Come and learn a bit about the amazing plant world… Let Tracy guide you through the abundance and healing that nature has to offer.
I have been guided for some time now to run medicinal and edible plant workshops. I do not think of myself as an expert but I do have a passion for our little green friends. I am always amazed by the energy of plants and their ability to calm and ground us. I marvel at all they have to offer, and I’m constantly learning about them and their properties. I hope to share this knowledge and enthusiasm with you.
I will show you how to make your own vibrant vitamin ‘supplements’ for the whole family (including your pets). I will also show you how to wild harvest edible plants. You will also learn how to make a few home remedies… a tincture and an infusion, etc… and I will share a few recipes to help you on your way to becoming more self-sufficient.
Natural remedies have been our primary care since the dawn of time… big pharma and the medical industry have all but suppressed many natural remedies and wonder cures… but slowly people are returning to the plants.
There is something very empowering about knowing how to feed and take care of yourself!
Did you know that wild foods have at least 10 times more nutrients than cultivated foods?
Over the years our cultivated crops have been overbred and hybridised… mostly for the wrong reasons (looks, adaptability, etc.)… Whereas weeds have developed alongside on their own… most have become very hardy able to handle pests, poor soil, little water and both cold and heat. They haven’t been tampered with so their genes are intact and provide super high nutrition (e.g. purslane has the highest omega 3 of ANY plant; Dandelion and Nettle are so nutrient rich they can be used to supplement your diet).
These wild foods are fantastic to grow… in fact they grow themselves… and they feed the soil… absolutely no fuss (unlike some of our finicky vegetables)! You can forage for these crops in the wild… getting food and medicine for free!
Alarmingly, less than one percent of the over two hundred and fifty thousand plant species on earth have even been studied for their medicinal properties!
Nature: curing ailments since the very beginning
Yet over many centuries, man’s experiments with plants have yielded a vast stock of natural medicines to help us heal many ailments, and almost always without harmful side effects. Many pharmaceuticals are still derived from the extracts of wild plants, such as digitalis from the purple foxglove flower.
Herbs, spices and other nutritional substances are the oldest form of medicine known to man. While modern or “allopathic” medicine is barely a century old, the practice of natural medicine using nature as a pharmacy can be traced back through all of the ancient civilizations.
There are over 120,000 edible plants worldwide. About one thousandth of those end up in markets. Of those, about 30 of those are used the most.
Please remember: Never, ever eat a wild plant without being 100% sure of its identification. There are lots of poisonous plants out there so please be mindful of this.
Intense suffering starts with the plate
There is a growing need for people to become more self–sufficient: escalating food prices, failing crops worldwide due to erratic weather conditions… not to mention the failing economy which has practically wiped out the middle class and is causing untold suffering amongst the poor.
Not only that, but the quality of store-bought food these days is pretty dismal… irradiated… full of preservatives… loaded with GMO’s… and containing an endless list of harmful chemicals and additives.
All over the world communities are transitioning away from being dependent on a failing system… they are growing their own food gardens… as well as community food gardens… creating their own barter based economies… and even in some cases creating their own alternative power. Community co-operatives are transforming the way our needs are being taken care of.
The easiest way to become more independent is to grow your own food… and the best way – that offers long term sustainability and actually increases the soils health – is to mimic nature. Take a forest eco system for example… each and every plant, animal, and microorganism contributes to the whole system. It is the natural cycle of life. It is a largely self-maintaining system that does not deplete the soil or pollute the environment.
The secret is plant diversity… and knowing which plants to grow to enhance the system. Plants that are good for the soil and the environment are often good for people too, so we need to learn which plants are best from a nutrition and health perspective. Plant productivity is largely based on calorie output whereas it should rather be based on nutrition… the trick you see is that not all plants produce the same levels of nutrition, so this would be difficult to quantify on a commercial scale (the plants nutrition levels are affected by their growing conditions).
Take for example purslane, a weed that most people rip out of their gardens. It is a hardy, drought tolerant plant that is rarely attacked by pests. It also has the highest omega 3 levels of ANY plant. Weeds are resilient pioneer plants that come up to heal the land and the people.
The workshop will be over two days but there will also be on-going online education (via a Facebook group) after that so it is definitely worthwhile.
I would like to keep the groups quite small as my space is rather limited… so please book early to avoid disappointment.
It will be run from my home and garden space in Villiersdorp (which is about half an hour from Grabouw if you are coming out on the N2 or about half an hour from Franschhoek if you are coming out on the N1)… so in total you are looking at about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town.
There is limited accommodation available on a first come first serve basis (it’s in a camper van so nothing fancy – but clean and cosy). Alternatively there is also B&B or self-catering accommodation around the corner so let me know if you need phone numbers.
Light lunches will be provided on the workshop (we will be foraging for them).
Arrive the first day at about 10am and jump right in with a tour of the garden and an introduction to all my little green friends… then we go out for a forage walk to help pick our vibrant lunch. We enjoy steaming cups of revitalising plant tea, finishing at about 4.30 – 5pm. Day one you will learn about various plants as well as how to make plant powders and fabulous infusions.
The second day we start when we are ready (around 8-9), learning a bit more about plants and sharing remedies, tinctures and recipes. Again we will forage for our lunch around the neighbourhood. The workshop ends shortly after lunch.
Your place will be confirmed on payment of R650
To book call Tracy 076 241 0274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the month of July only, Green Times readers will get a special 50% discount on this course. All you need to do is quote the following code when booking: GT007.
By Tracy Armbruster (above), with photos by Lumai de Smid.