Herbal Tea Chains

Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Lori Weidehammer led us in a herbal tea chain workshop where participants learned to identify health-giving herbs, dried fruits and spices. While enjoying the pleasure of each others company, community members created herbal tea chains to take home to make their own infusions.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Save the Date: You're Invited to a Hummingbird Garden Party, August 11 from 2-4 pm

You are cordially invited to a Hummingbird Garden Party at the Moberly Cultural Herb Garden August 11, 2013 from 2-4 pm.

This is a family-friendly event where you can learn about hummingbirds in Vancouver and how to attract them to your garden. We will be giving tours of the Moberly Cultural Herb Garden and more!

New Garden Trellises by Rebecca Graham at Moberly!

 If we work in gardens, we're not going to let a little rain get in the way of our schedule. We commissioned artist Rebeca Graham to help our scarlet runner beans and sweet peas by creating some unique support structures. On a drizzly muggy morning she got down to work, as did this little ladybug laying her eggs on the silvery leaves of an artichoke plant.

 Rebecca has been working with Alastair Heseltine at VanDusen Gardens and she is very excited with how his willow structure is progressing.  His piece is in a show curated by Celia Duthie and Nicholas Hunt called Touch Wood.

 I love this trellis! We need a few more of these around the garden. Would you like to learn how to make one?

 As Rebecca worked on the structure, I pruned and weeded the garden with a couple of little helpers. We tried to allow more air to circulate around and within the plants.

 These "God's Eyes" are a really lovely detail in the work.

 I love the way this sturdy but delicate structure gives us a new way to view the plants on either side.

 The plant with the red flowers behind the structure is called Red Valerian or "Jupiter's Beard."  It's starting to go to seed right now.

The bees were loving these nodding onions. There was a sleepy bumble bee on the parsley blossoms next to the onions. We petted the bumble bee and when the sun came out it woke up very thirsty, running its tongue along the surface of the parsley looking for nectar.

 We will train some of the beans laterally along these "willow men".

Here's where the sweet peas will climb. There are a couple of plants blooming already from seeds that fell on the ground from last summer. The ones I planted will have red blossoms to attract the hummingbirds.

This sea holly was falling over, so I made a wabi sabi sea holly girdle.

Many thanks to Rebecca and our garden gnome helpers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lori Snyder at Moberly: The Healing Power of the Plants Around Us

"Water is about hydration, but it also helps with the communication within your body," Lori Snyder states as she pours us cups of water infused with peppermint or lemon balm. "This is especially important for seniors, as they don't always have the sense of being thirsty." Lori has been an herbalist for many years, and she and her husband are accomplished foragers. She has a deep knowledge of the health benefits of plants many of us don't see or notice growing right under our feet.

 Take plantain (Plantago major or minor) for instance: she shows us how to chew a leaf, spit it out and put it on a bee sting to draw out the venom. When I recall that first nations people used to put the leaves in their shoes, all the ladies want to try it on their tender tootsies, so I pop outside and pick handfuls of Plantago minor leaves growing in the lawn.

 Lori lets us taste honey she has infused with rose petals, and another, with the tips of the Douglas fir tree. These are great for colds and sore throats. She shows us St. John's Wort, which she infuses and then uses in winter to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder. As it can make you photosensitive, it's better to use in winter months so you don't get sun burned. "Where can you find this?" one of the ladies asks. "Anywhere," Lori says. "It's all around us. Sometimes the medicines we need are right close by. And they're free. Also, plant-based medicines don't have the major side effects of many convention medicines."

 Lori gave us an empowering workshop, helping us to take control over our health by learning about the potent medicines in local plants. "First you've got to learn to breathe," she says. "That's the most important thing." She learned this from her yoga teacher training. Lori goes on to say that she believes plants want to heal us, they want to give us their energy and their medicine.

 Next, she takes us into the kitchen to teach us how to make healthy vegan brownies. Can you see the secret ingredient below?

Beans! You'd never know it! The brownies were delicious, especially with a dollop of Steve's salmon berry jam. What a treat!

 We drank tea made from rooibus and hawthorn flowers and leaves. It's calming and very good for the heart.

Lori talked us through other plants that are worth harvesting for our medicine cabinet. "Dandelion is one of the best medicines around!" she says. "The root is good for your liver and its bitter quality is important for digestion, especially as we get older."

 Lori makes us a refreshing smoothie with all kinds of greens, including chickweed and sunflower sprouts and coconut milk. "Do this for yourself once a day," she advises.

Thanks to  Lori for an inspiring and energizing workshop!

On another note:

Our thoughts are with the ladies who were injured in a recent bus accident and we send our condolences to the family who suffered a great tragedy this past week.

--Text and photos by Lori Weidenhammer