About The Winners
In 2018, we held our first-ever Mountain Rose Herbs Giving Project, now called Grants 4 Plants. We were overwhelmed with hundreds of plant-based projects from across the U.S., many of which you can find by searching the hashtag #MRHgrants4plants on YouTube and other social media channels. While we wished we could fund them all, we had to narrow it down. Our 2018 winners (see where they started!) blew us away with their passion for herbalism, commitment to protecting the planet, and desire to cultivate community. A year after the grants were awarded, we asked each of our recipients for an update on their progress...here's how they grew!
Herbal Medics Navajo Nation Clinical Week 2018
In September 2018, Herbal Medics held nine separate free herbal clinics across Navajo Nation, serving over 350 people who live in medically underserved regions. In addition to free herbal clinics run by advanced clinical and apothecary students of The Human Path, we also held numerous free classes on subjects ranging from breathing and holistic exercise to creating nutrition on a limited budget in a food desert. Together with members of the community of Sheep Springs, we also created a healing garden that employed and taught several basic permaculture techniques in order to gain maximum use of water and to rebuild soil. We donated and helped plant many medicinal plants aimed toward helping the community with the high suicide rate among young adults. Herbal Medics has worked in Navajo Nation for the past six years and every year fosters increased sharing between cultures. The students and Navajo community members learn from each other. They have a chance to offer sustainable medicine solutions while working with the land and the medicine it provides. Thank you to Mountain Rose Herbs for their help in this project during 2018.
Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project
Recipient: Brandon Ruiz
Since receiving the Mountain Rose Herbs grant in September 2018, the Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project has taken huge leaps forward to ensure access to herbal education and gardening space. We have had more than 15 workdays in the gardens, an experience combining hands-on learning and in-depth education on plant cultivation. With the grant, we were able to purchase medicine-making equipment, large amounts of soil and compost, and many other valuable resources. We have hosted nine donation-based workshops. In collaboration with other groups and individuals in Charlotte, we have donated over 200 lbs. of produce to members of the community and sold over 50 lbs. of herbs to local restaurants and chefs in town! In addition, we acquired a second growing space on the west side of town where we curate an Afro-Caribbean garden, and we plan to expand into a permanent farm space in 2020.
Lemon Balm: A Healing Permaculture Garden
Thanks to the Mountain Rose Herbs grant we’ve been able to host an array of perennial, medicinal herbs within Lemon Balm: a permaculture site dedicated to female health, located in North Lawndale, Chicago. Some of our favorite herbs on site include: Lemon Balm ( Melissa officinalis), Vitex ( Vitex agnus-castus), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Beebalm (Monarda), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This fall we are holding the first Chicagoland Herbal Collective meeting at The Permaculture Chicago Teaching Institute where herbalists throughout the city can gather, connect, and collaborate. Next season we plan to have ongoing workshops and community workdays at Lemon Balm, to support our Chicago community to reconnect to nature and their heath.
Apothecamper: A Free Mobile Herb Clinic
Recipient: Alex Rae
Since receiving the Mountain Rose Herbs grant, we finished building what we now call the Community Care Camper and stocked it with first aid supplies and herbal medicine. While finishing the camper, we continued servicing the homeless warming centers a couple times a month in the winter and saw over ten people each time. These services are all completely free, including custom formulas for people who might be suffering from an array of issues. Most common conditions are URI’s, flu, pain, digestive complaints, and some chronic conditions. We are looking to expand our services and locations and have been reaching out to other organizations with a lot of positive feedback. We are aiming to expand our services in the spring/summer of 2020. We are also eager to share these skills and include other herbalists in the area and are hoping to have more people join in the effort to provide care to the underserved communities in Michigan. We have no plans on stopping our efforts and are very excited to see what the future holds for the Community Care Camper. Thank you Mountain Rose Herbs for your support.
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