The most recent workshop at Little City Farm was on the weekend - and one of my personal favourite topics, backyard herbal medicinal teas. Not only did we get to drink various cups of freshly brewed tea (and talk about making solar and lunar infusions and decoctions), share herbal gardening tips (such as how to plan an herb garden, what conditions herbs need, best ways to dry & store herbs, and how to bring your herb garden indoors for the winter), but I also got to pull out my huge stack of well-loved books on this topic, and finally spend an hour walking workshop participants through our herb garden sharing (tasting, smelling, touching) numerous medicinal plants growing there. Best of all, the plants we were discussing are common plants (some would even call them "weeds"), easy to grow in our climate, and yet incredibly valuable! This is knowledge we should all have at our fingertips - plants like catnip to promote sleep; fennel for nursing mothers; peppermint for indigestion; red clover to cleanse the blood; burdock as a spring tonic; lavender as a heal-all; nettle as a rich source of iron; wild rose hips as a source of vitamin C; feverfew for migraines...and the list goes on. If you are interested in more details, please look for my upcoming article related to medicinal herbs for your backyard in the spring 2011 issue of Natural Life magazine.