Wholesome, Beautiful, and Endearing - A Figure of Wisdom and Inspiration

Interested in living a more simple and sustainable lifestyle (even through clothing choices)? Seeking to embrace the joy and beauty found in creation? Want to teach this wisdom to others? Watch "Juliet of the Herbs," a film on the life and work of herbalist Juliet de Bairacli Levy. Afterwords, use this lesson plan to process the herbal wisdom and, indeed, lifelong insights presented. Happy wild-crafting!

ACTIVITY: Juliet of the Herbs

TIME: 3 hours


ENVIRONMENT: movie viewing area and a wooded area


  • Juliet of the Herbs DVD
  • DVD Player
  • TV or LCD Projector
  • popcorn

OBJECTIVES: By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Explain, in brief, the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
  • Describe Juliette’s significance to the community of Eighth Day Harvest and their families and parishes back home.
  • Explain different methods of using herbs for folk medicine.


Make popcorn for students to enjoy with the movie.


  1. Welcome the students to the first movie night of the summer. Explain that we try to watch wholesome films at Eighth Day Harvest that we can enjoy and learn from. Share that tomorrow we will have our first plant identification lesson and, thus, an appropriate movie for the evening is Juliet of the herbs.
  2. Pass out popcorn and begin the movie. As the movie is warming up, tell the students to remember any questions that arise during the viewing because there will be a brief discussion about the film tomorrow morning before the plant walk.
  3. After the movie ends, encourage the students to write about any significant thoughts going through their heads. The movie is very beautiful and can be quite moving, thus, students may want to process it. In efforts to encourage a less common type of group process, the method this time around is for them to write. If they do not wish to write that is fine. They will have time to share and discuss the film in the morning.
  4. THE NEXT MORNING: After students have gathered for the plant walk, sit for a few minutes to discuss the film. Allow the students time to share any thoughts, written or unwritten, that they had during or after the film. If discussion seems to lack, prompt students with these questions:
    1. What, if any, aspect of Juliet’s life was most interesting?
    2. What role did her relationship to her dog play in her life?
    3. Why did she choose to live as a gypsy wanderer?
    4. How might one describe her life work?
    5. What are some ways to understand her life and work from an Orthodox perspective?
    6. Are there any aspects of her approach to life that are problematic from an Orthodox theological perspective?
  5. Let the discussion go on for as long as it seems profitable. If it wanders, attempt to redirect it, to a degree, back to a healthy progression. Be careful of becoming overbearing, the idea is for the students to discuss, not the facilitator to lecture. When prompted for input, share it, otherwise try to minimize your input.


Evaluate the students on their attention to the film and involvement in the discussion. How many questions or points of reflection did they gather from the film? How well did they grasp the essence of herbalism and Juliet de Bairacli Levy?