Florida School of Holistic Living North Florida Branch
The Florida School of Holistic Living is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization with the mission of cultivating sustainable community by empowering individuals through philosophy-in-practice education that promotes holistic living.
FSHL offers a wide and comprehensive curriculum of courses that equip students with the skills necessary to understand a holistic approach to health and wellness. The classes and training provided also encourages a sustainable lifestyle and a respect for the natural world. In addition, we provide the Central Florida community a space to connect with our community, build vibrant health, and deepen our relationship with the earth, through our Bodhi Garden, Community Herbal Clinic, Moon Circles, the Florida Herbal Conference, and ongoing special events.
The style of teaching practiced at the Florida School of Holistic Living revolves around the idea of philosophy-in-practice, which gives students the opportunity to "get their hands dirty" and learn while doing. This approach allows teachers and students to get out into the field and connect with the subject matter on a deeper level. FSHL prioritizes holistic philosophy, which is reflected in all of our courses and our focus on the whole individual and their connection to their environment. We believe that when students are empowered with a higher level of knowledge they live an enriched life, and are able to contribute to making the world more sustainable, peaceful, and whole for future generations.
FSHL in Tallahassee
The Florida School of Holistic Living's North Florida branch is located in Tallahassee Florida. Classes are taught at the historic Lichgate cottage on High Road, a three acre oasis of nature full of gardens and native flora. Lichgate is home to an English tudor-style cottage that was built by Laura Jepsen, a former professor at Florida State University. Mrs. Jepsen was inspired to preserve and protect the Lichgate property after she fell in love with the majestic live oak tree at it's center.
Lichgate's oak tree is registered with the Live Oak Society and the property itself is part of the United States National Register of Historic Places. Simply stepping onto the property will transport visitors to a simpler and more magical time and bring them to a hidden world of wilderness within the hustle and bustle of Florida's capitol.
The property is open to the public and small groups from dawn until dusk. The Florida School of Holistic Living is honored to have their North Florida branch teach on such a historic property with various gardens, the amazing live oak tree, and Laura Jepsen's hand-build cottage.
Founded in 1999 as the Florida School of Herbal Studies, the school first focused on introducing the concepts and practices of holistic living through the science and art of herbalism. Classes were taught at local herb stores and healing centers in Titusville and Orlando under the direction of herbalist George D’Arcy. In 2005 herbalist Emily Ruff dictated the construction of FSHL's first building and educational gardens in Winter Park. The school moved to Downtown Orlando in the Fall of 2006, and remains there still.
As our school's outreach grew so did our curriculum, with a focus on serving students and helping them integrate ecological herbalism into their everyday lives. This required branching off from just herbal studies and delving into more diverse subjects, including holistic nutrition, iridology, healing with rhythm, and various nutritional theories, as well as sustainable living and urban homesteading topics such as beekeeping, permaculture, and organic gardening. The school formally changed its name to the Florida School of Holistic Living in Fall 2007 to better reflect the full scope of its mission and work within the community.
FSHL firmly believes in not just educating but acting, and has been a driving force in Central Florida’s movement towards environmental consciousness and conservation, offering access to education on traditional philosophies and practices, as well as contemporary technologies, that foster living in harmony with the natural world. The school has been an ardent advocate for United Plant Savers, receiving the first Botanical Sanctuary designation in Florida in 2012. In support of local farmers, the school founded the Homegrown Local Food Cooperative in 2007 to build a sustainable agricultural economy in Central Florida. In 2012, in support of our regional herbal community, the school founded the Florida Herbal Conference.