Welcome to the Community Medicinal Herbalism Partnership between Sustainable Food Edmonton & myself, your YEG Community Herbalist!
I hear all the time from people who want to learn more about the plants around us & who are interested in re-learning traditional knowledge. This very much also includes local, wild & traditional foods, and edible & medicinal plants & herbal medicine.
The city’s borders encroach further & further each year into the surrounding farmland & natural spaces. We spend more & more time in our cars & amongst concrete than connected to the foods & medicines used by our ancestors. People want to get re-acquainted with the plants & re-learn these skills, but there are few places to gather plants & herbs in the city, and our shrinking natural areas can’t support thousands of city-goers coming to forage for plants & wild foods.
Solution: Community Medicinal Herb Garden Pilot Project
Developing medicinal herb gardens in local communities allow all the people in the community access to herbs, as well as a central place to learn the skills to grow, harvest, process & prepare herbal teas & home remedies. This allows not only for an expansion of the definition & function of the current community garden, but the ability for all members of the community to acquire knowledge & skills they can apply to their own green space, from a backyard to a balcony.
We have chosen 2 Community Gardens this year to be home to Community Medicinal Herb Gardens. 1 is on the north side of the city & one is on the south (Richfield Community Gardens in Mill Woods).
6 different medicinal plants (x3) will be planted into a community plot for everyone in the community to have access to*. The Community Gardens will also be host to 3 plant medicine workshops related to the medicinal plants we are introducing this year. And everyone is welcome to join in!
Come learn the fundamentals of how to grow, harvest, store, & prepare medicinal herbal remedies starting with 6 plants!
- Lemon balm
*Everyone who signs up for all 3 workshops will take home one of the above plants to plant in their yard or balcony, so they can follow along with the experiential learning process of growing, harvesting, & making remedies at home.
Class one-Introduction to the Plants-Growing Herbs & Herbal Medicine
Thursday July 6th
Class one will be an introduction to growing herbs in the city, types of herbs we can grow, & ways we can use them. We will discuss using herbs for food & medicine, & introduce different ways we can use them for our families. We will discuss the growing conditions of our 6-7 chosen plants.
All participants get to take home one herb plant to put into their garden generously donated by SFE.
Class time: 6-8:30 pm
Class 2-Making Fresh Plant Medicine & Harvesting, Drying & Preserving
Thursday July 27th
Cutting & drying tea herbs & our other medicinals.
Let’s learn how to harvesting our herbs & explore proper drying techniques. We will discuss seed saving from Calendula & Chamomile (how to time constant blossom picking & still leaving enough to go to seed) .
We will learn to prepare a herbal tea using fresh herbs with differentinfusion methods, as well as make a fresh simple syrup, a medicinal syrup &/or elixir, as well as discussing infused honeys.
Class time: 6-8:30 pm
Class 3-Processing our Herbs & Making Medicine
Thursday August 31st
Garbling: We will discuss & demonstrate how to process & store our now dried plant material.
We will blend herbal teas using our dried tea herbs. Learn simple blending principles with two teas, using different combinations of our garden herbs. And don’t forget tea tasting!
Learn a cold & warm infusion oil method for a healing skin salve and how to make a simple salve. Learn the folk tincture method of infusing herbs in alcohol (or a solvent other than alcohol). We will discuss overwintering our 6 types of plants as well as discuss planting garlic in the fall for spring medicine.
Class time: 6-8:30 pm
Investment: Thanks to SFE, we are able to keep the cost of the workshops down & within reach of many! You can sign up for individual workshops at $20 ea or all 3 for $45.
Limited bursaries are available for those in need- please contact Junetta at SFE: email@example.com
Register here to secure your space!
For more information on Sustainable Food Edmonton: www.sustainablefoodedmonton.org