Thursday evening marked the first of our Grow Your Own Herbal Tea events at Cordwainers Garden – a beautiful oasis providing calm away from the bustle of Mare Street. Not only was the weather on our side with warming June sun rays beaming down on us but the turnout was good too! This made for a very special evening starting with a herb walk and talk around the garden led by Nat. As we snaked through the plots, Nat pointed out some common and lesser known herbs, explaining their histories, properties and uses. All the while, cuttings were being taken in preparation for ‘megamix’ herb blend we’d be tasting later!
The next part of the workshop focused on how to propagate plants from cuttings – an easy way to save money on buying new plants and an interactive way of understanding more about the biology of plant growth!
Top tip: Try making some willow rooting hormone ‘juice’ to help your cuttings take root. New willow growth contains high levels of rooting hormone, which will encourage your cuttings to grow roots. Willow also contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, and protects the cuttings from infection. Instructions can be found here: http://goo.gl/U6dO7S
Then it was break time. We sipped some ‘megamix’ herbal tea and had some herb-based discussion before turning to the last task – herbal tea bags. Great as a personalised gift, herbal tea bags are simple to make and even more unique when filled with herbs you have grown and harvested yourself! Growing in small spaces in the city can be done and most herbs make great container plants. Harvesting and drying your herbs are simple as well – stay tuned to Hackney Herbal if you’d like to learn more!