No sleep in for me on Saturday as I was up bright and early for Johanna Knox’s foraging workshop at the Anzac Hall in Featherston. The workshop, which was part of the Kokomai Festival, was a small affair of about 11 people and perfectly run. Over three hours we saw and learnt lots about different plants and what they could be used for and best of all we made quite a bit of stuff too.
Johanna was so well organised – the perfect workshop tutor really – she had lots of variety, was super knowledgeable about what she talked about but was also super friendly and relaxed.
First up we had a go at dying some wool clothing using silver dollar gum – no thanks to a Featherston wind-related power cut we missed out on seeing the end result because the water never boiled. Nobody minded as we made our own elderflower cordial using a super easy recipe. These images below are elderflower leaves and flowers.
We learnt the difference between kanuka and manuka (below).
And sipped some herbal teas – I would have never thought to make lavender tea but with a squirt of citrus it was delicious and really subtle.
We made a powdered deodorant next, a cologne (mine smells amazing and has vanilla pod and elderflower in it) and a plantain wound care paste.
Johanna showed us lots of things we thought were weeds that we could safely add to salads or make into teas or jam or sauces. Mid morning we all munched nasturtium and oxalis on top of cream cheese and crackers. I had a great time and learnt a lot – on arriving home I immediately made Tom a lavender tea while I had one from our blackberry leaves.
Johanna has also recently published a book on foraging, which you can find at Hedley’s in Masterton, among other places.