| May 07, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - May 7, 2009 Local gardening group gathers & growsby Julie Druker

GGG members gather at the Crow Lake School house for a “wild walk”, a workshop in the making of a natural medical kit and a potluck supper

It began when a bunch of gardening enthusiasts gathered for a workshop at the home of Carol Pepper of Sharbot Lake. The workshop given by gardener and author Janette Haase, who wrote “From Seed to Table: A Practical Guide to Eating and Growing Green” ignited an energy and enthusiasm in the group that made them decide not to disband at the end of the workshop but rather to continue meeting. The result was the formation of Growers, Gardeners and Gatherers or GGG.

Carol Belanger, who helps co-ordinate the group, explained, “We came together to share our expertise and the fruits of our labours and to have a good time”.

At their first meeting in early April the group spoke about sharing produce and shared their ideas and love for gardening. They also proposed various topics of interest to cover.

The group's second meeting was held on April 3 at the Crow Lake school house and it was comprised of a "wild walk" - a workshop on how to make a natural medical kit, followed by a potluck supper.

Mothers brought their children, grandparents their grandkids and together the entire group walked along Hagan Road to Welch’s cottage, collecting wild plants to be used in various practical ways. They collected trout lily, yarrow, horsetail, burdock, nettle, yellow dock and plantain.

Back at the school house Kathy Martin of Dragonfly Herbs in Sharbot Lake instructed the group on how to make a natural medical kit, including various salves and infusions. She shared which plants and herbs should be used for different ailments.

Comfrey is good for bruises and sprains but should never be used internally. Arnica is good for sore muscles and joints but should not used on open cuts. St. John’s Wort or lavender is good for cuts and acts as an antiseptic. Mullein makes a good ear oil for earaches.

Martin also shared some key sayings that she lives by, such as, “If you can’t put in your mouth, you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin.”

She also shared information on how to prepare salves and oils and together the group concocted a salve of St. John’s Wort using that herb, oil and beeswax.

The group does not stick to any predetermined guidelines and all members have input as to what might constitute the topics of their meetings. Garden tours are on the agenda, as well as a canning workshop for later in the growing season. There is also talk of building a root cellar to be shared by the group.

Carol Belanger explained how the group itself follows its own natural course. “It's not just our gardening that is organic in nature, i.e. in harmony with what works with nature, we (the group) are organic too, in harmony with what works with us, like nature, of which everyone is a part”.

Anyone interested in joining the Gardeners, Growers and Gatherers can call Carol Belanger at 613-375-6448

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