Community Medicine Garden Projects
The aim of Sensory Solutions is to educate people about the harvesting and utilisation of plant medicine thus spreading the radical roots of a whole new system of healing relevant to today. A system that empowers people to treat their minor ailments with abundantly growing herbs and a system that builds healthy communities by connecting people to their local plants, to each other, good health and our beautiful Earth.
This is achieved through various educational resources and community growing projects managed and run by us Seed SistAs and the Sensory Herbal Apprentices. Through each of the Sensory Community Medicine Garden projects, education is proliferated about the medicinal power of plants through the growing, harvesting and the creation of simple plant remedies.
Want to find out more about how you can start your own community gardens project??
Our Dream of Cultivating Change
We Seed SistAs are graduates of a four year university science degree in medical herbalism, they were shocked when after their studies they learnt that much of the population had never heard of herbal medicine. The knowledge that a common plant walked past daily, can ease an insect bite or calm the irritation of hay fever, is entirely alien to many folk. We were motivated to cultivate change in our communities and to plant seeds of the ancient tradition of Herbalism wherever we travel.
We have worked for years towards the goal of changing the current paradigm, creating more connection with the plant world and having a society which values self-nurture and the green spaces around us.
We have won an accolade from Kindred Spirit Magazine Awards in which we won first place in Community Initiative category. It was voted for by the people and is testament to the lives that have been touched by the plants through the work that we do. We are always so grateful to our supporters for their continued belief in the message and for all the work that goes on planting seeds and passing on knowledge.
Northaw Community Orchard
Back in 2010 a few of us formed Northaw Transition, in our little village in South Hertfordshire. We ran a number of small scale initiatives involving the local village and primary school; battery and clothes recycling projects, environmental audits, a school orchard, educational awareness campaigns and stalls, a community garden, a community beehive and fruit harvesting projects. In this we were supported generously by local and national businesses, other community organisations, our Parish Council and individual volunteers.
In early 2011 we applied for a Community Green Space Challenge grant from Grantscape, for a community orchard. We were supported again during this process by our Parish Council, with the Borough Council offering us some unused land for rent in the heart of the village. After working hard to complete the grant application in a very short time and run a public consultation on the proposals, we were awarded the full grant in September 2011.
In order to lease the site for the orchard we had to become a company, so we opted to become a not-for-profit Community Interest Company – which we did in September that year. For the next three years we wrangled endlessly against constant obstacles and bureaucracy, to agree a lease on fair terms. Thankfully the grant provider was very understanding to our plight, extending deadlines for the grant on many occasions. The 15 year peppercorn lease was finally signed in September 2014, with the Parish Council as a main leasee and our group subleasing from them. Work finally started on the ground in October 2014, and had to be completed in line with the grant terms by December 2014, condensing the proposed 18 month project set up period into three very intense months, in the cold bleak muddy winter!
Monkton Wyld Medicine Garden
There is a beautiful herb garden with over 50 medicinal plants that we have created with our Sensory Herb volunteers at Monkton Wyld.
These herbs are tended by our apprenticeship students and are a source of education and love for many people. This medicinal horticultural aspect is very important to all our work.
A massive THANK YOU is extended to the wonderful Earth Pathways Diary Seed Fund for the funding towards the gardens at Monkton Wyld which shall be accessible to the local school groups, nursery group and all other visitors to the centre. We love the Earth Pathways Diary, who have always been extremely supportive of our work. Look them up for more info about their incredible project