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Germany

PLANT ~ Power in Learning and Accessing Nature’s Therapies
Grundtvig Learning Partnership 2013-1-DE2-GRU06-16233 1
Learner Skills Exchange in Germany
Wisamar Bildungsgesellschaft, Leipzig, Germany, 28 & 29 June 2015

Workshop

small_IMG_0779The final meeting of the project took place in Leipzig, Germany, and combined practical workshops with the European Herbs Festival as final event. At the well visited festival, which was held at the community garden Querbeet, all partners gave short workshops demonstrating their herbal traditions. The guests learnt e.g. how to prepare an Estonian herb butter, Polish Nettle Soup and Green Smoothies, Greek herb shampoo, Irish Dragon Cider, Brigits Crosses, German elder vinegar and a nettle hair tonic. Besides this, all partners presented local products at exhibition stands and were open for an exchange of experience – an opportunity which was used by many guests and which led to a great exchange of experience between people from different countries and different backgrounds.
Besides the European Herb Festival, on the first day a guided walk through the pharmacist´s gardens and the scent and touch garden for visually impaired, both operated by the University of Leipzig, was carried out by the herbalist Kirsten Sülzle.
The second day the partners went together to the former monastery Klosterbuch where they were expected by the herbalist Undine Myja. She prepared different herb salts with the participants and a vegetable soup for lunch. In addition she demonstrated the use of flowers e.g. in a flower syrup which was served together with water or prosecco, and prepared elder flower pancakes.
To complete programme, a common socio-cultural activity, a rubber boat trip on River Mulde, was organized which allowed the participants to get to know the surrounding nature and especially the flora with plenty of wild herbs from the waterside.

Minutes

The first meeting day, 28June 2015, of the final meeting of the partnership, started with a warm welcome by Sabine Röhrig-Mahhou, who coordinates the project, and the team of wisamar at the wisamar educational institute. The meeting agenda was presented and organizational issues were discussed among the partners. This was followed by a short introduction of all participants, telling e.g. the reason they are interested in the project and how they participated in the partnership so far. The moment was also used to present the herb book, which is a result of the last two years cooperation among the partners.The project coordinators used the time for project management issues.
Subsequently the partners went for their first common activity. A walk through the herb and pharmacist´s gardens, as well as the scent and touch garden for visually impaired, operated by the university of Leipzig, was guided by the herbalist Kirsten Sülzle. The participants discussed the traditional and contemporary use of different herbs and exchanged their knowledge about cultural aspects of these herbs.
The scent and touch garden served as a nice example on how the world of herbs can be made more accessible to visually impaired people.
After the visit the group had time to get into further discussions about the use of herbs as remedies and exchange recipes while having lunch.
The whole afternoon was used for an international herb festival, taking place at the community herb garden “Querbeet”. Many people, interested in herbs, joined this public event in Leipzig. After an initial welcome and opening speech by Sabine Röhrig-Mahhou, all partners carried out workshops together with the rest of the team and the visitors of the festival. Each of the project partners tried to focus on different uses and aspects of the herbs.
The Estonian partner started the first workshop, presenting to everyone present the preparation of herb butter. The participants were asked to join actively into the preparation and could try the produced herb butter afterwards with self-made herbal breads. Afterwards an insight about traditional and cultural peculiarities in the use of herbs was given.
Workshop number two, carried out by the Irish partner, was about pagan and Christian herb traditions still practiced in Ireland. At the beginning the participants learned how to create Brigits crosses, which are made to celebrate the beginning of spring and can be put over the door frame to offer, as the tradition says, protection and creativity. This was followed by a presentation of the procedure to make dragon cider. Here too, the participants were actively involved into the preparation, e.g. cutting herbs and could take the ready cider with them.
The Greek project partner had a workshop about the use of herbs in cosmetics. Visitors and partners, alike prepared a hair shampoo following the instructions of the Greek team, which consisted among others of self-made soap, several herbs and essential oils. Afterwards people were asked to take some of the final product home with them and to try it.
PawelTuszynski, representing the polish team, showed the guests of the festival how to produce a delicious and healthy green smoothie out of several herbs and in different combinations. After that a delicious nettle soup, following a traditional polish recipe, was prepared together with the audience. While trying the outcomes of the cooking session, the participants could engage themselves also with the polish partner in an interesting discussion about the herbs used.
The herbalist Kirsten Sülzle carried out the last workshop together with the German team. Among others she presented the preparation of elder vinegar and a nettle hair tonic and gave detailed information on the effects of different herbs. The workshop was ended by offering the guests to prepare their own tea mixture by dozens of herbs provided.
Between the different workshops the Storyteller Peggy Burian presented herb stories to the audience. Every partner also created an information desk to provide a platform for further questions and exchange about herbs and the different partner areas. After the workshops live music was played to let the evening fade away together with the festival visitors in a relaxing atmosphere.
On June 29, the second day of the final meeting, the partners went to Klosterbuch, an old monastery situated at the river Mulde. The herbalist Undine Myja, who guided the group through the monastery, welcomed the group. After an introduction of the activities of the day the participants engaged themselves in different workshops, prepared lunch together and learned how to produce different herb salts. After the lunch,a guided walk through the monasteries herb gardens was carried out.
The group learned about the monasteries past, local traditions related to herbs and other plants, the traditional medical use of various herbs and how they were cultivated in monasteries such as Klosterbuch. The herbal gardens were used as a good opportunity to exchange their knowledge about the plants.
In the afternoon, a boat tour on the adjacent river followed the other activities. Boarding two rubber boats, the group got to know the local flora at first hand.

Foto Album

Daily program

Saturday, June 27, 2015
Arival to Leipzig.

Sunday, June 28, 2015
10h.00 – Meeting at wisamar, Heinrichstr. 5-7, 04317 Leipzig (the one who come by car, please use it for both days, we as well will use our van) Short introduction and preparation for the festival
10h.30 – Guided walk through the herb and pharmacist’s gardens and scent and touch garden for visually impaired at the University of Leipzig
12h.00 – Common lunch
14h.00 – 20h.00 – Herb festival at the community garden Querbeet
14h.00 – Opening
14h.15 – Herbs as building materials? Our Estonian project partners explain how and prepare herb butter with us
14h.45 – Dragon Cider, Brigits Cross? Celtic home remedies and culture
15h.30 – Herbal cosmetics from Greece
16h.00 – Green smoothies and nettle soup from Poland
16h.30 – Elder vinegar and nettle hair tonic as well as background information from Germany
18h.00 – Music with Bluesorchester
20h.30 – Dinner

Monday, June 29, 2015
09h.00 – Departure to Klosterbuch by car/van
10h.00 – Herb workshop and tour through monastery herb garden
12h.30 – Herb lunch at the monastery
15h.30 – Rubber boat tour
17h.30 – Return with horse carriage
18h.00 – Return to Leipzig
19h.00 – Dinner at Substanz (to be discussed together)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Departure