What effect do seasons and their rhythms have on our health? What opportunities do nature’s gardens and green spaces offer us as nourishment and healing across the year?
Plant medicine practitioner and Root to Stem author Alex Laird will reveal in a series of four workshops – Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring – how we can be creative with seasonal foods, herbs and wild plants through simple kitchen remedies and recipes.
Alex will demonstrate a host of ways to widen our intake of therapeutic phytonutrients to address everyday ailments and promote healthy resilience – and above all, take pleasure in the experience of reciprocity with the rest of nature.
This workshop is part of a series of four workshops in collaboration with Living Medicine. These workshops stand alone and attendance to all four is not required – though it is welcomed!
In these season-inspired workshops, Alex will take you through the process of creating the recipes and remedies in bold below, identifying plants at different stages of their growth and their beneficial properties and you will create your own edible treat, remedy or tea with plants easily grown or foraged.
Each workshop comes with its own handout with recipes to try at home.
Autumn | Seed and Berry
Tuesday 26th October, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Character of the season: cool, moving inwards/up to seeds, storing, darker
Food: warming, storing, immune-stimulating, pungent
Health: support immunity
Remedies: antimicrobial spray, throat gargle
Recipes: beans, squashes & their seeds, roots, mushrooms, blackberries, rosehip puree, elderberries
Drinks: elderberry rob, antiviral decocted tea
Winter | Root
Tuesday 18th January, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Character of the season: cold, inwards, dormancy, feasting, building health and resources, planning, cleansing
Food: warm, pungent, filling, storing, immune protecting
Health: warm, rest, sleep, build and protect v infection
Remedies: spicy chestnut-mushroom immune soup, vapour rub
Recipes: nuts, seeds, beans, cabbages, wild spices, nettle/bean/chestnut/seaweed soup brain-body nutrition, sea vegetables
Drinks: spicy hibiscus mull, citrus-pine needle tea
Spring | Shoot
Tuesday 22nd March, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Character of the season: youth, promise, lengthening daylight, widening choices
Food: warm, pungent, nourishing, filling, storing, immune protecting
Health: cleanse, stimulate, nourish
Remedies: chilli muscle cream/circulatory stimulant, protective throat spray
Recipes: chickweed, dandelion, mustards/watercress, wild garlic pesto
Drinks: spring tonic of cleavers cold infusion, mint/lemon balm/ginger long-infused tea
Summer | Flower
Tuesday 28th June, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Character of the season: heat, light, energy up, expression outward, flowering, abundance, laughter, singing, lightness
Food: cooling bitters, juicy foods
Health: skin nourishment and protection
Remedies: sun screen
Recipes: herb/flower/wild salads, edible garden ‘weeds’!
Drinks: cold infusions & teas – geranium leaves, cooling rose petal tea
Alex Laird is a plant medicine educator and author of ‘Root to Stem’ a guide to seasonal food and plant remedies.
A medical herbalist, she has been running teaching clinics in hospital dermatology and breast cancer support for the past 20 years. Alex is a visiting lecturer and has carried out herbal medicine research with GPs. She founded the charity Living Medicine to teach self care and the safe use of plants and food within mainstream healthcare, reviving our cultural traditions. The longterm vision is to create a beautiful World Living Medicine garden and centre of excellence linking medicinal gardens worldwide.