Local artist, Lori Bradford , will be hosting a hands on workshop featuring Herbalist, Sherry Richards of Big River, SK – See below for details
By Sherry Richards, Herbalist, Big River, SK – Plants are food, and plants are medicine. Wild plants have been my biggest passion for 25 years. It all started with a book that I bought on a whim called “Useful Wild Plants of Saskatchewan” by Kahlee Keane. I took it to our cabin and left it there for another year. One day it asked me to pick it up and look inside. That little book changed my life’s path.
Plants are like that, they beckon you and whisper your name. They want reconciliation, they want to restore the relationship with us that has been lost. They want us to know them and use them and in return they’ll nourish us and heal us often when nothing else can. They are in my view, sentient beings who have much to teach us about ourselves and this world we live in. Our DNA is intimately intwined with plants, therefore our bodies know and have always known how to use plant food and plant medicine.
I moved from the city to the country to be closer to wild plants. My home in the boreal forest is nature’s pharmacy but a home in the prairie landscape provides just as well. The plants we need most grow closest to us and in abundance. Nettle, dandelion, and chickweed are prolific and can happily provide nutritious food and powerful medicine to nourish and heal us.
When we pay attention to our wild plants we change. We become aware of how the environment is affecting them, how they grow and where they grow. Perhaps as a city dweller we stop spraying the lawn and let the dandelions grow so we can know them and use them. The chickweed that grows in the garden now becomes food and medicine, as well as the portulaca.
We begin to see that plant diversity is what keeps the soil healthy. We stop seeing wild plants as weeds and we begin to understand a little of their brilliance, how they are so powerful that they can grow in the cracks of sidewalks and provide for us even in the city. Look down as you walk and you’ll see them peaking out from between buildings, and gathering in empty lots enriching the soil and calling to us to notice them.
When a person sees things in a different light, sees that we need plant health and diversity and that everything we do affects the planet as a whole, we change. We become aware that our small actions make a big difference. Becoming aware of plants makes us aware of our environment and aware of our part in it. If I can get just one person excited about wild plants enough to begin to use them, and they tell one person and they tell one person………I can make a difference.
I see the magic of wild plants all the time. When I make medicine I always make some extra in case someone needs it and it’s always been that someone asks for it. I’ve seen the pain of 6 months of suffering with shingles relieved, I’ve seen infections reversed, I’ve seen rashes, bites, scrapes, cuts, bruises, pain, nosebleeds, coughs and much more relieved overnight.
These are obvious things but plants go much deeper than that, they work synergistically and with our bodies to bring about healing and balance of all kinds. There’s nothing that I need from the drugstore, apart from an occasional Band-Aid that I might use to keep plant material on a bite or wound.
I teach wild plant identification and medicine making classes to try and get people started using a few plants in hopes that it will peak their interest enough to make wild plants a part of their daily lives. In the class we learn to recognize them, then how to use them for food and for medicine. We also discuss the importance of ethical wildcrafting and how we can make sure there will be healthy stands for future use.
Making our own medicine from wild plants empowers us, it makes us less dependent on pharmaceuticals and more in tune with our environment and our place in nature.
It’s a wonderful skill that can be passed along and shared in kitchens and yards across our country. I love watching a young Mom’s face when she realizes that she can make her own diaper rash cream or relieve her childs eczema . She doesn’t have to question the ingredients or worry that it might do harm. That is my reward, knowing that a new world has been opened up to those who want to care for themselves using what Mother Nature provides us.
Wild Plant Identification and Medicine Making Workshop
Saturday July 6th, 2019
Sherry Richards will take you on an easy, guided nature hike. She will show you how to identify native plants and how to harvest them wisely. Then she will teach you how she turns those plants into traditional remedies in the form of tinctures and salves. Sherry says, “When we pay attention to our wild plants we change. We become aware of how they grow and where they grow. I see the magic of wild plants all the time. When I make medicine I always make some extra in case someone needs it and it’s always been that someone asks for it. I’ve seen the suffering with shingles relieved, I’ve seen infections reversed, I’ve seen rashes, bites, scrapes, cuts, bruises, pain, nosebleeds, coughs and much more relieved. These are obvious things but plants go much deeper than that, they work synergistically and with our bodies to bring about healing and balance of all kinds.”
More details about the workshop on facebook:
Wild Plant Identification and Medicine Making Workshop – Saturday, July 6th, 2019 – 9 am. until 5 pm.
Near the Maurice Street Wildlife Sanctuary, about 10 miles from Nipawin.
Directions will be provided once you have registered and paid the fee of $100.00
Contact Lori Bradford to register