Balsam Harvest & Medicine Festival

Sat, Feb 22nd or Mar 9th, 2020 11am-3pm

The sticky buds of the Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) are the Medicine of Springtime.

Used by indigenous peoples all around the Northern hemisphere, the balsam tree is Nature’s medicine cabinet!

Location: Parking along 2 Ave SE, outside of 2410 2 Ave SE building, is free on weekends. From here, we will walk a couple blocks to the harvesting area. After the harvest and plantwalk, we will meet at Pearce Estate Park (5 min. drive) to process our medicines and have a traditional snack.

Come and learn to use the gifts of the Balsam Poplar tree. We will go from Harvest to creation of a Take-Home Medicine Chest of balsam bud goodies! Uses of the balsam poplar & other poplar-family cousins for food, medicine, shelter, and household tools will be discovered in a celebration of the Plant Nation. See images from previous Balsam Harvest Fests.

This Festival of Poplars is part herb-walk, part traditional apothecary experience. We will harvest our medicines and make them over a fire, with fresh bannock and herbal tea. Kids of all ages are welcome with their parent or guardian, there is a playground in Pearce Estate Park; ages 0-7 are free, ages 8-12 are only $10 each.

Register Here:

Choose Date:

What to Expect:– Meet the cousins of Balsam, the Poplar family! They are a close-knit bunch!
– Explore the many healing properties of Balsam & how to Identify it- Process our Buds into 3 unique medicines: Anti-inflammatory Ear Oil, Resin Cough Syrup, and Balm of Gilead
– Enjoy a traditional snack of bannock and herbal tea
– Learn to Harvest all parts of the Balsam tree safely, legally and with respect for nature (and without getting all sticky!)
– Take home your own Balsam medicine chest on the same day
– Drumming, singing, traditional stories about the Standing People (our friends the trees)

Checklist for Balsam Harvesting:

– Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, sun or weather protection
– a pair of inexpensive/disposable gloves
– a travel mug or water bottle (tea and water will be provided)
– bring a drum if you have one!
– an offering for the trees – not necessary but always appreciated, make sure it is biodegradable and not a hazard to birds or animals. Tobacco is traditional, but not necessary

Please view our workshop policies here.

7 Replies to “Balsam Harvest & Medicine Festival”

  1. Good morning,
    I learned about your Balsam Bud Harvest class this morning. I realize it is full, but if you have a cancelation list you could add me to it.
    I can be reached at ##### if there becomes a spot open in Saturday’s class.
    Thank you!

  2. Hi!

    My friend and I signed up for this class and we’re so excited. We just realized though that we do not have an address for the course! Thank you for this opportunity!!!

    Love and light to you,

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