I recently had the pleasure of attending a soap making workshop run by Hunter Vally herbalist Pat Collins. Pat is the author of one of my favourite books, Useful Weeds at Our Doorstep, so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the workshop from one of my lovely blog readers. Thanks Wendy!.
We made some lovely natural soaps using herbs and weeds.
We harvested Aloe gel....
And made lovely camomile milk...
All up we made five different types of soap and a batch of lovely stinging nettle hair conditioner.
We also had a weed wander. We wandered though the garden and Pat told us about the medicinal and culinary uses of the various weeds and herbs.
I came away with a few more of Pats books. I couldn't help myself. They are full of so much good stuff!
'Pats Herbal Recipes' includes loads of natural chemical free culinary, cosmetic and medicinal recipes. First on my list to try are carrot moisturising cream, lipeze, thistle hair conditioner, nasturtium capers, lavender biscuits, comfrey fritters, insect repellent cream, sun protector cream, and a tonic tea.
'More recipes from Pat' includes even more great recipes, including a section devoted to baby care.
I'm particularly impressed with 'Bush Wise'. It includes information on useful native plants, bush craft, survival skills and has a great recipe section. I'll definitely be trying the rabbit casserole, kangaroo tail soup, Prickly Pear cough syrup, and the Warrigal Greens and Macadamia nut pesto. There's even information on how to cook insects (I think i'll give the creepy crawlies a miss).
Find out more about Pat Collins
You can find out more about Pat by visiting her Total Health and Education Center website. Her books and herbal goodies can be ordered from the center (price list download).
Pat runs workshops by invitation. I'm keen to invite her to give another workshop in Newcastle in the New Year. The hard bit is choosing what to have a workshop on. Herb & Home Healing, Bush Flower Healing, Making Cosmetics, Bush Tucker, or Self Sufficiency? They all sound like fun. Send me an email if you are interested (see email link in top right hand corner under my 'hello').