Summer Solstice Mead-Making

Herbal Medicinal Meads

Traditional, Herbal Mead Making
& Summer Solstice Fire Celebration at Elderberry’s
with Lisa Ganora

June 21 thru 23, 2019
[Friday, Saturday, & Sunday]

ABOUT | Mead is an ancient delight made by fermenting honey with yeast. In this weekend workshop we’re going to Make Mead like a Vitalist! Using honey to extract the virtues of medicinal fruits and herbs, then fermenting this honey into mead, creates a delicious hybrid between strong medicine and enchanting beverage. Our medicinal meads contain less alcohol than tinctures or elixirs, but still represent a potent herbal extraction that not only preserves for years but continues to improve with age.

We’re going to learn the cold process, where the herbal-infused honey and must (the mixture that will become mead) are only gently warmed, not simmered or boiled. This preserves the delicate flavors and constituents in the medicinal meads. We’re also not using sulfites or other chemicals, so in order to keep our meads from becoming contaminated with random molds, yeasts, and bacteria, we’re going to learn how to be super sanitary! Medicinal mead-making is also a slow process, where gravity does the clearing and time works the magic. Unlike herbal beers, these meads take their own sweet time to mature.

The first step of our mead-making process is to extract the herbs/fruits with honey. We’ll go over equipment & supplies; suitable herbs and fruits/berries for infusion (e.g., Spruce tips, Elderberries, Ginger, Turmeric, Rose, Wild Apples); types, actions, and energetics of honey; different kinds of yeasts and their properties; natural sources of tannins and acids (used to balance the sweet flavor of the honey); and all the steps of the honey infusion/extraction process.

Next, we’ll take some infused herbal honeys that we made earlier at our farm, and learn about the equipment and procedures needed to formulate with them and to blend up the must. Primary and secondary (re-infusing the young mead with more herbs/fruits) fermentations will be discussed. We’ll also introduce racking (a siphoning process that clears the mead by removing the lees), bottling, storing and aging. What we can’t cover in class will be detailed in the accompanying handouts.

Whether you’ve tried mead-making before or are new to the craft, you’re sure to learn something different in this class that represents 30 years of combined herbalist/mead-making experience. Join us for a nerdy journey into the realm of magical phytochemical transformations orchestrated by the tiny, powerful creatures called Yeasts! This workshop is for students 21 and over (we’re going to sample a variety of Meads).

Also, we’re having Summer Solstice bonfires, so bring your drums and regalia! Our firepit is the spiritual heart of Elderberry’s – so Friday is for Fun, Saturday is for Ceremony.

•   •   •   •   •   •

is the Director of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder, CO, and has lectured and taught classes at numerous schools and conferences around the U.S. Lisa began studying herbs in the Wise Woman Tradition back in 1986 and fell profoundly in love with medicinal plants and natural healing. While studying wildcrafting and medicine-making with traditional herbalists from New England to the Appalachian Mountains for ten years, she began creating herbal products and traveled the festival circuit with an herb booth and as a workshop presenter and Moonlodge leader. In 1997 Lisa decided to study botany, chemistry, and health sciences at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC and graduated with highest honors and several awards. Lisa combines a deep understanding of traditional, Vitalist herbalism with a scientifically-integrated and holistic approach to natural health. When not busy with nerdy things like Herbal Constituents, she likes to howl with Wolves, Coyotes, and Dogs, sneak around in the dark, sing to the Moon, and dance dance dance.



DATES | June 21 – 23, 2019
Elderberry’s Farm, Paonia, Colorado
| General Public:
$ 249.00
| Current CSCH Students: 
$ 199.00
| North Fork Valley Neighbors: 
$ 199.00

Cancel one week or more before the workshop:  Full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancel less than a week before the workshop: Full refund minus a $50 cancellation fee.