Fernanda Botelho is one of Portugal’s most well known experts on medicinal plants and herbs. We invited her to come and share some of her knowledge with us.
Gathered to share and learn were a group of enthuasiastic plant lovers from various places here in Portugal, Australia, Latvia, Germany and England. The workshop began with a walk to identify various useful species.
With a bunch of plants we retreated to the cool of the ‘N’jango’, our beautiful natural building by the pond to continue with the learning and sharing. Fernanda had set out a herb spiral and participants introduced themselves through the plants in front of them.
Wild lavander, St. John’s Wort, Lime Leaf, Calendula, Plantain, Lemon Balm, Fennel, Nettle, Thyme, Sage, Rock Rose, Blackberry – to name but a few of the plants we discovered more about!
We were inspired to prepare a colourful and healthy vegan and vegetarian meal for lunch. We used many wild and cultivated plants and herbs from the garden and the farm for the salads.
In the afternoon, in the common space Fernanda continued to share about the different ways you can process the plants to extract the goodness. She explained how to dry plants to make teas, and also how to prepare decoctions, tintures and macerated oils. We were all inspired!
The little shop we created for the day sold products from the Mount of Oaks and also Fernanda’s informative books and essential oils.
We shared goodbyes with most of the participants and felt assured by a common love of the natural powers of plants to heal. Over the summer months we will continue to harvest and dry many of the medicinal and culinary plants we are growing. Get in touch if you would like to buy or learn more about the plants that are growing locally in central Portugal.
As a little PS – a bunch of us headed to the annunal local cherry festival in Alcongosta after the workshop. We encountered some of the wonderful folk from the village – including the last of the basket makers who makes his baskets from chestnut wood. Fernanda loved the visit and for sure we will invite her back next year!