Applied Botany for Practitioners

An intensive field and lab course designed for Herbalists, Wild Crafters,
Restoration Ecologists 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 understanding of taxonomy, such as plant morphology and family characteristics, you will improve your confidence and credibility – greatly facilitating your effectiveness and success. Boosting your botanical knowledge will also help avoid harming clients, damaging your professional integrity, and/or litigation resulting from inaccurate plant identification.

In this weekend intensive you will learn how to recognize common plant families of the Midwest, identify key morphological structures 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. You will have a chance to use and apply professional level botanical resources available for the region.
The instructor, Dr. Cynthia Lane is passionate about plants and has pursued them across North America. She loves teaching and has taught courses to university and community education students.

Dates & Times:
May 2018 

Friday 6:30-8:00, Saturday 9-4:30, Sunday 9-3:30

Meals: Tuition includes breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday (there are several restaurants in the area for Saturday night dinner)

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 shared or private rooms in the farm house on site are available for an additional cost of $30-$45 per night. Also, there are several nearby Airbnb sites.

Tuition*: Early registration -  $295 before April 15, 2018. After April 15 = $350
*One reduced course cost space is available for work trade for low income locals. 
Course limited to 12 participants.

This course is a prerequisite for the Midwestern Flora series.

Mushroom Growing 

April 21, 2018
10:00 -12:00
 Learn how to grow oyster and shiitake mushrooms in your backyard!  Walk out  your  door and pick mushrooms for dinner. 

 Hands on  experience with inoculating logs using two methods:  1) totem with  sawdust,  and  2) drilling plugs into logs.  I will also  share information about  what  tree species you can grow mushrooms  on in our area, and what species of  mushrooms to use. We will talk  about what kind of microclimate conditions are    ideal for setting up  a mushroom garden at your home.

 Option 1: $25 - course cost and materials to set up one  oyster  mushroom  growing totem at your home. 

 Option 2: $45 - course cost and materials to set up one oyster  mushroom growing  totem at your home and one inoculated shiitake  log.

 Taught by local botanist, Dr. Cynthia Lane 

 Please use the registration button below to sign up for the  course.  Class will  be limited to 8-10 participants.



Winter Tree Identification
March 24, 2018
10:00 -12:00
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, or elms  where  morels might grow?  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.

 Taught by: local botanist, Dr. Cynthia Lane. See for  her  qualifications.  Please use the registration button below  to sign  up for  the  course.  

 Cost: sliding fee from $10 to $30

  Liberate yourself  from tree blindness: tree-blindness.html


Dr. Cynthia Lane
 (aka Laen) 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. 


Hand Drumming 
Contact me if you are interested
in lessons or a class
 Drumming is a fun way to play music with others, relax, recharge  and have fun!

 I will design lessons or a class based on your interests and skill  level. I can teach beginning to intermediate West-African and  Latin  rhythms,  how  to  play in a group, and tips  for playing with  other drummers and accompanying  other musicians.



 Laen has  studied  Afro-  Cuban and West  African  drumming,  and has  accompanied  numerous  dancers  and musicians  in  the  Twin Cities  and  Pepin  areas.


Click here
to be put on the mailing list for course offerings.