PLANT ~ Power in Learning and Accessing Nature’s Therapies
Grundtvig Learning Partnership 2013-1-DE2-GRU06-16233 1
Kick-off meeting with Learner Skills Exchange
Brigit´s Garden, Ireland, 30 & 31 October 2013
During the two days, the participants learnt how to prepare
– a room spray based on lavender tea, added with essential oil according to the individual taste
– a body peeling with cane sugar, almond oil and essential oil
– an herbs vinegar with raspberry leaves
– incents with rosemary, vervain, meadowsweet and mistletoe and/or other ingredients
– a tincture with different herbs
– intention sticks for the Samhain eve.
The first meeting day, 30 October 2013, started with a warm welcome by Leanne, who coordinates the project on the Irish side, and Jenny Beale, the founder and director of Brigit´s Garden. During a first walk through the Celtic Garden the participants learnt about the Celtic cycle of the seasons. Each of the four gardens represents one of the Celtic festivals -Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa. This seasonal cycle mirrors the cycle of life from conception to old age and death. Having the meeting at the festival of Samhain (Helloween), which took place 31 October 2013, meant for the participants the chance to celebrate the Celtic beginning of the yearly cycle.
Sabine Roehrig-Mahhou, the project coordinator, afterwards presented the project and its aims. She pointed out that the project itself will have a very practical approach with workshop character and focus on the intercultural exchange about the topic.The participants will learn from each other, experience together which herbs are used in thedifferent countries, for which purpose and in which way – as herbal remedy and/or in cuisine or cosmetics. The project does not aim to create another database of herbs but has a more holistic and interdisciplinary approach combining medical, cooking, cosmetic and also cultural-historic elements.
There are often very interesting stories shared about different herbs showing their meaning in a more vivid way and giving an insight of the culture where they were used. With this more creative way of cooperation and exchange similarities and also differences between the partner countries will be found that lead to a better understanding of each other and of one important part of the European culture. By this the main aim, to reinvoke the exchange of traditional folk knowledge about herbal and plant medicine between the generations and between different countries will be reached.Sabine Röhrig-Mahhou also shortly explained the different project outcomes and invited all participants – staff and learners – to get actively involved, to bring in ideas or recommendations in order to achieve results that will be really useful for the ones that are just interested in this area but also the ones that already work as herbalist or in related fields.Lisa Brooks, the herbalist that led the practical workshop in Ireland, afterwards welcomed the participants and informed about the workshop content. She presented different herbs with their characteristics, showed and let us taste different products that she made like the Dragon Cider and also invited the participants to work together.
During the two days, the participants learnt how to prepare
- a room spray based on lavender tea, added with essential oil according to the individual taste
- a body peeling with cane sugar, almond oil and essential oil
- an herbs vinegar with raspberry leaves
- incents with rosemary, vervain, meadowsweet and mistletoe and/or other ingredients
- a tincture with different herbs
- intention sticks for the Samhain eve.
Besides working together on different herb products the participants also had the chance to visit together with Lisa the gardens again and see which herbs are growing in the beds of the herbs garden and also wild at other places of the gardens. They harvested e.g. plantain, dandelion and other wild herbs besides sage, mint or fennel for teas and salads.It was an interesting and most valuable aspect of the program that also local people from the public were involved in different parts of the programme. They joint the first dinner with focus on herbs where everyone was invited to bring typical food but also took part together with the transnational learner group in a public workshop by Lisa Brooks which was organised for 31 October 2013. Different herb products especially for the winter season were prepared and the participants from the different countries exchange e.g. about traditional remedies against colds. Also one or the other story was shared which led to a fruitful and pleasant experience for all persons attending.
The project coordinators used the time for project management issues. The protocol follows the next page.
The first learner skills exchange was rounded up by the possibility for all participants to attend the Samhain festivities in the garden in order to celebrate the Celtic New Year.
During the workhop at Brigit´s Garden, all learners and staff gained great knowledge about local Irish herbs, their characteristics, cultural background and their use in different ways- traditionally and contemporarily.
Day One: 10am until 7pm Focus – Welcome, Herb Walk, Herbs used in Cosmetics
9.45am – all participants arrive at the Gardens
10am – Welcome, orientation of the Gardens & Project presentation
10.40am – BREAK
11am – tour of the Gardens and Herbal Walk
12.30pm – LUNCH
2.30pm – Cosmetics workshop
3.45pm – BREAK
4.15pm – Cosmetics workshop cont’d
5.30pm – Free time
6pm – Early evening meal at Brigit’s Garden, including food brought from your own
countries to share. Members of the local community, with interest in herbs, have been
invited to join
8pm – Option of meeting in Galway city for drinks and traditional music session
Day Two: 11am until 9pm
Focus – Medicinal Herbs, Open Afternoon & Samhain event
Time to rest/explore the city
11am – Meet at Brigit’s Garden. Medicinal Herbs workshop
1pm – LUNCH
2.30 – Coordinators to meet about the project while participants take part in an ‘Open
Afternoon’ where members of the public have been invited to attend a Herb
Demonstration and information sharing session
3.30pm – BREAK
4pm – Halloween activities begin (option for participants to come and go as they
please. Some may wish to stay for all or to go into the city and come back out for the
later part of the evening for storytelling, bonfire and dance performance)
NB. Anyone who would like to help out on the night with face-painting, telling a
story or two, or helping people make herb sticks to throw into the fire are very
welcome to do so!!
Participants are invited to use a food voucher at any time during the evening festivities
See below for the programme for the evening
Programme for Samhain event
4 onwards Do you dare Spooky treasure hunt, apple fishing, face-painting &
mask-making, Halloween herb activity
5.30 & 6.30 Story-telling and music aimed at kids in the
7.30 Puca parade
7.45 Bonfire & Butoh Dancer performance
8.30 End of festivities … a story /song at bonfire to finish. Area for people to throw
in a Herb intention stick from a basket near to fire