We are a collective of plant medicine growers, gatherers, makers and users who aim to come together to serve our communities, cultivate healthful bonds and systems and exchange health knowledge through our connections with our local land and plant life.
We are reaching out to those in our communities to ask how and what herbal healthcare can help people, and we are sharing and learning new skills in making medicines that respond to our health needs.
The movement is facilitated by medical herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad of Hedge Herbs in collaboration with other local herbalists, apprentices, growers, gardens and groups, and aims to:
– share and practice effective knowledge about sustainable and careful growing, wildcrafting, processing and using of medicinal herbs.
– develop networks and connections between herb growers in community gardens, growing spaces, allotments; plants from these places; medicines we can make with them; people in the community who can be supported with these medicines.
– develop a dynamic collective of herbalists, growers and apprentices who will grow the circles and systems of the vision.
– offer our community an opportunity to connect with our local environments and ecosystems and learn how to support their and our health with plant medicine.
We are currently cultivating four sites in Waltham Forest with a crew of volunteers who are learning plant medicine from the ground up, so that we can strengthen our healthcare autonomy and skills base in our communities as well as offer opportunities for people to connect with local land and experience joy through making the gardens together. We are spending 2020 putting together a course to bring together the different aspects of herbalism practice – herb growing, harvesting, medicine making, therapeutics for self and community care – which we will open to the community in 2021. The four gardens include residential and housing estate spaces and one large hillside site that we plan to develop into a medicinal forest garden with space for more substantial herb production. We are working in partnership with Organiclea Community Growers who are supporting us with organisational development mentoring and physical spaces for the patchwork of herb gardens.