Balsam Poplar Love

I went out to the harvest grounds today to take advantage of the break in freezing weather. Glorious sunshine sparkling on 2-foot high snowfall, and the relative balminess of -8 degree air were not my primary motivations – I was Poplar Scouting!

This year will be a prolific season for the balsam poplar tree. While the trees appear lifeless, nestled snugly under thick coats of snow, their roots and heartwood are busy flowing and creating. On each tree, little buds boast golden drops of precious resin, the color of marigold petals.

I took many pictures but none of them did justice to the excitement I feel each year when the poplar trees herald the first whispers of spring.

(If anyone wants to teach me to take pictures of tiny buds against a snowy background I will trade you some balsam honey…)

There are still 2 weeks until the Balsam Harvest – it seems the sap flows earlier and earlier every year. This season we will have the marvelous Rebecca Smith, ClH, along with us. Rebecca is a former apprentice wrote her thesis on the Poplar family, and is an advocate for protecting the poplar trees of Calgary.

I’m also excited to be preparing our medicines outside this year, with an open fire crackling beside us, and hot herbal teas for warmth. Sharing the wonder of nature’s medicines and the honoring of the trees is a special blessing that brightens and shakes me every winter!

Plant Appreciation Picnic with the Alberta Herbalists Association

Sunday August 20, 2017, 12-4pm Bowness Park, NW Calgary 

Register Here

Join the Alberta Herbalists Association members and friends at Bowness Park for an afternoon of family friendly picnic’ing and plant appreciation! August is the perfect time to meet your local wild edible and medicinal herbs, and expert Herbalists will be on hand to teach you.

Bring yourself a picnic lunch and join in the fun! Learn from 3 different experts by following along on a Herb-walk, they will be sharing traditional and evidence-based knowledge about the wonders of plants. This is a great opportunity to build networks and create community with herb enthusiasts in our community.

All ages welcome! There will be some activities for everyone. Please bring water, frisbees, picnic blankets, umbrellas, or whatever else you need to be comfortable and have a great time in the August shade. Don’t forget to bring a cup so you can sample the delicious herbal iced teas!

Kalyn Kodiak will be there with Metis Fingerweaving bracelet-making station so you can make a souvenir to take home with you! Contact for more information.

Classes for 2017 at Kodiak Herbal Health & Education


Classes and tutorials happening in 2017. This menu is being updated, some class information may be missing. Check back later or contact for info.

CroppedEnergetic Practitioner’s Study Group/Practicum Program 2017

Week Nights & Weekend Workshops – Click link for list of practicum experiences

JW male leftIridology Certification Weekend Intensive – Lethbridge 2017

Date To Be Announced

JW male leftIridology Tutorial – Calgary 2017

Date To Be Announced


balsam_budsBalsam Bud Harvest & Medicine Making

Saturday February 25th 2017,                       11am – 4pm – REGISTRATION OPEN

Prarie_ChiefWildflowers in the City!

June 2017 Plant Walk – details coming soon


IMG_20150419_155303Summer Courses & Herb Walks 2017

For Kids & Adults! Details soon

Western Wholistic Herbal Gathering – August 19-22 2016


The WWHG is a collective of inspired experts on Natural Health, Sustainability, Permaculture and Traditional Knowledge, serving up a weekend of fun and learning in the poplar forests of Rocky Mountain House!

Tickets are still on Early-bird special until June 10th, 2016 for the low price of $195 for the whole weekend! Fresh organic, vegan option GF food is included in ticket price. There is even special programming for the kids! Please check out for more info and to get your tickets today.