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New - Herb class

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  • loreleilivre
    Greetings good gentiles. I am Lady Rosamistica Tomacelli de Greene currently residing in the heartlands of Calontir. I have engaged myself to teach a series
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 11, 2011
      Greetings good gentiles. I am Lady Rosamistica Tomacelli de Greene currently residing in the heartlands of Calontir. I have engaged myself to teach a series of classes on herbs and herbalism at Lilies War this year, and on advice, am teaching these classes to my Barony for practice. Last night was the first on the basics of herbalism and a good lord directed my attention to this group.

      My next three classes are all make and takes of syrups, oils and salves. I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with make and take classes and could give me some pointers. I am rather nervous as I am new to teaching and fairly new to the society.
      Rosamistica
    • Lady Biya
      Merry meet, Lady Rosamistica! This is Lady Biya, formally of the Shire/Barony of Mag Mor (it was a shire while i lived there!) and now in the Kingdom of
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 4, 2011
        Merry meet, Lady Rosamistica!

        This is Lady Biya, formally of the Shire/Barony of Mag Mor (it was a shire while i lived there!) and now in the Kingdom of Aethelmearc after many journeys across my long SCA career.  I am founder and guild mistress of the Known World Aviculturists Guild (companion birds) and society expert on companion birds (parrots, finches, pigeons/doves).

        I have done a fair amount of teaching, though not on herbalism as the formal topic per se--herbalism does come into my aviculture classes.  Birds eat, perch, and have housing, after all!


        My advice to you as an experienced teacher is to first assume your students do not know anything about your subject and allow plenty of time for questions!  I also have found that students are very good at asking questions on the areas you yourself have not recently researched or looked up, so expect that coming into your classes.

        The better your bibliography is for your materials, the easier things will work.  It helps to have as long and detailed a bibliography as possible so that when students ask you something you know but not in great detail off the top of your head, you can respond with places for them to look up those detailed answers.  No one will know or remember every conceivable detail on every facet of a given topic.  So if you are asked about something you don't really remember right then the specifics on, absolutely be honest with your students on it.    They will respect the "I don't remember the exact answer to that at the moment, but source x has great information on it."

        Last, I suggest that you assume the class will take longer to teach than you are expecting, particularly if you are getting questions.  When I flew out to Royal University Midrealms, I prepared two 60-minute classes--or so i thought!  I had so many questions in the second class that I ended up skipping about 30% of my class due to time.

        On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 2:06 PM, loreleilivre <rosamistica@...> wrote:
         

        Greetings good gentiles. I am Lady Rosamistica Tomacelli de Greene currently residing in the heartlands of Calontir. I have engaged myself to teach a series of classes on herbs and herbalism at Lilies War this year, and on advice, am teaching these classes to my Barony for practice. Last night was the first on the basics of herbalism and a good lord directed my attention to this group.

        My next three classes are all make and takes of syrups, oils and salves. I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with make and take classes and could give me some pointers. I am rather nervous as I am new to teaching and fairly new to the society.
        Rosamistica




        --
        Rev Laurel A. Rockefeller


      • Avaline
        Greetings, Rosamistica! I have taught herbal make and take classes in Gleann Abhann for some time now, and they are always a lot of fun and very popular with
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 4, 2011
          Greetings, Rosamistica!

          I have taught herbal make and take classes in Gleann Abhann for some time now, and they are always a lot of fun and very popular with participants. We've made balms, salves, tisanes, tinctures, etc. When making items using herbal infused oils (salves and balms), I find it very helpful to have some made up in advance for use in the class. While I am talking about the herbs used in period and their medicinal properties and methods used to make balms/salves, the participants can see/smell/touch each ingredient as it is added to the oil (I use "common oil", AKA olive oil). I also let the participants scrunch up the herbs and add them to the mix. I explain the various ways of infusing the oil using both modern methods and period ones, making sure that they understand that it takes TIME. Then I whip out the pre-made stuff and we continue! With salves/balms, the students grate the beeswax themselves, help me determine if the consistency is right, and label their own product. Every part of making herbal stuff can be a learning opportunity (I sometimes bring my jar of interesting brownish green ooze as a way of reinforcing to myself and others that you MUST label the stuff WHEN you are working with it. I have no clue what it is now...)

