Saturday, April 21, 2012

HLC Workshop Introduction to Plants and Ethnobotany
June 8-10

June 8-10: Introduction to Plants and Ethnobotany.

This three day workshop with ethnobotanist Keith Williams and botanist Pierre Taschereau Ph.D., will introduce participants to the fascinating kingdom of plants.

Topics will include: basic field identification of the major plant families, plant ecology, invasive species, and ethnobotany (cultural uses of plants).

A three day hands-on botanical adventure, this workshop will help you answer burning questions such as: How can I tell the difference between introduced and native species? Which local plants can I eat? How can wild plants be harvested sustainably? Why do we have seasonal food cravings? How can I make bread without using industrial yeast? How did people dye cloth before industrial dyes were available?

Limited enrollment. $250 all inclusive - five meals, snacks, shared cabin for one or two nights (bring sleeping bag or request bedding).

Registration closes May 25. For information about workshops and other programs go to, visit us on Facebook, or phone 902-683-2763.

To register send cheque or money order, along with name, address, phone number and email address, to: The Harrison Lewis Centre, RR 1 Port Joli, NS B0T 1S0.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Medicine Wheel and Herbal Healing

 Jun 1 - Jun 3, 2012
 Fri 7:00 PM - Sun 1:00 PM

 Our land is our medicine.

Walk through the woods and fields gathering medicinal plants and making preparations. Participants will learn about the traditional healing properties of the plants and the cultural traditions which have been used by the Mi'kmaq people. You will have an opportunity to create your wn medicine pouch and follow the remedies that have been passed on through the generations.

 Program Cost: $370 ($225 tuition+$145 meals/accommodations)
 Please note that there may be some bursaries available, and if you tent or sleep off site, it will be cheaper. Contact the Centre for details about these options.
 Please register at least 2 weeks in advance to secure your place in this program.


Judy Googoo

Judy Googoo never visited a hospital while growing up in Baddeck and Wagmatcook. All her medicines were prepared by her mother and grandmother and passed on over time. Judy is an Elder who has been studying and cataloguing medicines from this region infusing her own experiences and practices with traditional knowledge.

 Judy is also an artist and makes jewelry which she sells at her log cabin shop on the reserve. She owns a variety of businesses and raises a wide assortment of animals including love birds, turkeys, goats and horses in her home in Wagmatcook.

 Trudy Watts

 Trudy is an avid gardener and herbalist. Tatamagouche Centre's Living Traditions Herb Garden, started by Trudy in 2006, expresses her interest in honouring cultural knowledge of medicinal plants.

For more information:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spray Moisturizing Lotion Recipe

My long-awaited experiment has been successful - I have created a simple but beautiful liquid moisturizing lotion that can be applied using a spray bottle - awesome for reaching my back!!  The best part is that it costs a small fraction of what I have been purchasing pre-made!!

This long Easter weekend, I have been reading up on lotion making with my favorite friends James Green and Mindy Green (I wonder if they are related?? :)  I wanted to use vegetable glycerine as the emulsifier to bind my waters and oils together and they both concur that between 1/2tsp and 1tsp per cup of lotion will bind the ingredients without creating a sticky lotion.  I have selected all gel or liquid ingredients to help create a sprayable product.  This has the added benefit of not requiring any heating or melting during the blending process.

Since lotion goes on the largest organ in the body, our skin, it is best to use the purest ingredients you can source (organic is best).  Although the ingredients may cost more, I found that it was still far less expensive than buying the lotion pre-made.  Treat yourself - you deserve it! :)

Supplies you'll need (all sterilized):
measuring cup
measuring spoons
spray bottle(s)
 Valerie's Spray Moisturizing Lotion
 200ml (4/5 cup) Rosewater (or distilled water for unscented)
  50ml (1/5 cup) Aloe vera gel
3.75ml (3/4 tsp) Vegetable glycerine
  15ml (  1 T  ) Avocado oil
 7.5ml (1/2 T  ) Jojoba oil
 7.5ml (1/2 T  ) Fractionated coconut oil (liquid)
Combine rosewater, aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerine in a blender and put on the blender cover.
Combine oils into a small measuring cup.
Turn blender on at a medium speed.
Remove the center of the cover.
Pour in the oil in a slow drizzle. 
Use the spatula to get any remaining oil.
Stop blender and scrape down the sides.
Pour into sterile bottles.
Extra notes:
To thin this lotion, you could use more rosewater and less aloe vera gel or even use aloe vera juice instead of gel.
To thicken this lotion, you could use more aloe vera gel and less rosewater.
To add scent, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the oil mixture before pouring it into the blender.
To make scent free, use distilled water instead of rosewater.
To create a lotion for a specific healing purpose, you could infuse the oils with specific herbs or add a teaspoon of specific tincture to the water.

If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know how it goes!  Feel free to leave a comment with any questions and I'll do my best to answer :)

Val :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

FYI: Rosemary Gladstar's New Book!!

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal  Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs
Available Now!
Rosemary Gladstar  Released on Mar 13 2012

Learn More

Rosemary Gladstar is a renowned herbal teacher and practitioner with more than 35 years of experience working with herbs. She's the author of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and Herbal Healing for Women, director of the International Herb Symposium and the annual Women's Herbal ... Read More