What’s Blooming?

Well-being Wednesday: what’s blooming where you are? .

Here in the Chicago suburbs, many of my favorites are out: chicory (that periwinkle is one of the most perfect colors! 💜), yarrow, feverfew, bergamot, echinacea, firewheel, mullein, and elderberry. Many of these are edible and/or medicinal, not to mention great for pollinators, which are declining (ex see https://www.scientia.global/pollinator-decline-implications-for-food-security-environment/).

Knowing the plants that grow in your region creates relationship to the land where you live (what I tag as #placebasedmedicine), helps end plant blindness, offers you resources for food/medicinal options (particularly important in areas where there are food deserts), and can provide you with all of the #naturerx benefits (ex. reduced disease morbidity, improved mental health, increased creativity, etc; for more info, see my blogs and nature therapy info, ex here: http://ignitewell-being.com/what-is-nature-therapy/ ).

Getting outside is so important for your health that some consider access to nature and green space social determinants of health. Did you know though that there are racial disparities in access to nature and green space? (https://www.nrpa.org/parks-recreation-magazine/2018/october/cities-address-racial-disparities-in-access-to-nature/ and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-19/access-to-green-space-varies-by-class-race-in-the-u-s ) as well as in land ownership (https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/african-americans-have-lost-acres/ ) and who is most impacted by food deserts and food scarcity (https://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2014/spring/racial-food-deserts/) which can impact community health during this current pandemic (https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200411/expert-food-deserts-in-black-communities-partly-explain-coronavirus-vulnerability).

What can you do in your community to help provide access to green space, educate yourself/others about native as well as medicinal plants, and help ease racial disparities in access to nature and limiting food deserts? Some ideas are to look up your local @freeforestschool chapter or family nature club to see if they’re meeting (our local chapter and nature club, some of which I facilitate, aren’t meeting yet, check back soon), convert lawns to food gardens (learn how at The Resiliency Institute https://www.theresiliencyinstitute.net/), work with food banks to supply them with fresh, locally grown produce (The Resiliency Institute is also doing this), among many other ideas – your creativity and time being the big limiting factors.

#blackoutdoorlivesmatter #blacklivesmatter #racialdisparities #getoutside #wildmedicine #permaculture #herbalism #rewilding #foodsecurity



Written by Dr. Allison Mitch, copyright protected, please cite accordingly.  Originally posted to social media on 7/8/20.    Image is mine, of chicory.

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