On Saturday, September 30, the Madison Chapter of Herbalists Without Borders hosted a Community Herb Swap at Tenney Park in Madison, WI. The co-coordinators for the Madison Chapter are Carrie Ann Welsh and Shannon Renne. They have been leading this very active chapter for awhile, and always host fun & well-attended events.
The herb swap was perfect - a beautiful sunny autumn day, under the trees. Carrie Ann and Shannon brought many blankets to spread on the ground, and then everyone who attended brought something to share. The blankets held an array of fresh and dried herbs, seeds, tinctures, capsules and more. Some name brand items were traded, and some homegrown and homemade as well.
"The herb swap was an opportunity for folks in Madison to be able to do something simple to connect with each other, to give freely and take what they needed. We had organized the herb swap before the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico, and by the time we gathered at the park, it felt more like a drive for HWB clinics than for people to restock their home apothecaries. We ended up with a lot of herbal medicine to send where it's needed, in Puerto Rico and other places affected by recent disasters." ~Carrie Ann
The idea was to tie in with being mindful of our consumption and not letting things go to waste. By bringing something and taking something, everyone could find what they needed, and if they took less than they brought, the remaining would be donated to HWB for our herbal first aid kits.
"It's always amazing to me how much people are willing to stretch and give when they have the opportunity. All they needed was some blankets under a tree at the park and a time to show up! Madison in particular is a great place for an herb swap because so many folks are interested in making medicine and growing healing herbs, and it's a town that considers itself action-oriented, but I think this could work anywhere. These kind of events seem simple but their effects are profound--they result in generosity, connection, and care." ~Carrie Ann
Many people attended throughout the afternoon, and as we sat in the grass we talked about Herbalists Without Borders, our vision and goals, our projects, and the critical need for accessible affordable health care for all. Everyone read labels and looked through the bottles, taking only what they needed, and HWB Madison raised a good amount of herbals for our herbal first aid kit stock.
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