Herbs in the Emotional, Social, Political Landscape

On Wednesday I had a really nice evening in the sun down by the tranquil but brooding River Aire.  I was co-facilitator, with Sue Ball, of a botanical survey of a tiny derelict site next to Asda Headquarters which it is hoped Remember Oluwale can develop as a safe-space memorial to a black homeless immigrant man, David Oluwale, who met his death near there in 1969.  The site, an old warehouse razed to the ground apart from a listed archway, has very shallow soil built up on concrete over 50 years by moss, flooding and debris.  It is host to an astonishing range of plants, mainly wild but some deliberately introduced by Nurture associated with the homeless shelter at St George’s Crypt in Leeds.  There is a theme of tenacious holding on with the ivy-leaved toadflax , herb robert and ivy itself clinging  to low walls.  Food plants include elderberry, bramble, bird cherry, prickly lettuce and, at a pinch, the aforementioned toadflax.  Nurture for the soul, food for thought and poets is contributed by red poppy, yarrow and hemlock, all redolent of heroic struggle.  Coming soon – photographs on the Remember Oluwale Facebook page.


About donaldpurves

Traditional Herbalist since 1989, qualified originally with National Institute of Medical Herbalists (Tutorial Course, School of Herbal Medicine/Phytotherapy), joined Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners in 2011. University lecturer in Herbal Medicine since 2005. Born and brought up in the Scottish Borders. Higher Education at University of York (Biology 1980) and Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (MSc Herbal Medicine 2003). Married to Rukshana Afia, an artist working with drawing, textiles and ceramics. Passionate about environmental, economic and social justice.
This entry was posted in Community, Gardening, Herbs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s