Herbal Haven – Thyme to Get Together
Herbal Haven was a project centred around growing herbs and making simple cosmetics, home remedies and household products from herbs. The activities created the opportunity for the younger and older volunteers and participants to develop positive relationships across a practical learning platform and to share their knowledge and experiences.
The project, which was funded by the government through the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, ran from April 2010 to January 2011.
Participants learnt and gardened alongside different generational groups, in various informal settings, transforming what they grow into useful herbal products. Everyone took home at least one home-made herbal product after the individual workshop, to use and enjoy! They also visited a variety of herb gardens through organised trips, and learnt more about the herbs themselves through specially-designed study days.
Programme of activities
Weekly sessions were held at various venues, including Phoenix School Farm, the Ravenscourt Glasshouses and the Old Oak Community Centre. Sessions included growing herbs from seed, developing the existing herb plots, and discovering how to use herbs for health and healing within all cultural traditions (Western, Ayurvedic, African, Chinese). Workshops included basic aromatherapy massage, herbs in practical cooking and ‘lotions and potions’ making activities.
We ran a series of trips to venues that have herb collections and botanical gardens, taking groups of children along with older volunteers. Kew Gardens, Chelsea Physic Garden, The Geffrye Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons and Bishops Palace are amongst places visited.
During the course of the programme there were also be 5 inter-generational study days, open to new participants too, that went into greater depth over the history, cultural diversity and uses of herbs, providing more information and an opportunity for participants to further their interest.
The project was delivered by various members of the HCGA staff team, as well as medical herbalist Maria Vlotides.
Herbal Haven was commemorated through the production of a printed calendar / cookbook, highlighting the contributions from all the participants.
Download our Herbal Haven leaflet here.
We are looking for opportunities to repeat this programme and are able to run short courses and one-day workshops for groups at a small charge.
Herbal tea tasting at local fair and with local school children
Lavender and oatmeal bags Herb preservation
Preservation workshop Herb bread making
Herb bread making Looking after the herb border