I write for Taproot? Have most of you who were interested already attended? I'd love to keep at it, but I really have no idea how long such a venture is sustainable. Talk to me!)

I'm taking it one step at a time, and one retreat at a time at this stage. But this one? It's written in pen on my calendar. We're doing it. And I would love to have you there to share in the experience.

To sign up for the herbal retreat mailing list all you have to do is drop me an email. I'll send you an invitation when registration opens.

 

Some words from participants from the Spring 2017 retreat:

"This retreat was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Because how often do your dreams become reality? Rachel's warm and gentle spirit permeated the whole experience. Her wisdom is priceless. We shared an amazing fellowship, phenomenal food, and learned lifelong skills as well as took away a remarkable amount of herbal remedies! So grateful for the experience and cannot wait to do it again!"

and…

"The herbal retreat was incredibly relaxing and fulfilling and the food provided was amazing, wholesome, and nourishing. The herbal information provided was invaluable. This is the information your grandmother and mother would have given you centuries ago, but here you are, in a company of beautiful women, learning it midway through life. It is wonderful, uplifting, freeing, and will forever be in your heart and mind."

 

You can read more about past retreats here and here.

So… who wants to join me? 

 

 

 

Spring Herbal Retreat

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Oh, goodness. Where to begin! I returned last night after the Spring Women's Herbal Retreat both exhausted and elated. The weekend exceeded my expectations in every way – primarily on account of the ladies who came together to share in the experience.

This group of thirteen kindred spirits arrived from across the midwest, from as far as Ohio, Illinois, and distant parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Throughout our three days together we listened to each other's stories, learned with (and from) one another, laughed uproariously, and quietly refilled our cups with this mindful pause from our day-to-day lives.

Truly, this group of women gelled beyond my wildest expectations and I was so grateful for the insights and gifts that each woman brought to our gathering. 

My friend Kate from 608 Community Supported Kitchen prepared exquisite organic meals for us each day (so much delicious food!) that everyone agreed was a highlight of the weekend. When we weren't enjoying/over-eating/gushing over Kate's food and treats, we were delving into equal parts hands-on herbal medicine making and self-indulgent down time. It was the just right balance of learning and relaxing.

Oh, and that medicine-making! At the end of the weekend even I was amazed at how much each participant had crafted to bring home – there several herbal balms, some tea blends, and plenty of tinctures, herbal oils, decoctions, syrups, and sprays. (Off the top of my head.)

As the weekend ended, emails and phone numbers were exchanged, and one by one we said goodbye and headed back to our families and our day-to-day lives.

After the last guest left I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the magic that happens when women come together to learn, share, and play. And I was thankful for the role that I was able to play to help bring this group together.

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I’m off!

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I have so many things to share with you – from the latest Taproot to a couple of just-cast-off knitting projects, some homeschooling reflections, homesteading updates, and other projects in the works.

But all of that will have to wait! Because tomorrow marks the start of the Spring Women's Herbal Retreat.

That means that today is devoted to last minute class preparations and loading my car to the roof with herbs and supplies. And also asking myself questions like: "Is too much coffee (or butter) even a thing?" or "I hope I don't get pulled over with all these random bags of herbs in my trunk, alongside this case of brandy and hard to explain bundles of tree branches." 

I'm so excited for another long weekend with another inspiring group of women to learn from and share with. Bring it on, Spring Retreat! We're ready. 

I'll be sharing a few photos of what we create on my personal and business Instagram feeds throughout the weekend. If you're curious about what we'll be mixing up feel free to follow along!

 

Now. Wish we luck for another beautiful, magical weekend of plants, medicine making, and women. 

Love,
Rachel

 

 

Retreat last call

February 23 Update

We have just two beds remaining for the spring retreat! Details follow. I'd love to have you join us. 

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I promise to stop with the retreat talk in just a moment! But today is the last day for registration for our spring gathering.

I'm hoping to have the last remaining slots filled soon! 

And while I can't speak for you, the idea of mindfully gathering and learning these ancient skills feels resonant with me now more than ever.

To gather with community, forge friendships, learn from one another, and develop skills to care for our families with what nature provides? Now feels like the perfect time.

If you'd still like to join us just drop me a note and I'll send you an official invitation. This spring we'll be gathering in a new location and I'm excited to be adding a guided plant walk to our weekend agenda as well, so we can hopefully forage some plants for a few of our recipes.

Below are a few favorite moments from the first retreat that we held in November on the shore of Lake Superior.

I can feel my shoulders soften just looking at these. What a wonderful three days it was! 

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Ah, yes. What a delightful and lovely weekend it was. I can't wait to do it again next month!

Two quick notes

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Just popping in with two quick pieces of business!

First, a heartfelt thanks. Your words yesterday were so kind and understanding. Thank you for sharing your voices here. It means more than you know.

And second, the Spring Herbal Retreat is beginning to fill. Hooray! We have just seven beds left – and I'm saving one for you.

If you did not receive your invitation please let me know by email and I'll send it out again.

This retreat is shaping up to be as lovely as the last, and I can't wait to gather with you.

 

Love,
Rachel

 

A spring retreat

LüSa Organics Herbal Retreat: spring 2017

The Spring 2017 Women's Herbal Retreat is officially scheduled! And I can hardly wait.

Like our first ever retreat last autumn, this gathering will be a small group of kindred spirits coming together to create community and learn about plants, remedies, and how to care for our family's health with the bounty of the earth. 
 
Though our primary focus will be on making medicines and discovering the power of herbs, there will be ample time to explore the Wisconsin woods, relax in the sauna, and visit with new friends over a cup of coffee or tea.
 
Each participant will learn about herbs as we work together making a variety of remedies – from teas and tinctures to salves and syrups. These remedies will go home with you, along with the knowledge (and written recipes and instructions) for making them again and again.
 
We will enjoy home-cooked nourishing meals, the beauty of springtime, and the magic that happens when women gather.
 
If you're interested in learning more please send me an email at retreat@lusaorganics.com with the subject line of "women's herbal retreat" and I will send you a personal invitation with additional details today! If you already signed up, please check your inbox as invitations went out yesterday to those who had already requested information.
 
Looking forward to gathering with you!
 
Warmly,
Rachel

LüSa Organics Herbal Retreat: spring 2017

"This was, hands down, the BEST THING I EVER DID!! Spending 3+ days learning about herbal medicine; making tinctures and teas, balms and bitters, syrups and oils; meeting inspirational and like-minded wonderful women; eating incredible, healthy meals; all in an amazing setting[…]!" ~ D.Z.

"The retreat was a perfect get away to relax and learn!" ~ J.B.