- Mentoring Community -
If you are seeking deeper learning...
We offer in-person, hands-on mentoring through a seasonal, 7 month Mentoring Community Membership. See specific details here. There is a limited number of spaces available and they will fill up fast.
Your guide, Maria Solakofski is a mentor of everything herbal, a guide for botanical wellness, organic gardening, nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices, community building, self-sufficiency and homesteading in the city.
Learn more about Maria here.
"I've learned a lot about gardening and even more importantly how to build community with a labour of love, generosity and acceptance."
What you gain in our unique community...
CONNECTION… Tangibly, sensually and sensibly immersed in the natural world that is right in front of you - not far away on a farm, on vacation or in deep woods - right here in the city, accessible every day.
BELONGING… Community is at the centre of everything we do. Everyone here is valued for who they are and the special gift they bring.
KNOWLEDGE… You will really get to know your herbs, the cycles and processes of growth and support in an ecological context. The immersive hands-on process of learning encourages learning through all of your senses. We zoom into the micro while holding the whole picture.
EASE… Especially in your own body. Listening to yourself while in relationship with nature helps you discern what you need most and clears your plate. It is inevitable that as you take time to nurture yourself, you will make choices that will better support your vision for your best life.
RECIPROCITY… This is a place where we learn together and take care of one another. As we nurture all aspects of the garden everything - including the people - grow within it. This is not necessarily the case in traditional trainings or education systems and it’s not common in workplaces or nature/garden clubs.
"I was searching for healing and purpose, I had no idea that I would be getting a community that would surround me with so much love, strength, support, laughter and wisdom.
Mentoring Community Membership
All the specifics you are wondering about...
How does this work?
We learn together in three different ways: alongside Maria; independently with a specific task or objective; and almost always, with other members of the community.
Questions will naturally arise and be explored while working. Sometimes we may switch gears to investigate something we are curious about or to solve a problem that needs our attention.
Aside from the weekly workdays, we also have seasonal harvest parties, fires and special events for Mentoring Community Members only.
Questions of timing:
This in-person, hands-on learning runs for 7 months from April and November.
We will start the week of April 17, 2023 and will wrap up by Nov 12, 2023.
There will be 3 work days a week. Each work day is 3 hours and it is where the bulk of learning happens. You can come to ANY or ALL of the ones that suit your schedule. There will be daytime, evening and weekend times available. We will try to keep the days and times consistent, though there are adjustments in the summer to accommodate heat extreme heat)
Tuesdays 3pm - 6pm. (July and August 4pm - 7pm)
Thursdays 9am - 12pm (July and August 7:30am - 10:30am)
Weekend time - TBD
Attending 3 meetings a month is the minimum required commitment.
What’s the investment?
Beyond the time you invest in yourself, our community and connecting to the learning ecosystem, we ask for the following financial contribution to cover our expenses:
$700 ~ for previous members
$900 ~ for new members
We want to offer this opportunity to everyone who wishes to participate where we agree it is a good match. If finances are prohibiting you from applying OR you are in a position to offer MORE to contribute to a subsidy for members in need, PLEASE BE IN TOUCH.
Payment can be made by e-transfer, cash or cheque.
One payment: by April 30, 2023.
Two payments: 50% by April 30, 2023 and 50% by July 1, 2023.
Some added perks:
Previous members have a discounted membership fee, because they have an understanding of the layout and processes of the garden. They will also be in a position to offer guidance to new members. All members receive:
A reduced rate for our public herbal workshops.
Invitation to special member only events - celebration dinners, fire circles and special guest presentations.
A complimentary Herbal Consult at season’s end and a custom made herbal package. Details and testimonials here.
Things you may learn here:
Organic, biodynamic and permaculture methods and principles
Soil building, care and regeneration
Composting methods, active, passive and vermi piles
Starting seeds- indoor and out
Hardening off plants and transplanting seedlings
Plant care and pest/disease management
Harvest and processing techniques
Whole food cooking
Herbal Education- growing, care and preparation
Everything you ever wanted to know about herbal tisanes
Season extenders- Cold frames, greenhouses
Pollinating plants and cut flowers
Companion and rotation planting
All about mulch!
Garden planning and design/build techniques
Plant identification- fruit and vegetable plants, edible “weed” harvest, invasive species management, ornamental and native plants
How to be resourceful with everything you do
How to improvise in almost any situation
Living more with less
Our part in our micro ecosystem as well as the world
Syncing your rhythm to nature’s rhythm