July 29, 2016
by Rhummanee Hang
Week 4 of Youth Outdoors took us to Spiral Gardens in Berkeley, California. This week’s lesson focused on healing and self care. When our YO co-facilitator, Sou Saechao, brought up his ideas for what this space could be, we both agreed that we wanted space to get closer to nature and get connect with how our ancestors have been connecting with the earth for generations.
I met Spiral Gardens Co-Director and herbalist extraordinaire Kanchan Haynes years ago, when I was in high school- the same age as our high school participants. I used to dance with her daughter in a program I was in at the time. At 17/18 years old, I ended up working with her as an intern, then her assistant, and finally her colleague after I graduated college. She’s been an awesome mentor/friend/auntie/fellow year of the dragon, and it made perfect sense to introduce her to what this summer program was and vice versa.
After touring the garden, Kanchan demonstrated how to make a field salve, and each of the participants were able to take a jar home. A field salve is a pomade-like medicine that can be made quickly, naturally with herbs on hand, and applied topically. It also makes for a very good moisturizer if used on a daily basis. The one we made at Spiral Gardens is packed with antibiotics, antiseptics, and healing and skin-loving properties. It’s clear- the earth provides. Thank you, Kanchan, for an awesome session! We all had a lot of fun.
Take a look at some of the photos below!