Tea at Morningside – Guest Blog by Jillian Wieda

I’m Jillian Wieda, a Master’s of Psychology student at University of Westminster, originally from California. I’ve been in the U.K. just over a year and hope to stay longer to train as a therapist or psychologist. Volunteering with Cordwainers Grow is an amazing opportunity to commune with the natural world, learn new skills and meet amazing people. I hope one day soon to grow organic produce of my own!

Enjoying a warm, delicious cup of tea with biscuits is such a treat for many of us. Now imagine drinking a healthy cup of tea that you grew and assembled yourself, using all of your favorite herbs! Cordwainers Grow, in partnership with Sanctuary Housing, recently presented the workshop: Growing Herbal Tea on your Balcony. It was great fun and a group of young children from the community joined our volunteers to give it a go!

This workshop is part of a free series called Herbs in the Home offered at the Morningside Community Centre in Hackney.

Some upcoming fall workshops include; Creating herbal remedies and a First Aid Kit (September 25), Making Body and Home Cleaning Products (October 23) and Making Anti-Bug Herbal Moth Balls (November 20).

The herbal tea workshop started with clipping a few fresh herbs, like rosemary and sage, from the Morningside Community Centre’s own garden. We then learned (as I’m a volunteer as well) how to clip segments of the plants and replant them in small pots. These small, potted herb gardens can grow on balconies and window sills to provide fresh herbs for tea and cooking.

The next step was to create our own customized tea bags from a variety of dried herbs. The children used their sense of smell to select from chamomile, echinacea, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lavender and nettle. The volunteers also shared some of the natural healing qualities, historically linked with the herbs. Some children added hot water to their creations and sipped on them right away, while others crafted ingredient labels and were off to give them to their families.

Corwainers Grow would love for more community members to join us for free fun and education, so please spread the good word!

   

Rosemary is easy to take cuttings from.
Rosemary is easy to take cuttings from.
Making cuttings from sage
Making cuttings from sage
Rosemary cuttings
Rosemary cuttings
Protect the cuttings and keep moisture in with plastic bags
Protect the cuttings and keep moisture in with plastic bags
Choosing herb mixtures to make tea.
Choosing herb mixtures to make tea.
Making brews.
Making brews.
Herbal teabag personally mixed.
Herbal teabag personally mixed.