Collaborating Organizations & Schools

Midwestern School of Herbal Studies
A World-Class Herbal Education for the Healer in You!

Applied Botany for Practitioners

An Intensive Field and Lab Course for Herbalists, Wild Crafters, Restoration Ecologist and Permaculture Practitioners
Take your botanical chops to the next level by bolstering your plant taxonomic skills! A solid understanding of botanical science is the foundation of any plant-based practice. By deepening your knowledge of plant morphology and family characteristics, you will improve your confidence and credibility – greatly facilitating your effectiveness and success. 

In this weekend intensive you will learn how to recognize common plant families of the Midwest, identify key morphological characters and work through dichotomous keys. We will spend part of the day in a lecture-lab setting, then go out and study plants and key characters in native habitats. 

Dates & Times:
(in progress for 2020)

Meals: Tuition includes vegetarian meals on Saturday and Sunday through lunch.

Lodging: Camping space included in tuition. Camping space includes access to composting outhouse and outdoor shower, and use of communal kitchen. A limited number of tent cots, shared or private rooms in the farm house on site are available for an additional cost of $20-$45 per night. Also, there are several nearby Airbnb sites.

Course cost: Registration -  $295 
​​*One reduced course cost space is available for work trade for limited income locals. 

Instructor: Dr. Cynthia Lane 

Register to save your spot - course limited to 10 participants.

Midwest Flora Workshops
Our Midwest Flora workshops are designed as an introduction for students to botany or as continuing education for professionals. The student or professional level for each course is provided in the course description. For those new to the study of botany, we highly recommend taking the "Applied Botany for Practioners" course first - as the framework learned in that class will enhance your future botanical studies.

Winter Tree Identification

March 28, 2020
1:00 - 4:00

Learn how to identify 25+ native trees by winter characteristics  like  bark,  buds  and scent. Ever wonder how to tell oak from  ash, or  more importantly, ash from  boxelder, when cutting firewood in  the winter?  Do you know your trees well  enough to find the oaks  where hen of the woods  mushrooms are  found, elms  where  morels might grow, or medicinal trees in early spring?  Learning trees in  the  dormant season is ideal for a  couple reasons:  tree bark  and buds are easily visible, and  once you learn tree  identification in  the winter, it  will be a snap  when leaves are  on!

Course will include a handout that describes bark, bud, form,  habitat  and other identification tips.

Cost:  $30

Location: Kinstone,
Students: Beginner to intermediate

Liberate yourself  from tree blindness: tree-blindness.html

​​Instructor: Dr. Cynthia Lane
has a passion for  plants and  has botanized from the Northwest  Territories in Canada to Panama. She has a B.S. in  Horticulture and Botany, and  a Ph.D. in Conservation  Biology, with a Forestry  minor.

Spring Flora

​Offered in 2020

The plants are finally poking up and starting to bud out! In a couple weeks there will be a profusion of flowers and leaves. In this class we will visit prairie, oak forest and maple-basswood forests to observe and study blooming wild flowers, trees and shrubs. We will use a framework of plant community type and plant families to study plant characteristics and learn scientific names.     

Bring a water bottle, hand lens (10x), notebook, camera (or phone with camera), and baggies to collect samples. Bring rain gear as we will go out rain or shine. If severe weather is predicted we will email you to let you know of cancelation.

Cost: $25-$45 sliding fee​
Students: Beginner to Intermediate

​Instructor: Dr. Cynthia Lane


Wetlands Flora

This course is designed for Professionals seeking to improve their skills in wetland plant identification. Special attention will be given to difficult taxonomic groups including sedges and grasses.  

Bring a water bottle, hand lenses (10x and 20x), notebook, camera (or phone with camera), and baggies to collect samples. Bring rain gear as we will go out rain or shine. If severe weather is predicted we will email you to let you know of cancelation.

Location: (off site - to be announced)
Cost: $55 

Students: Professionials: Intermediate to Advanced

​Instructor: Dr. Cynthia Lane

Homestead & Traditional Skills

Wild Food & Folk Medicine

Tanna Worrell, aka The Friendly Forager, is a Foraging Guide and avid Wild Food and Folk Medicine enthusiast.  She has a lifelong passion for cooking, food, and health, and loves empowering others by sharing this important information. 

Discover a delightful variety of foods and folk medicine that can be gathered from the wild, and in your own backyard.  We’ll talk about safe harvesting practices, then we'll head out into the beautiful Savanna Moon acreage to meet and learn about many of the spring plant friends growing here.  We will respectfully harvest some of these plants and create nourishing foods and healing folk medicine with them. ​​​

Date & Time:
Fall 2020

Course cost: $40-60 ( sliding fee scale )

For more information see:

This class will meet rain or shine (unless there are considerable winds and/or lightning.) Bring a bottle of water, a basket for gathering, and dress for the weather – hiking boots, rain gear, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.  
Mushroom Growing 
April 2020
1:00 - 3:00

Learn how to grow oyster and shiitake mushrooms in your backyard! Walk out  your  door and pick mushrooms for dinner. 

Hands on experience starting mushrooms using three methods: 1) totem with  sawdust,  2) drilling plugs into logs and 3) mulch method.  Also included in the course will be information on what types of mushrooms are easy to grow in the MIdwest and what type of trees to use.  

Option 1: $45 - Course materials, experience setting up three methods of starting mushrooms and the materials to set up one oyster mushroom growing log set at your home. 

Option 2: $65 -  Course materials, experience setting up three methods of starting mushrooms and the materials to set up one oyster mushroom growing log set and one inoculated shiitake log.

Instructor: Dr. Cynthia Lane