With spring near, a new grouping of classes will be offered through Crestwood Area Community Education, including one on medicinal, edible plants, another on growing and using herbs, and another on upcycling, a new concept that allows people to turn unwanted objects into something new.
Robin Golden, the longtime CACE coordinator, will teach “Wild Medicinal, Edible Plants,” sharing her knowledge of a subject she’s studied for years. The many medicinal plants found in Mountaintop backyards will be discussed and their uses will be explained. Robin will also gather and present the actual plants, so her students can get a sensory experience. The class will be held on Wednesday, May 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p. m., and will cost $10.
Robin’s interest in wild plants began years ago, when she owned a gardening business in White Haven. She went on to teach the medicinal plant class at Whitewater Challengers and to Boy Scouts, as part of their wilderness survival requirements. In her class, Robin demonstrates how to make a salve out of wild plants and how to make a tinctures, oils, and creams.
“People are really interested in this type of thing,” she related, adding that she’s been involved in Facebook chat groups where people from all over the world have discussed ways to use medicinal plants. “Many people want to get back into a more holistic type of medicine.”
The other two new classes at CACE, taught by environmental educator Charlene Wildes, will also connect students to a more natural way of living. The first, “Getting the Most from Your Herbs,” will be held Wednesday, April 11, from 7 to 9 p. m., and will cost $10.
Charlene explained that the herbs class will touch on basic, commonly used herbs and how to grow, maintain, and store herbs for the winter. Then she’ll focus on ways to use the plants that one wouldn’t generally think of. Refreshments will be served, as Charlene will show students how to use herbs in various foods, like lavender sugar in shortbread, lemon basil in cupcakes, and mint in tea.
The medicinal properties of herbs will be covered, as well as how other cultures have used them for maintaining good health. “We’ll be looking at not just ways to enhance our food, but the qualities of herbs that are good for your health,” Charlene related. She’ll also show ways to use herbs outside the body, like placing lavender sugar in a jar, to promote relaxation, or mint to stimulate the senses.
In her other class, “Upcycling,” Charlene will teach how to reinvent an item that might be thrown away, in this case, photo frames. Students will choose a frame, any size from 5 by 7 inches to 3 by 3 feet, and use their imaginations, with Charlene’s help, to change the frame into something else. This class will be on Wednesday, March 14, from 7 to 9 p. m. and will cost $17.
The variety of end products that come from her Upcycling classes are always interesting, Charlene said. Some take an old frame and decorate