Sunday, September 25, 2016

Practical Herbalist series 2016

We wrapped up our 4 month long Practical Herbalist series here yesterday, with a busy class of making winter remedies like tinctures, fire cider, and cough syrup.  This wonderful group of 14 students has been meeting here once a month (June through Sept) as part of this 4 part series.  Over the months we covered all the basic approaches to making "practical herbal" remedies using simple home medicine-making methods in order to feel confident to handle the basic aches, pains, coughs and colds, cuts and scrapes of regular life.  Students also had the chance to watch the gardens grow throughout the season, harvest and dry herbs, and make further projects at home.  We plan to offer this series again in the new year, and details will be posted over the coming months on our workshop page.

The grand finale of this class was an amazing herbal potluck to end the morning.  Each student brought something to share made with herbs we had talked about during the class (or other favourite herbs).   We love to take our "medicine as food", and so we savoured herbal pestos, herbal oils, salads infused with spruce tips dressing, baked treats with lavender, herbed potato fritatta, fennel-rosehip kombucha, and much more! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mendfulness Retreat at Little City Farm

This past weekend we held our first Mendfulness Gathering here at Little City Farm - an amazing day-long fibre arts retreat that focused on repurposing, reusing and upcycling clothes and working with natural fibres (e.g. spinning and felting wool, natural plant dyes on fabric).  There were 12 workshops that participants could choose from throughout the day, including pattern drafting, creative mending, cyanotype prints on fabric, rag rug making, basket making, and more!  Also great conversations throughout the day, yoga at noon, wood-fired flatbreads and wholesome delicious food at lunch, a free swap give-away area, and mini marketplace at the end of the day.  What a full, inspiring (and rainy) day filled with hands-on projects to take home, and wonderfully creative people all around.  Thanks for everyone's help in making this retreat wonderful, all our volunteers, photographer, workshop facilitators, and participants!

We hope to host monthly "mendfulness" get-togethers (like old-fashioned "mending circles") here at Little City Farm over the winter, to bring together friends, great food, and a chance to share our skills at repairing and repurposing our clothes.  By learning to mend, darn, patch and repurpose our clothes we are not only saving money for our families, but also keeping perfectly good clothes from going to the landfill, and empowering ourselves with new skills to make us more active producers as opposed to passive consumers.  Could you start a mending circle in your neighbourhood?

Here are a few photos from the day -despite the rain we had many busy hands sharing skills and doing beautiful work: