Tag Archives: workshops

It’s summer!!!


O my, and my first year as a qualified herbalist shows to me the very essence of the seasonal nature of our work. Not that herbalists aren’t up to some busyness all year round but this last month has really seen the pulsation and the pounding of life gearing up in every respect! Also I’m getting it from the community around: our herb workshops and walks are being met with such a response. It’s felt like an exciting power that’s overwhelming at times but so encouraging and heartening. Is it the times – the massive sense of awakening and unfolding that’s happening everywhere, the movement of change: evolution! It’s our rich & beautiful mother Earth that shows us it and it makes me feel positive even with tales of woe and horror all round. The walking, singing, pots-and-pans banging people of Turkey particularly inspired me in June, as did the fact that 100 people turned up to explore plants on Walthamstow Marshes in May: scary & amazing in equal measure haha! Add to this the Radical Herbalism Gathering that happened last month – the first meet of its kind in the UK to bring together people questioning and discussing the connections between ecology, plant medicine, accessible healthcare and social justice (shared with a lot of lovely plant people) – and you have a potent mix of hope and action.

So June has been heightened and July follows with more to add to the bag of energy: plenty of earthy events to lure you to the green. Visit Herbal Happenings for details. Herbal Medicine Awareness Week was last week and to celebrate we did a talk and our first apothecary stall in Walthamstow Village. Also an intern from Copenhagen has arrived to work with us on herbal community activity over the summer – welcome Sara!

Here are some illustrations of our activities this spring and summer so far:

IMG_20130519_145844     IMG_20130517_122249

IMG_20130608_140122     IMG_20130512_160547

IMG_20130608_140032     IMG_20130519_173011      IMG_20130512_151630

IMG_20130512_163501     IMG_20130624_135555

IMG_20130519_145957     IMG_20130608_133416

IMG_20130630_123615     IMG_20130630_123251
IMG_20130512_151234     IMG_20130625_145108

Workshops: the second set!

We have completed our first course of herbal medicine introductory workshops.

They were great!

A brilliant mix of a group of Waltham Foresters came together and shared, learned, questioned, wondered and got inspired – including us. As a first experience of workshop-making it was a little scary at first, then it became real fun and a useful way of realising and enlivening the last 4 years of learning in my head and bringing it out. It was also a joy to do it with this lot! Seeing this diverse band of plant health seekers getting together to start a journey (or in some cases, continue ones they had already begun) was fabulous and has strengthened my ideas about community being the necessary and pro-active heart of herbs as medicine, where people learn themselves to take intelligent care of their own health, in collaboration with the bountiful green world we prowl about in…

Sadly we were so busy discussing and making ointment and onion syrup that I foolishly failed to take ANY pictures to document these merry moments – REMEMBER next time! Workshop people, put your testimonials here please to prove it was all real!

And so now, in the light of these positive & powerful beginnings, we announce the next set of workshops at The Mill in Walthamstow, east London: starting Friday 9th November, 12 noon-2pm and running for 4 weeks, same time each Friday.

We’ll be covering general introductions to the field of herbal medicine including the following:

  • Sensible plant recognition & gathering
  • The nature and approach of herbalism in health
  • The range of preparations used
  • Exploration of a few herbs in depth
  • What we can find and use respectfully in our local lands
  • Using herbs supportively to make home remedies and treat simple ailments

The course includes a practical session making some medicines, and lots of herb tasting – for it’s always better to experience what a herb does for you before you use it!

Cost is £20 for the whole 4 week course, or you can attend individual sessions if unable to commit to all, for £5 each time.

For more info or to book, call Rasheeqa on 07784 506 494 or email hedgeherbs@gmail.com

Come and join us and play with some herbs!

Stripping leaves

When I spend time doing stuff with herbs – as I did last Sunday, finally taking down some great bunches of Lemon Balm that were drying over the cupboard to take off the leaves and crumble them into jars, and pressing out some vinegar that had Meadowsweet infusing in it – I have a delicious feeling like being a child again, sitting in the dust stripping leaves off stems or piling dried leaves into heaps, or gathering together pods… it’s like a feeling of doing something utterly meaningless, yet so methodical, in the face of all the stuff there is in the earth – after all, how many leaves are there, and nuts (not to mention everything else, ha) – but even so, I’m rescuing some meaning from the wilderness of infinity by collecting and distilling these few bits of the mass, for a future purpose. Anyhow, it feels peaceful and a perfect thing to do on a sunny late-summer September Sunday. I like the motion and how it makes me go into quiet lines – an internal visual blur, merry waves of greenness and enticing delicate smells infusing into everything… hmmm this sounds like a little planty trip haha.

Emerging from tripping and stripping, our first workshop at The Mill is tomorrow! Eeek but exciting – the first step into sharing herbs with people. We’ll do some tea tastings in the way of the Scottish School in Glasgow, where I first learnt to sit and imbibe the erbs and discover what they do. I’m glad Charm is with me doing this. Is gonna be good! Reports on these workshops to follow…

Herbal Medicine Workshops

Hello all, an update on Hedge Herbs’ first workshop series.

Workshops commence on Saturday 22nd September, 2-3.30pm (5 weeks course). They will be led by Rasheeqa Ahmad of Hedge Herbs but I’m now joined by fellow herbalist and nutritionist Charm Elakil, also Walthamstow-based and a cheery addition to the course, bringing her own special skills in gardening and making delightful concoctions…

The workshops will cover the following areas and will also be open to participants’ interests so if you have any particular herb favourites or ideas you want to explore – bring them to the table!

- Ideas and approaches of herbal medicine practice

- Its role in today’s world and its relations with orthodox medicine

- What herbs we can find, gather, cultivate here in east London, and when their seasons are

- Herb actions, applications and energies – using plants for our health and in illness

- What kinds of preparations we can make with herbs, what they are valuable for (including practical session)

- Lots of herb exploring: looking, smelling, tasting, eating, drinking!

If you’re interested in joining, contact me on 07784 506 494 or email hedgeherbs@gmail.com

Workshops will run at The Mill in Walthamstow – 7-11 Coppermill Lane, E17 7HA – you can also drop in there to book a place, or ring them on 020 85213211.

Hope to see you there!