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Friends of the Trees Logo
Friends of the Trees Society
Working for a Greener Earth Since 1978
Skeeter PhotoMichael Pilarski is a farmer, educator and author who has devoted his life to studying and teaching how people can live sustainably on this Earth. He has extensive experience in organic farming, permaculture, wild-crafting medicinal herbs and plants.

Friends of the Trees Newsletter

Date: March 20, 2015 - Spring Equinox

Michael Pilarski’s North Cascadia Workshop Tour - April 2015

Three types of workshops on this tour:

1) Wild-crafting Edible and Medicinal Plants for Home Use & Income

2) 1000 Crops for Northwest Growers

3) The Emerging Alliance Between Humans and Nature Spirits

For information regarding workshops with no local contact

email Michael Pilarski, friendsofthetrees@yahoo.com 

Also in this Issue:

The Spokane Herbalists Gathering and Spokane Herbal Fair - May 8, 9 and 10

Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild's Permaculture Design Course - May 23 to June 7

Your help with publicity helps make these events possible. You can download and print posters for most of these events so you can put them up in your town or region HERE.


All 1000 Crops workshops are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. They are by donation at the event.

Farmers and gardeners are always on the lookout for new crops. Crop diversity spreads out the risks, staggers the harvests and extends times of income generation. This can lead to a steady stream of income year round.

This one-day workshop will give an overview of 50 crop categories involving thousands of potential crops including medicinal plants and Northwest native plants. We will make extensive use of images from the internet. See a specialized listing of crops for Spokane that Michael has compiled HERE.

Bring a list of plants you are interested in. Bring your questions. The workshop will allow us to draw on the knowledge and personal experience of the participants. Everyone will go away with new ideas. This is an opportunity to form a network of farmers and plant people to share information on a continuing basis.

Suggested donation: $20 to $50.
Bring a brown bag lunch
Send an email that you’re coming to:


Mount Vernon, April 14, Tuesday. With Matt VanBoven. Contact Matt Van Boven, 360-708-8832. feralfarm23@yahoo.com (venue to be announced.)

Whidbey Island, April 15, Wednesday. At Unity of Whidbey. 5671 Crawford Road, Langley, WA 98260. Contact Michael Seraphinoff, 360-544-2278. mjseraph@whidbey.net

Port Townsend, April 19, Sunday. AtQuimper Grange, 1219 Corona Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Contact Ashley Kehl, 360-301-3055. mastershrouper@yahoo.com

Olympia, April 27, Monday. At The Woman’s Club of Olympia, 1002 Washington St SE.

The Emerging Alliance

Between Humans and Nature Spirits

Fairy & Faery Beings, Humans, Wild Creatures & Plants: Working Together for Gaia.

All fairy workshops are 6:30 8:30 pm (except for North Seattle).

They are by donation at the event.

Download a printable version of the poster for this event.

Bellingham, April 11, Saturday. At Wise Awakening, 314 E. Holly Street, Bellingham

Whidbey Island, April 15, Wednesday. At Unity of Whidbey. 5671 Crawford Road, Langley.

Port Townsend, April 19, Sunday. AtQuimper Grange, 1219 Corona Street, Port Townsend.

North Seattle, April 22, Wednesday. 7:00 9:00 pm. At Dandelion Botanical, 5424 Ballard Ave. NW

South Seattle, April 23, Thursday. At HorneholdiaUrban Permaculture Homestead, Seattle, WA. Contact Laurie Horne, 206-856-1396. emberglow8@hotmail.com

Tacoma, April 24, Friday. At Crystal Voyage, 3802 South Cedar Street, Tacoma, WA 98409.

Olympia, April 27, Monday. At The Woman’s Club of Olympia, 1002 Washington St SE.

Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild

2015 Permaculture Design Course

with a special emphasis on Earth Restoration

A two-week, residential intensive course. Register now.

May 23 (Saturday) 10:00 am
to June 7 (Sunday) 12:00 noon

At the Heartsong Retreat Center, Tumtum, Washington

hour northwest of Spokane

Instructed by Michael Pilarski
& guest speakers

Permaculture design can be applied to any property large or small urban or rural.

The course will have a special emphasis on Earth Repair and Ecological Restoration.

Learn permaculture from the regions most experienced permaculture teacher.


100's of useful plants/crops,

100's of ideas for income generation,

100's of techniques for earth care & earth repair

100's of ways to improve our social & economic systems.

Design presentation at 2012 Spokane PDC

For more information contact:

Michael Pilarski
Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild
PO Box 165, Hot Springs, MT 59845

Course Fees:

Downpayment: $250.
Early bird course fee before April 15: $850. After April 15: $950.
Early bird couple rate: $750 each. After April 15: $850.
Single Days: $80.

Pay On-line on the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild website

The course fee covers instruction, meals, curriculum materials and permaculture design certificate.

A limited number of partial work-trades are available. Inquire for particulars.