          In the herbal tisane class, the properties of each herb and its use in period are discussed. Then we make actually make our own blends, taste them, and compare notes. Great for making the students relaxed and get them talking to each other. A great learning experience for me, too!

          Make and takes are fun! With some prior preparation, good handouts (they aren't going to remember much if you just talk at them), and a lot of interaction, you can teach a class that your students will remember.

          Other pointers: Put everything you need for your class (herbs, labels, containers, graters, pots/pans/tea kettles, measuring devices, oils, wax, etc.)in a single storage/transportation container. Tubbies/totes are great. The handouts can go in there in a ziplock bag so that it is all together when you arrive on site.

          Bring more paper towels than you think you'll need. Wear an apron. Make friends with someone with a baby - baby food jars are good balm/salve containers, and those little plastic containers that they use nowadays are even better!

          Bring some of the books in your bibliography to show; I especially like the PDR for Herbal Medicines, which tells about safety issues. STRESS herbal safety! Mention herbal safety many times during the class. Stick with fairly safe herbs such as plantain, calendula, etc. when teaching how to make herbal products. Make sure your handouts also stress herbal safety and give the students an idea of where they can find out this info (bibliography).

          Again, make and takes are fun! The students get involved and enjoy themselves, while at the same time becoming instantly less critical of the teacher. ; )

          If you need further ideas, I would be more than happy to help. Good luck!

          THL Avaline la Chevriere
          Craftsman, Compagnie of Gleann Abhann Herbalists


          --- In SCA-Herbalist@yahoogroups.com, "loreleilivre" <rosamistica@...> wrote:
          >
          > Greetings good gentiles. I am Lady Rosamistica Tomacelli de Greene currently residing in the heartlands of Calontir. I have engaged myself to teach a series of classes on herbs and herbalism at Lilies War this year, and on advice, am teaching these classes to my Barony for practice. Last night was the first on the basics of herbalism and a good lord directed my attention to this group.
          >
          > My next three classes are all make and takes of syrups, oils and salves. I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with make and take classes and could give me some pointers. I am rather nervous as I am new to teaching and fairly new to the society.
          > Rosamistica
          >
        • Joyce Zeiler
          My name is Morin and I am the Secretary for the Gleann Abhann Herbal Guild. I was formerly a member of the Smythkepe Herbal Group until I moved a little over a
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 8, 2011
            My name is Morin and I am the Secretary for the Gleann Abhann Herbal Guild.  I was formerly a member of the Smythkepe Herbal Group until I moved a little over a year ago.  Now Avaline is doing a great job heading that group up.  We have both taught classes at Gulf Wars and our home groups.  It sounds like you are really starting out great with your group.
             
            When I make ointments,  I like to use lard.  You can buy large buckets of clean white lard at the grocery store or Wal Mart.  Lots of period sources recommend "pigs grease"  as the base for ointments.  Unless you have an aversion to animal (pork) fat, this makes a great base.  Mix it with clean beeswax to the consistency you want your ointment.  Using "omphacine" oil (olive) makes a nice base also.
            Avaline gave you very good pointers on what to do for your classes.  If you are going to use an infused oil of some kind- rose, marjoram, etc. be sure to start the infusion well before your class, unless that is what your class is about. 
             
            I try to use as many period resources as possible.  HOWEVER, you must have a good modern field guide or herbal medicine book (The Complete German Commission E Monographs is great!).  This way you know the modern safety and side effects.  Natural/herbal does not  mean without side effects. 
             
            I, too, would be willing to help you in any way I can.  I have some resources you might find interesting.  Just drop me a note.
             
             
            Morin inghen Ruairc
             
            PS   I have read your works on herbalism and it seems like you have a fairly good handle on everything--Kingdom A&S Championship-woot!

            On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM, Avaline <avaline_2003@...> wrote:
             

            Greetings, Rosamistica!

