Thursday 1 November 2012

Common Plants, Common Room

"I'll teach a class on Herbs for Resilience," I said to Jeppe at a recent Dark Mountain conversation in Norwich.

We were talking about the 'Trade School' at The Common Room prototype day at St Laurence church on 10th November, where in exchange for a barter item' (which can be goods, produce or advice) you teach about something you know to people who want to know about it.

This sounds like a project that could help build resilience in a time of energy and financial constraints and ecological crisis. You meet people and get to swap some great skills. Most of what I've been doing in Transition over the past few years is helping people to connect with plants on all sorts of levels: as food, as medicine, as insect pollinators, as biospheric beings in their own right. Paying a different kind of attention to the plants around us.

“This is exciting,” I said. “In fact, I can do a herb class that’s part Plants for Life, part Low Carbon Cookbook. And I know just the local, wild plants to introduce to people."

I'm keeping those two plants a secret until the day, but I already have loads of ideas for future sessions on resilient herbs, based on all the Plants for Life events this year with Sustainable Bungay: making fruit leathers from hawthorn berries and apple, for example, both tasty and a tonic for the heart and circulation. Making the most of the wild plants of spring: nettle, cleavers, dandelion, to galvanise our systems into action after the winter. Making plant oils and medicinal teas.

I look forward to attending Jeppe’s class on Time skills - Navigating life in the networked society (2 - 3pm) and maybe even Vanessa’s one on practical origami (3.30 - 4.30pm). Check here for the complete timetable, a description of the sessions and teachers and to sign up for classes.

And maybe fellow TN blogger Jon might pop by during the day, as he has a plant present for me from the Eden Project!

The whole day is about “exploring a way to bring St Laurence’s church back into use as a new type of shared space”. So if you’d like this to be carried into the future, step inside, love!

It would be great to see you there! My class on Herbs for Resilience begins at 11.30am and will last around forty-five minutes.

Saturday 10th November, 9am – 4pm, St Laurence’s Church, Saint Benedict Street, Norwich NR2 4PG

Pic:  Collecting Yarrow from Herbs for Resilience - Yarrow, This Low Carbon Life, September 2010; Teaching a Medicine Plant workshop with Transition Belsize, London, May 2012


  1. I'll certainly try and get there, and will bring the coffee plant along with me! I'll still pop round for that cuppa sometime though!

  2. LOL! You'll be most welcome on either/both counts, Jon!