Lifestyle Herbalism

Medicine Making Apprenticeship

Practical, Hands-On Experience in the Production and Processing of Herbal Medicine

March 24 – April 2, 2024

At the Home of Sarah Wu
El Nido Colibri
Tacotal Colectivo, San Mateo, Costa Rica
Housing at Finca Vida Verde
project of Matthew Human

Join Sarah Wu & Lala Palmieri for a 12 day immersion into the world of Regenerative Herbalism!

In this course, students will learn how to cultivate plants, tend soil, make compost, propagate plants, plan irrigation systems, make medicines, preserve food, create body care and develop their apothecaries.

A fully integrated experience, students will get to live at the blossoming Tacotal Colectivo Community and work from Sarah’s personal home, Casa Colibri, The Hummingbird’s House.

Casa Colibri is located on the original lands of the Huetar peoples, where Sarah now stewards and cares for a small lot. Situated near the crystal clear Machuca River, in a secondary valley, Sarah has began creating terraced gardens and installing her food forest and her gardens. Students will learn the process of developing a piece of land with the intention of creating a fruitful, medicinal paradise that will feed generations to come.

Topic Outline:


– Planting for the Apothecary – Therapeutic Categories and Plant Families
– Garden Design
– Perennial Polycultures & Guilds

Hands On:

– Garden Projects
– Plant Propagation and Pruning
– Wild Crafting and Ethical Harvesting
– Compost Making
– Ferments: Kimchee, Pickles, Vinegars, Kombucha, Ginger Beer
– Tinctures & Double Extracts
– Honeys, Vinegars and Oxymels
– Oils & Salves
– Sprinkles, Superfood Tahini, Herb Salts
– Candies & Gummies
– Tea Blends & Tea Ceremony
– Soaps & Scrubs
– Smoking Blends, Smoke Cleaning Wands
– Herbal Elixirs & Cacao

Other Activities:

– River Spa Day
– Fires & Songs
– Visit the Gardens of Alegria Village

Lead Facilitators

Laura ‘Lala’ Palmieri, walks with the shoes of the biologist, botanical explorer, herbalist, gardener, permaculturist, teacher & biotechnologist, with a life-long work with plants and mushrooms.She created Weaving Remedies, integrating herbs with medicinal mushrooms to strengthen the immune system, nourish the nervous system’s response to stress and balance our constitutional problems. This approach to health integrates the knowledge of many ancient teachers and traditions, as well as spirituality with Nature, science and alchemy through the transformation of the elements.
Her passion about community life led her to be part of Punta Mona and Fungi Academy for several years. Teaching and facilitating herbal clinics and programs in permaculture, herbalism, botany, fermentation, as well as medicinal mushrooms and cultivation, with a regenerative approach to the Earth and techniques that are accessible to most. She’s played a big role in the creation of the Envision and Cosmic Converge Herbal First Aid Clinics, relief Clinics in Guatemala for the volcano eruption and is constantly crafting remedies offered in Guatemala and Costa Rica, supporting many beings in their paths.

Sarah Wu is a clinical herbalist of 22 years, studying and practicing planetary eclectic herbalism with a foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Wise Woman Reclaiming philosophy, focusing on food-based healing and local ethnobotanical traditions. Sarah leads trainings and workshops in herbal medicine, Permaculture Design Courses, Therapeutic Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture, field-to-the-plate holistic nutrition and herbal first aid. She is a passionate mentor and educator, who believes in the teacher’s role in unlocking the innate wisdom of the student. Sarah is the co-founder of the Village Witches project, and is a Co-Founder and Co-producer of Envision Festival.

The Venue


What Is Tacotal?

Tacotal is the term for the secondary succession growth phase of deforested land. Here we find thick jungle regrowth of once cleared cattle pasture.

About Tacotal Colectivo:

Named for this forest phase, Tacotal Colectivo was founded in 2007 by a group of friends as a back to the land attempt at community living. Slow and steady in growth, Tacotal does not believe in excessive heroic community development, but the gentle and gradual stewardship of land, through environmental construction methods, minimal extraction and clearing and the intentional expansion of forest. Adhering to the Principles and Ethics of Permaculture, Tacotal is an accessible model of living for the working and middle class, producing little waste, designing from the patterns of nature, working to conserve natural resources and being fully off the grid, encouraging community interconnectedness, Tacotal is an experiment and grounded model in community design. Members are environmental activists, biologists, herbalists, space holders, designers, and musicians.

Nestled alongside the Machuca River in the Alajuela Province of Costa Rica, just an hour west of the San Jose International Airport, this river is filled with quartz crystal and other precious minerals, found in the rich colors of its massive boulders and giant canopy trees. The watershed for the local town of San Mateo, here we find peace and rejuvenation from the hot summer days, and abundant wildlife along her shores. Get ready to fall in love with a River!!

The Goddess Garden and Casa Colibri:

Various neighborhoods make up Tacotal Colectivo. In the Goddess Gardens, we have three powerful women stewarding land and creating their dream homes. Sarah Wu, Cyrille Amiée and Maria Cardona Vaselli are the pillars of the neighborhood, creating grounded examples for female leadership and land care.

The home of Sarah Wu, Casa Colibri, the Hummingbird House, is a sanctuary made of wood and waddle & daub materials, situated over a tertiary valley and seasonal creek, Sarah spent two years in construction, working with a local Costa Rican and indigenous Nicaraguan crew to gently create a low waste home that is actively preventing erosion, building soil and in the early stages of food and medicine production.

Sarah is most honored to welcome students into her home, to share in the transparent realities of building a home as a woman, and along with Lala share what it is like in making a move to another country, creating regenerative and meaningful work and living a life of service to Mother Earth.

Finca Vida Verde:

Neighbor and best friend to Sarah Wu, we find the project of Matthew Human and Finca Vida Verde. Holding various lots of Tacotal, this space is being developed as an eco-educational oasis for musicians, artists, students, educators and friends can gather and live the Pure Green Life of ecological community. With Human’s personal home, a lovely cabin, two glamping tents, camp ground, bathhouse and in the process of development community building, Finca Vida Verde is a place of connection and active participation. Students will camp and glamp here and take breakfast each morning before taking the 10 minute walk through the jungle to Casa Colibri.


Regular Tuition: $1895

Register Before December 1, 2023 and get $300 off the Regular Tuition

Tuition Includes:

Bring Your Own Tent Camping at Finca Vida Verde, neighbor project of Matthew Human, located just 10 minute walk through the jungle of Tacotal Colectivo.

– All omnivorous meals, made fresh with organic ingredients provided by local purveyors and grown on the land.

– All activities, classes and course materials

Space is Limited to 25 Students

Reserve Your Space Today with a $500 non-refundable, non-transferrable deposit
Second Deposit of $500 is due on March 1
All final payments are paid on the first day in cash USD

please write for more info