What to Expect

Overnight visitors to OAEC sleep in beautiful, spacious guest accommodations overlooking our gardens. Alternately, you are welcome to camp in our Wildlands Preserve. Our accommodations are clean, lovely and spacious, with easy access to modern bathroom facilities. You will enjoy three delicious, organic, hearty vegetarian meals a day, with produce sourced from our gardens and orchards or from local farms.

Course and retreat participants at OAEC can also expect to experience powerful personal transformation, deep education and inspiring networking opportunities.

Visitor Information


This residential course at OAEC is $495, or $445 if registered three weeks in advance. The price includes onsite accommodations and three homemade, organic and straight-from-the-garden meals each day.

The deposit amount for this course is $100.

More Information


The 2015 course begins at 10:00am on Friday, June 26th and ends at 4:00pm on Sunday, June 28th.


Healing Through Food


“When people walk through the OAEC gardens, they are touched by a deeper knowing of what nourishes them, something so many of us long for today. It is one of the great joys of my life to share these gardens with others, exploring the wisdom that they hold.”

— Michelle Vesser


 Read Michelle’s article about this course >


OAEC course participant

Schedule in Detail:

Friday – Plant and Herb Focus

  • Healing Through Food

    Making salt scrubs.

    Plant spirit wisdom – We will take time to begin a healing relationship with plants through meditation and drawing, and discover the medicine they have to offer us.

  • Preparing herbal oil infusions – After meeting the plants and discussing their properties, we will harvest herbs from the garden and wild areas. The techniques of preparing both fresh and 24 hour dry plant infusion medicinal oils will be covered and demonstrated. The following day we will prepare these oils into salve and body salts.
  • Slide show – After our evening meal in the garden, we see a slide presentation on Weston A. Price’s work and his contribution to nutrition.


Saturday – Gardening Focus (practically and spiritually)

  • Reimaging the world of weeds – We will enter a broad and fascinating world of weeds as our food, medicine, and soil indicators. It will change forever how you look at the green plants that appear everywhere.
  • Composting – We will take plants that we have cleared from the garden beds and begin the process that transforms them into beautiful humus that feeds the Earth and the plant world.
  • Tai Chi of gardening – How to strengthen your body while avoiding injury using the foundations of Tai Chi. You will learn the basics of being rooted, developing leg strength, proper posture, moving with your waist, and using tools as an extension of your body.
  • Bed preparation – We cover all the steps of cultivating garden beds. We will open, edge, add amendments, turn the bed and take time to massage it, using the Tai Chi of gardening techniques.
  • Planting – We will finish the bed by planting young starts into our freshly cultivated beds.
  • Ancestor journey – After dinner in the garden, we will do an exercise to help you remember and connect with how your ancestors related to food.


Sunday – Food and Nutrition Focus

  • Healing Through FoodEating with the seasons – The healing wisdom that eating within your foodshed, climate and seasons offer you.
  • Body types and constitution – In Chinese and Ayurvedic healing systems, the elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether are important in understanding each individual’s health. These systems describe the constitution you were born with, each constitution tendencies when unhealthy, and foods that provoke ill health and create balance.
  • Sauerkraut preparation – We will harvest ingredients from the garden and create together this ancient art of fermenting food, which greatly benefits the digestive system (the seat of your health) and preserves nutrients.
  • Rejuvenative snacks – How to create treats that are healing tonics that taste great.


My expectations were surpassed. The knowledge, the sharing across generations, and most of all Michelle’s love, were contagious for all participants. The best workshop I have ever attended!


Thank you, Michelle, for the entire experience. I commend you on your wisdom and endurance, while maintaining a supportive environment along with humor and warmth.


I loved going through the process of composting, cleaning the beds, planting, and then to go beyond to make sauerkraut. It's not possible to learn all that from a book.