Round Up of the Year 2018

These cold grey days provide at least some good kindling for reflection, which we’d like to share with you.
Its been a very busy & rewarding year for us at Grass Roots Remedies, starting in January when we were lucky to have Rhona Donaldson join us as a co-op member. Since then we’ve continued with and expanded our community work in Wester Hailes & begun new projects in Granton. In Wester Hailes our Community Herbal Medicine Clinic turned 3 years old and was shortlisted for a National Award in Prevention & Self Care. We didn’t win in the end, but were proud to be the only project from Scotland shortlisted in any category.  Alongside the clinic we’ve been running our Communitea project, growing and foraging medicinal herbs in Wester Hailes to ‘close the circle’ and bring production of local medicine into the hands of local people. So far we’ve mixed 6 different tea blends together. As a result of all of this we are proud that our work in Wester Hailes has become a Permaculture ScotLAND Learner Centre – the only centre to be example of multi site social permaculture in the country.

Now that we have set up our office in the Granton:Hub we’ve also created a medicine garden there, and been running monthly herb gardening and medicine making sessions. We also run a professional herbal clinic in Granton open to anyone from across the city.
We’ve ran our Wild Things: A Year of Wild Food & Medicine Course again and now added a second year to it which was great fun to teach. Over the three years of teaching Wild Things we’ve now had 65 students. Thanks to all of you for your contributions and willingness to share in the experience of wild plants with us. It has been and continues to be a great pleasure.

We’ve worked with a number of groups facilitating workshops on community herbalism across the city. Thanks to: the Royal Botanic Gardens Diploma in Herbology, Edinburgh Lothian Greenspace Trust, Edible Estates, Portobello Rotary Club, SHRUB Co-op, Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative, Lochend Secret Garden, Chat Cafe, Pilton Community Health Project, Carr Gomm, Granton:Hub, Fork in the Road, Cailleach’s Herbarium, Granton Castle Walled Garden.

We’ve been continuing to grow our own herbs in our Blackford Glen Medicine Garden, and increasingly turn them into our own medicines. Our aim is to produce as much organic, local medicine as can for ourselves, and we are slowly increasing this over time, to build and sustain our sense of resilience over where our medicine comes from.

This year we were also blessed to be working with a bunch of fantastic herbalists, facilitators & volunteers who have done various essential jobs for the co-op. They are Kathryn McArthur, Susi O Donnell, Simone Clarke & Audrey Marchbank, and we couldn’t have done it without them, so thank you all!

What’s Next?
Next year we hope to become a full ScotLAND centre and be able to demonstrate social & community permaculture to our visitors, to deepen the work we are doing in Wester Hailes & Granton, making herbal medicine accessible to as many people as possible. We’ll continue to run our herb walks & Wild Things Courses which enable us to do our community work.

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