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Hormonal healing: Wild medicinal plant Remedies and eco Designs from street trees

Corbett WI medicinal wildflowers for the menopause Tour of Beckenham Place Park. Summer in the city; following joining the local Women’s Institute committee this time last year, I realised that I was unable to commit to the regular monthly meetings and whilst enabling the group to set up, I instead offered to teach a herbs for hormones foraging walkshop in Beckenham place park, this year. The whole area has recently undergone quite a makeover transformation with largely a great transformation of the pleasure gardens with new flowers blooming with only a few teething troubles in the swimming lake area (lifeguards need to be present, surely?!)

At 10.30am, armed with copies of the new National Park City community newspaper and map, our group met up at the delightful mansion house and I gave an introduction to the wild herb safety guidelines, then looked around at the humble plants which grew beneath the sign post by the car park. Here we found dead nettle, garlic mustard and yarrow. We began a slow paced walk around the field side on the main side of the house, finding stinging nettles which we carefully chewed and plantain (plantago major). The plantain was useful as an aid to reduce insect bite irritation.

On the left, walking downhill, were several yew trees with the odd red berry, containing their poisonous pip. Followed by a few majestic lime trees which have recently been in blossom but are now dry and forming seeds. cutting across the grass walking barefoot and we follow the path around to the sweet chestnut trees to find an Elder whose berries are just ripening from green to burgundy. This will be a huge crop waiting to support the respiratory tract with vitamin c rich juice. The white clover spreads widely across the lawns and we didn’t spot any redclover to support oestrogen balance on this day.

Thank you to Lotte for organising this activity and all those taking part on the day.

On the way home, I stopped off to speak to a neighbour whose house I’d noticed on the way into Beckenham, as it has a huge plum tree growing next door. Collecting (& eating) Fresh plums is one of the summer treats I look forward to the most, since discovering and harvesting them with my dad, at a woods we found nearby. The suns energy for the day had passed and I took off my hat. We shook the tree; more plums fell off and I gathered them all up together in my straw hat, carefully picking additional blackberries along the way. soaking them all in water is the best way to remove any unwanted wildlife; I washed them carefully removing any grubs which may have nestled into a plum setting them free into the garden. The plums taste divine; reminding us that the sun’s energy is with us, here in the northern hemisphere, now! Fast becoming one of my favourite fresh fruits; what’s not to love? It enriches us with all the goodness of the summer and sets us up for the winter months ahead with rations of vitamins C &D.

Our annual Further Green Road street party was held yesterday afternoon; for 50 residents, with music and laughter filling the air and our stall encouraging all ages ways to be creative with nature. My space involved Making rowan berry bead jewellery and sewing them together, with the expert help of the children; both boys and girls. Helping one another, each child delightfully took the needle, (though we threaded it many times!)and skillfully sewed the berries from tip to bottom through the core, onto the pieces of thread. After counting to 20 ‘beads’ the bracelets were ready and placing the garland around each child’s wrist tied it up at the end. Due to their nature, These ‘beads’ only remain fresh and colourful for a few days after picking until they dry when they can be planted into the garden, to grow their own tree!

Making Rowan berry bead jewellery
Making Rowan berry bead jewellery
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A Sustainable Lent; a time for giving up of excess consumption

Last week, we taught in school the concept of making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday (& as it transpired, also, on Ash Wednesday), as the tradition of using up simple ingredients to prepare for 40 days of fasting during Lent. Much conversation and pancake making (& eating) ensued x 25 vegan pancakes infact; all made using egg replacer powder and a dairy-free / soya milk. Served with fresh fruit & jam, as Stillness is a #Sugarsmart registered school and we had happy kids.

At home, we made a fresh chocolate dessert *NaturalNutella to serve on more pancakes for our house dinner, minus palm oil, using fresh hazel nuts, cocoa, dates, avocado and bananas: happy housemates.

At the WEN International Women’s Day 30th Anniversary celebration we each sewed a bunting flag with a political message; Butterflies without borders (relating to freedom of migration). I learnt how to blanket stitch on a patch (which will come in handy, I dare say).

At the Vegan Life Show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday I decided to part with tradition and not purchase any additional types of the delicious Yogi Tea; simply tasting them was sufficient.

I resisted buying extra dinners with the delicious Clives pies (gluten free) and instead purchased 5 x large jars of coconut oil, for all our skincare culinary and skin care needs.

Clothing: Buying organic cotton/hemp/bamboo new, quality clothing means that over the years, I’ve collected at least half a dozen pretty long sleeved hemp tops. Each ranging between 2-6 yrs old by now. My purple top is currently a favourite and alas, I spotted a hole on a sleeve and have promised myself to sew up by turning up the cuffs on both sleeves, as they were a little long anyhow.

Approx 7 yrs ago I discovered the softness and warmth of eco-friendly Tights; multi-colours and mainly organic cotton. Similarly, I’ve bought a single pair per year and now have rainbow coloured legs for all seasons. Until I noticed holes in both the brown and pale grey pairs! A needle and thread later and the grey pair may last another few wears (& washes) whilst the brown pair is destined for a new life through upcyling as they are still lovely and soft but might suit a cushion liner instead.

On Saturday I dug out some old Jewellery from my favourite wooden box and discovered a multitude of carefully stored items from my teens during 80s-90s. Taking them out, I’m going to re-purpose and wear a few of them.

For a Party on Saturday, I made up a batch of 5 herb inc. 3 cornered leek Wild herbal dressing for gifts.

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Locally run teenage magazine KychanTeen goes online

KychanTeen Zine was created by two ‘A’ Level Media students, sisters Kyra and Channan to provide a platform for local teenagers outside of the academic curriculum.

In 2016 Channan invited me to contribute articles and recipes to her teenage audience through an A5 magazine freely distributed around Lewisham, which continues to gather and secure a great following among teens and adults alike.

From this month onwards, the magazine in now a subscription only publication and is available to view online via the website . Subscribe online here: http://www.wearekychan.com

This month features Spring cleansing Juices and Smoothies with added avocados!

Biog. Channan is a media entrepreneur and an excellent photographer; we invited her to participate in our foraging walks for Hither Green Week Festival 2018. She’s our top female, teen photographer and her images feature in the Kitchen Buddy Foraging Calendar 2019.
She is also an ambassador for teenagers with HIV+ status and actively campaigns for equality and health care in this area.

Kitchen Buddy is proud to support Kychan Teen and the HIV+ Charities with , read and download the latest issue through the Issuu app and share with a local teenager!