I seek answers and actions in the things I always have. (Tammi Sweet has a wonderful Medicinal Recipe for the Times. ) I also believe that in a capitalist, consumer-driven society, being a producer of as many of your own goods as possible and being an ethical consumer of all the rest, are deeply radical acts. Fair trade purchasing, thrift-store shopping, bartering, gardening, foraging, dumpster diving, mending and making do, these are just some ways we can open up cracks in the edifice of a system that concentrates wealth into the hands of an elite few, at the expense and suffering of the marginalised and many. Much the same way as the ubiquitous dandelion can crumble concrete and build rich soil, I hold on to the idea that countless, common, persistent acts can lead to large societal shifts.
Herbalist Kiva Rose writes, “What we call weeds tend to grow in disturbed ground where human impact is obvious, whether in vacant lots, tilled farmland or roadsides. These plants are looking for a new frontier to colonize, but they’re also often active healers of hurt land... It would be foolhardy to attempt to place a value judgement upon these wild creatures, especially the categorical labels of the typical human who sees whatever benefits us as good and whatever hurts or detracts from our goals as bad. In the end, weeds, like everything (and everyone) else, want to live. It’s that simple. They, like us, are designed and adapted to survive, thrive and spread...”
And so to the forests and fields I go, to mourn, to heal. Surrounded by unruly, rebel weeds I ask for forgiveness, give thanks and offer my body to the earth. I try to learn the primordial lessons the plants have to teach. They were here long before us after all.
With these thoughts in mind I offer you the theme for this month's herbal box. Resist is a meditation on and celebration of the irrepressible, riotous weeds that take root in our gardens, infiltrate our manicured lawns and come up through the chinks in our concrete jungles, despite our best efforts to repress them and keep them down. It is an exploration of the intrinsic value of some of our most maligned and scorned plants.
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10% of sales of this month's box will be donated to Amnesty International to support the issues they work with around the world.