I facilitated my 1st herbal workshop

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin
edited May 2023 in Herbal Medicine-Making

Last year I became involved with a group of like minds from my local area, in the very real hope of getting a community garden off the ground. We’ve formed a committee, have insurance & all paperwork sorted. We don’t have a site for our garden yet but in the mean time, we have held regular events to keep focused & connected. We hold twice monthly Swap, Share & Shuffles, where people bring excess produce, cakes, jams, preserves, egg cartons, jars, plants, seeds etc. No money changes hands & our mantra is “give what you can, take what you need”. It has become popular & a nice way to meet more locals.

Our committee heard about some funding available from our local councils “Living Lightly Program”, we applied & now have funding for 4 workshops to take place over the next year. At one of our meetings we were asked what we’d like to focus on & herbal medicine came up, so I volunteered to facilitate the 1st workshop. The next one is on fermenting & the 3rd is on worm farming.

We held the “Home Herbal Remedies” workshop on Saturday & I’m pleased to say 14 enthusiastic women turned up, asked lots of questions & we had a lovely afternoon in the kitchen of our local community hall. I greeted participants with a cup of nettle tea & some adaptogen bliss balls. We went through basic steps & covered, making tea, drying herbs, tinctures, making simple cold remedies, fire cider & elderberry syrup. Turned an infused oil into a salve & then into a lotion. Talked about poultices, steams & medicinal grab bags. They all went home with a jar of “all purpose” salve. Calendula, chickweed & plantain.

I got to say, I enjoyed the whole process, the ladies were keen, engaged & asked me when the next one was. I thank TGN for helping me gain knowledge & confidence to pull this off. I told them I was an absolute beginner, with so much more to learn but keen to spread the word & help people become more self sufficient & resilient. Cheers to everyone who has helped me on this journey. I mentioned several times the wonderful learning space that is TGN, so maybe we might get some more people on board.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    Congratulations, @JodieDownUnder!

    I took a class with Susun Weed a few years ago and she said to get out and spread the word. Even if you only know one thing, like how to make nourishing herbal infusions or a simple healing salve, teach that knowledge within your community.

    You've really jumped in with both feet. Sounds like you covered a tremendous amount of information and have an excited group to work with.

    Your fire cider ingredients look very good. I see a bag marked Usnea. Is that what is in the bottom of the jar?

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good for you! It's such a nice thing to share knowledge with others, and it sounds like they appreciated you!

    I find that teaching wildlife tracking helps keep me sharp, and I imagine that teaching any subject does the same.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is so wonderful! I'm so happy for you. You are an inspiration for me to get more involved locally too. I love that you jumped in teaching even when you consider yourself a beginner.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @JodieDownUnder You are so ambitious! It's great to hear that you have an eager following.

    Keep on going! 🎉

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,919 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JodieDownUnder that is so awesome, congrats! So when is the next class?😁

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @Torey thats rosemary in the jar, along with cinnamon stick, peppercorns & elderberries. The Usnea, I made a tincture from. I’m taking a heap of Gotu kola plants to the swap, share & shuffle this morning, with some info on the herb for interested others.

    When I made the lotion on Saturday, it didn’t seem right, too thin in consistency but no one noticed. I bought it home & filled some jars. The next morning it had separated, layer of wax & some milky/watery liquid. Scratching my head undeterred, I put it back in the jug, tipped off the liquid, added some more wax. When melted, I added a cup of cooled nettle tea, then stick blended & bingo, a lovely usable lotion. I must have got distracted at the workshop & got my ratios wrong. You always learn best from mistakes I reckon. Thanks for being a major inspiration.☺️

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,456 admin

    @JodieDownUnder well done! Workshops need lots of preparation, but then it is so rewarding to feel that participants are interested, grateful, want to come again. And it is so important to share our valuable knowledge how to use natural plants for home made medicine. Keep on facilitating more workshops!

    It is a Workshops season for me as well. I am preparing material for my next workshop “Spices from the garden and wild nature”

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JodieDownUnder How exciting! What a wonderful thing to do for those in your community. Happy they were so responsive. Wish I lived closer to someone doing this type of classes. Most folks here either already make their stuff or just want to go buy it from the local shops that make it.

    Would love to have someone who knows our local plants and was willing to teach or share even a plant walk. Here if they do that it's gonna cost you $300 or more and is usually in the middle of a work day in Anchorage so two hours away from me.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @vickeym Maybe I should move to Anchorage.:) I usually only charge $20 per person for my local plant walks. I'm sure I could get more in a big city but that's a long drive for me that would include accommodations.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @vickeym our local council really seems to be making an effort with funding for free workshops. Herbal, foraging, fermenting, composting, recognising bird species etc. they are all free & usually on a weekend. We are extremely fortunate. Mind you, its only “our kind of people” who get engaged in these sorts of topics, I’m sure it’s the same all over the globe! $300 does seem excessive though, it must be very thorough.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is not uncommon here for folks to drive anywhere from 2 to even 6 hours each way to get to things like this or even even an arts type festival. Mind you not everyone will go that far, but there are many who do.

    Our state fair, which is small compared to big cities in other states, Has people out in the villages who plan their vacations around the fair and make a week or two of it to come and shop in Anchorage and the surrounding communities while they are here as it is a once a year or every few years trip from many villages.

    Anchorage, Alaska has a population of 283,154 as of 2023, making it the largest city in Alaska.

    Wasilla (the closest, larger city to me) is a city located in Matanuska-Susitna County, Alaska, with a population of 9,098 people as of 2023.

    Talkeetna, Alaska, (where I live) has a population of 1,199 according to the latest last official US Census in 2020. It has grown by a few hundred since I have lived here and around 3-400 of them are summer residents and workers.

    So @Torey we would be more than happy to have you, and I'd bet you could get more than $20 and still have it be affordable. Though you would tired of me begging to come along for a lesson on herbs, wild foraging, homeopathy and whatever else I could. lol

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