Two scholarships will be awarded. 2015 Spokane PDC Scholarship Application

To register send a $250 down payment or the full payment. Use Paypal on the INPG website
or mail a check (make checks out to Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild).

INPG, PO Box 165, Hot Springs, MT 59845

Refund policy. $100 is non-refundable. The rest will be refunded if cancellation is prior to two weeks before start date. Cancellations within two weeks of starting date results in $250 being non-refundable.

CERTIFICATION: Upon completion of the course, participants receive a Certificate of Permaculture Design issued by the Permaculture Institute of North America as well as the Permaculture Institute USA. Course graduates are expected to attend all sessions or complete homework assignments to make up missed sessions.

HEARTSONG RETREAT CENTER is a community-owned property with the goal of being a permaculture site and educational center. We will be doing site design and hands-on projects to move Heartsong towards this goal. The 2014 Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence was held at Heartsong and it worked out great. There is a large lodge with a kitchen and dining area downstairs and a large meeting room upstairs. There are gardens, forest, riparian zone, and fields for our outdoor activities.  We will set up a large sky lodge outside for activities.  There is a sauna next to a small pond and it is a short walk to a swimming lake.

ACCOMODATIONS: There are some indoor accommodations for which there will be an extra charge.  Some locals will commute.  Most people will tent camp. RVs or live in vans are welcome. No extra fee for camping or RVs.

MEALS: We will be hiring a cook. The menu will include vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Everyone is requested to lend a hand in the kitchen on a rotating basis. We invite all the participants to bring food they have gathered, grown or processed themselves.  This food carries the special energy of the grower. Mana is the word they use for it in Hawai`i. It translates to something like power or life-force. We will wild-craft for salad vegetables and maybe a few roots. We will purchase food from local farmers inasmuch as possible. After that we will buy bulk foods from the organic distribution network. Not only do we want to walk our talk, we want to eat our talk.

MICHAEL PILARSKI is one of the Northwests most well-known permaculture teachers and networkers.  He has lived and farmed in the region since 1972 and has hands-on experience with over 1000 species of plants. He founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and has written extensively on agriculture, permaculture, agroforestry, forestry, ethnobotany and wild-crafting Since 1988 he has taught 36 permaculture design courses in the US and abroad including 7 in eastern Washington and 3 in Montana.

GUEST SPEAKERS include: Chrys Ostrander on small livestock, Gabe Gaul on mushrooms/fungi in permaculture, Phil Small on soil science, Gloria Flora on biochar, Marc Flora on forest gardening, Bob Merrill and David Kirchhof on building materials and technologies, and Margaret Ruhl and Elf of Bruce-Ruhl Design on urban design, rooftop gardening and farming urban yards. Stay tuned to the INPG website for further developments. Course participants will also bring a wide range of knowledge and experience to share.  We are all students. We are all teachers.

This intensive course will include lectures, power points, slide shows, hands-on, field trips, plant walks, design teams, research, presentations, small groups and evening activities. There is a half-day off in the middle of the course.

[Top photo: Skeeter leading the 2012 pdc in Spokane]

Sustainable harvesting from native and non-native plants. See schedule below.

All wild-crafting workshops are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. $50.

Pay On-line on the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild website

The workshop will be largely held outside looking at between 60 - 100 plant species & will explore:

  • Common name(s), latin name & plant family relations;
  • If native, what is its status on the scale of common to endangered? If non-native, what is its invasive weed status?
  • Traditional and modern medicinal and other uses of the plants;
  • Time(s) to harvest;
  • Tools/techniques of harvesting and processing.

Michael Pilarski has wildcrafted medicinal plants commercially for 17 years and farms medicinal plants. He is familiar with both the Maritime and the Inland Northwest species. He makes herb tinctures and infused oils. He combines the science of herbs with the magic of herbs through his studies in plant spirit medicine. Michael has initiated and organized many herb gatherings including the Northwest Herbal Fair, the Montana Herb Gathering, and the Spokane Herbal Fair. He is the author of many books and articles including Growing & Wild-crafting Medicinal Plants in the Pacific Northwest and the Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology Resource Guide.


Lummi Island, April 10, Friday. Contact Rachel Sefick, 360-510-8308, sefickrj@yahoo.comDirections sent upon registration.

Algers, April 12, Sunday. Workshop is full.

Upper Skagit/Rockport, April 13, Monday At Feral Farm with Matt Van Boven. Contact Matt Van Boven, 360-708-8832. feralfarm23@yahoo.com

Whidbey Island, April 16, Thursday. At Pacific Rim Institute, 180 Parker Road, Coupeville, WA 98239. Contact Michael Seraphinoff, 360-544-2278. mjseraph@whidbey.net

Port Townsend, April 18, Saturday. Fort Worden State Park, Meet at Park Office, Board Room. Contact Ashley Kehl, 360-301-3055. mastershrouper@yahoo.com

North Seattle, April 22, Wednesday. At Discovery Park with special afternoon guest Arthur Lee Jacobson. Directions sent upon registration.

