On August 8th, the participants from the wild edibles hike regrouped for part two of the workshop. Over the last six weeks, we’ve been tending to our plantain infused olive oil, in preparation for the final product. Joy and Joanna of Pure Joy Herbal Creations led the group on another hike to scope out how the wild herbs had grown over the summer. After the hike, we made a healing salve, using our plantain oil and beeswax. Such a simple process for this incredibly useful herbal remedy.
Broad Leaf Plantain
Often considered a weed, plantain holds powerful skin-healing properties in its broad, heavily veined leaves. It’s been used medicinally for centuries and is considered to be almost a cure-all. Plantain is very high in beta carotene (A) and calcium. It also provides ascorbic acid (C), vitamin K, and a bunch of other notable chemicals. These give plantain mild anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-hemorrhagic, and expectorant actions (a medicine that promotes secretion to treat coughs). There are a few ways ways to use plantain leaves- as a tea or tincture, healing salve, an oil infusion, or even just by rubbing the leaf on effected areas of the skin. The natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of plantain leaf make it great for healing wounds, itchy skin, or pain associated with skin problems. Some other uses for plantain include:
- speeding up cell regeneration
- skin softening
- treatment for lung conditions such as bronchitis or asthma
- easing skin inflammations (perfect for eczema and psoriasis)
- soothing stings, bites, scrapes, cuts, rashes, ringworm, and poison ivy
- soothes sunburns and windburns
- relief from pink eye
- an alternative to lotions to soothe babies’ sensitive skin
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With our grocery stores full of processed foods, where all you have to do is open a package and chow down, it’s easy for kids to develop unhealthy eating habits. It’s our job to rear them in the right direction, by educating them about healthy living. What better way than to get out there with them to cook, create, and ultimately enjoy the fruits of our labour.
The Abundance Project has been collaborating with the students at Percy Centennial Public School to create programs that promote healthy eating, responsibility, and community involvement. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to lately:
Since January 2014, Percy Centennial students have been baking low fat/low sugar muffins for the breakfast program at school. Mrs. Julie Anderson’s Grade 7/8 class has also been coming to the St. Paul’s kitchen for weekly cooking classes. They’ve prepared things such healthy snacks, roasted vegetable soups, and thin crust pizzas. By teaching cooking skills with limited use of highly refined flours, sugars and fats, the students are learning all about healthy snack choices. It’s wonderful to see the students enthusiastic and positive about these classes.
Vegetable Growing Contest
Launched on Earth Day to the whole student population, this initiative is meant to get students involved and excited about growing and eating vegetables.
With the support of the Warkworth Farm Supply, and their seed supplier, Ontario Seed Company, enough packets of vegetable seed were donated for each student to be able to start several seedlings at school.
Mr. Peter Brackenbury worked with the Percy staff to help the students plant their seeds in class. Once the seeds are established, students will be provided with planting instructions and are encouraged to plant their vegetables at home and care for them over the summer months.
In conjunction with the Percy Agricultural Society, a new category has been added to the children’s competitions at the Warkworth Fall Fair. The Abundance Project will be providing a small cash prize for first, second and third place winners in each of the four grade categories.
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens
On Saturday May 3, a small group of volunteers and students gathered on the front lawn of Percy Centennial PS to build two, 4×8 foot, raised bed gardens. This project was spearheaded by Mr. Peter Brackenbury, who was instrumental in establishing an eco garden on school grounds several years ago. This allows for the senior grade students to have hands on experience in planting and tending vegetables at school. We hope that some of the vegetables grown can be used by next year’s senior students involved in the fall cooking class.