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community building | education | environment

Radical Botany class: Week three

We have begun to understand plant families and have also begun to learn some of the more important healing plants such as Oregon Grape. But, more than that we have begun to learn that this class is not just some plant identification project, it is a survival class. What will we have when the oil is gone? Will we know what to eat, how to weave, how to construct shelters and vehicles without ripping down the forest and plummeting us all into starvation and chaos. And now, what can be do to heal our bodies and minds as we walk slowly from the chaos into a world we want to live in.
We are a group of between 15 and 20 people walking into a new world. Plants are one of the most important tools that we have. Most of us know little. It is knowledge that has been kept from us so that we are dependent on corporate structures for our food, our medicine, our shelters, our balance.

Each step of the way we are leaning about the plant communties and our lost relationship with them. We are learning to "key" plants: that is to identify them by their appearance. We are leaning what medicinal and nutritional quality each plant has. We are learning how no matter where we are there are plants and they are trying to bring humans back into balance.

When we walk in the forest, they spray us with aroma and plant chemicals. They talk to us in this way trying to bring us back to balance, away from our lunacy.

Last week we went to the Leach Botanical Gardens. We looked at several kinds of Oregon Grape. We split up to find a plant that interested us and then we came back together to teach what we learned from the plant. We then used a key and plant identification book to find out what is known and what is the ethnobotanical story behind the plant. How was it understood for 10,000 years or more. How was it understood, sensed, and related to before science disected it's parts.

Next Week we go to the river. We will go to Sauvie Island and look for bullrushes, sedges, tules, and other aquatic plants. we will learn how to weave with grasses and rushes. we will learn traditional basket making methods of native peoples.

We are planning a trip to Sauvie Island this Sunday, July 17. If you
need a ride, please meet at Laughing Horse bookstore at 1:00 PM on Sunday. If you can take people in your car, send a message to the Radical Botany listserve. Go to this address to sign up for the list:


Once you sign up please use this address to send messages to the list:


or send an email to:  info-pfs@riseup.net

We will meet at Howell Territorial Park on Sauvie Island at 2:00 PM.
From there we will go out near some of the beaches where we can find wild
wetlands plants that are used in basket making, fibers, dyeing and are edible or medicinal.

If you choose to go in your own transportation, please be at the entrance to the park at 2:00 PM. We may move to another area of the park soon after 2:00 PM.

Directions To Howell Territorial Park on Sauvie Island.

Take Highway 30 north past Linnton to the Sauvie Island Bridge. Cross the
bridge, proceed north approximately 1 mile and turn right onto Howell Park
there's a guy 15.Jul.2005 21:17

in the Eugene area

named ray wilson who is a Master of medicinal herbal knowledge-I'm sure he'd dig what you folks are up to