South Seattle, April 23, Thursday. At Seward Park. Contact Laurie Horne, 206-856-1396. emberglow8@hotmail.com Directions sent upon registration.

Tacoma, April 24, Friday. Swan Creek Park Food Forest. 2820 Pioneer Way, Tacoma, WA 98404. Contact Kelda Lorax, kelda@riseup.net

Olympia/Oakville, April 26, Sunday. At Wild Thyme Farm, 72 Mattson Road, Oakville WA 98568.

Inland Northwest Herbalists Gathering 

May 8-9, 2015

near Spokane, Washington

At the Heartsong Retreat Center, Tumtum

Followed by a one-day

Spokane Herbal Fair

May 10, Sunday

At the Corbin Senior Center in Spokane
827 W Cleveland Ave.

The first part of the event will bring herbalists and herbal students from around Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana together for two days of education, networking and camaraderie. Heartsong Retreat Center is a nice rural venue where we can camp and eat together, do plant walks, etc. This will largely be a camp out since there are minimal indoor accomodations. Registration opens Thursday afternoon for those who wish to stay Thursday night. We will put a list of local motels and accomodations on the website.

Sunday will be a large herbal exposition for the general public of Spokane (and area) who are interested in herbal products and natural health care. It will be right in Spokane to make it easy for people to get there. Our goal is to attract 500 to 1,000 people to a vibrant marketplace where herbalists and herbal product companies can sell and promote a wide range of products and services. The herbalists gathering will continue on Sunday at the Spokane Herbal Fair venue with additional workshops as well as the herbal fair. Many of the  herbalists attending Friday and Saturday will also have tables at the herbal fair, plus we anticipate additional herbal vendors who were not at the 2-day event. If you would like to become a vendor at the Fair on Sunday, you may APPLY HERE.

Sunday will include workshops throughout the day. Introductory and advanced levels. The introductory workshops are free to the public. The advanced workshops are for herbalists and herbal students and will be a way for the momentum of the Friday/Saturday event to continue on Sunday at the venue in town.  We hope most everyone who attended the rural Heartsong gathering will be part of the Sunday event. Sunday is a free event for the public. We will accept donations.

Pay On-line or by Check at the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild website.

ADMISSION RATES (includes meals)

Early-bird Adult (3-day weekend) $125 (before April 15)

Regular Adult (3-day weekend) $150 (after April 15)

Early-bird Teen (3-day weekend) $60  (before April 15)

Regular Teen (3-day weekend) $70  (after April 15)

Early-bird Day Pass (Friday or Saturday) $60 (before April 15)

Regular Day Pass (Friday or Saturday) $70 (after April 15)

Teen day pass (Friday or Saturday) $30

Children (12 and under) free

The early-bird cost for the full 3 days includes meals on Friday and Saturday.
Day people on Sunday can attend the trade show and introductory workshops for free. Donations appreciated.  
Full weekend participants have access to the Sunday trade show
+ advanced classes on Sunday + breakfast and lunch.

We are looking for presenters, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, worktraders and organizers.

How would you like to be involved?

Contact: Michael Pilarski, friendsofthetrees@yahoo.com

Michael is the founder of the Northwest Herbal Fair and the Montana Herb Gathering.

[Please note this is not a marijuana event. It is about medicinal herbs and natural health.]

May 10 is Mothers Day! Make 2015 an Herbal Mothers Day!

Treat your mother (or wife) by bringing her to the Spokane Herbal Fair.  Give the gift of health.

We will have special Mothers Day classes on: Herbs for Womens Health, Herbs for pregnancy, prenatal and post-natal care and more.

Sign up as a Vendor for the Herbal Fair!

Special Door Prize: Mothers Day Love Herbal Basket.  Every mother who comes to the Spokane Herbal Fair gets a ticket/chance to win some outrageous door prizes.

The beginning of the presenter lineup:

Jim Flocchini, Two Ravens Herbals, Kooskia, ID

Colette Harrington, Harmony Botanicals, Spokane, WA

June Holliday, Spokane, WA

Debby Jackovac, Blue Moon Herbs and Rene Caisse Tea.com Polson, MT

Meryl Kastin, Alive & Wild Herbals, Kooskia, ID

Barbara Korando, Jamayma Gecko Herbs, Chelan, WA

Carla Martinez, Perianth Herbs, Spokane, WA

Hailee Newman, Rushing River Botanicals, Bend OR

Elaine Sheff, Green Path Herb School, Missoula, MT

Sarah Sheridan, Birch Grove Botanica, Kettle Falls, WA

Darcy Williamson, From the Forest, McCall, ID

Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Botanicals, Hot Springs, MT

Carla Martinez, Perianth Herbs, Spokane, WA

Jessica Spurr, Herbal Apothecary, Spokane, WA

Barbara St. Dennis, New Moon Energetics, Hayden, ID 

Just Updated: 2015 Herb Gatherings in the Pacific Northwest



Contact Info:
Michael Pilarski
Friends of the Trees Society
PO Box 165
Hot Springs, MT 59845 


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