            I have taught herbal make and take classes in Gleann Abhann for some time now, and they are always a lot of fun and very popular with participants. We've made balms, salves, tisanes, tinctures, etc. When making items using herbal infused oils (salves and balms), I find it very helpful to have some made up in advance for use in the class. While I am talking about the herbs used in period and their medicinal properties and methods used to make balms/salves, the participants can see/smell/touch each ingredient as it is added to the oil (I use "common oil", AKA olive oil). I also let the participants scrunch up the herbs and add them to the mix. I explain the various ways of infusing the oil using both modern methods and period ones, making sure that they understand that it takes TIME. Then I whip out the pre-made stuff and we continue! With salves/balms, the students grate the beeswax themselves, help me determine if the consistency is right, and label their own product. Every part of making herbal stuff can be a learning opportunity (I sometimes bring my jar of interesting brownish green ooze as a way of reinforcing to myself and others that you MUST label the stuff WHEN you are working with it. I have no clue what it is now...)

            In the herbal tisane class, the properties of each herb and its use in period are discussed. Then we make actually make our own blends, taste them, and compare notes. Great for making the students relaxed and get them talking to each other. A great learning experience for me, too!

            Make and takes are fun! With some prior preparation, good handouts (they aren't going to remember much if you just talk at them), and a lot of interaction, you can teach a class that your students will remember.

            Other pointers: Put everything you need for your class (herbs, labels, containers, graters, pots/pans/tea kettles, measuring devices, oils, wax, etc.)in a single storage/transportation container. Tubbies/totes are great. The handouts can go in there in a ziplock bag so that it is all together when you arrive on site.

            Bring more paper towels than you think you'll need. Wear an apron. Make friends with someone with a baby - baby food jars are good balm/salve containers, and those little plastic containers that they use nowadays are even better!

            Bring some of the books in your bibliography to show; I especially like the PDR for Herbal Medicines, which tells about safety issues. STRESS herbal safety! Mention herbal safety many times during the class. Stick with fairly safe herbs such as plantain, calendula, etc. when teaching how to make herbal products. Make sure your handouts also stress herbal safety and give the students an idea of where they can find out this info (bibliography).

            Again, make and takes are fun! The students get involved and enjoy themselves, while at the same time becoming instantly less critical of the teacher. ; )

            If you need further ideas, I would be more than happy to help. Good luck!

            THL Avaline la Chevriere
            Craftsman, Compagnie of Gleann Abhann Herbalists



            --- In SCA-Herbalist@yahoogroups.com, "loreleilivre" <rosamistica@...> wrote:
            >
            > Greetings good gentiles. I am Lady Rosamistica Tomacelli de Greene currently residing in the heartlands of Calontir. I have engaged myself to teach a series of classes on herbs and herbalism at Lilies War this year, and on advice, am teaching these classes to my Barony for practice. Last night was the first on the basics of herbalism and a good lord directed my attention to this group.
            >
            > My next three classes are all make and takes of syrups, oils and salves. I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with make and take classes and could give me some pointers. I am rather nervous as I am new to teaching and fairly new to the society.
            > Rosamistica
            >


          • Aly/Cemper
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 8, 2011
              <<My next three classes are all make and takes of syrups, oils and salves. I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with make and take classes and could give me some pointers. I am rather nervous as I am new to teaching and fairly new to the society.>>

              Sounds like you have some great advice and I've taken note for future use too. One piece of advice I would offer is to keep your class moving in some way and avoid over-lecturing. Hands on is great and if you can provide handouts as mentioned, then talk about your herbs whilst students work, your class will be more productive. I teach as a profession and my biggest mistake when I first started with SCA teaching was treating the SCA class like a college classroom. Disaster!! But it was a learning experience. My next classes have all been hands-on whilst I speak which is much more productive and much less of a disaster. I am so lucky that my barony is encouraging and patient :)  Handouts are really really great and I provide "mini-herbals" for my classes so students can refer back and coloured pix in the "mini-herbals" help.
              I would stress that any herb that has a toxic label be used with caution and that any herb that has a toxic label or there is controversy over whether it is truly toxic, i.e. comfrey, you mention the controversy your opinion, then why you are using it or not, just in case.
              I agree that natural does not equal safe. Deadly nightshade is natural and so is hemlock.
              Good luck!
              Cemper


               
              One cannot silly-walk into Mordor.



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