What is local medicine? At Guerrero Street Garden we are looking to answer this question. We cultivate medicinal herbs for traditional medicine like teas, tinctures, salves and syrups. Could this be accessible and affordable healthcare for San Franciscans across cultures and income levels?
As we learn to take care of plants we learn to take care of each other and ourselves. By learning to grow medicine we hold the ability to cultivate a resilient community. A relationship with land nurtures the body and spirit. We create a space for social healing and grow a healthy place to live.
All of our ancestors had deep relationships with the natural world and relied on plants as food and medicine. In the bustle of urban life we have forgotten the power and practice of this ancient wisdom. To build a local medicine movement we will need plants and people. We will need the faith that we can heal, and allow the plants to hold this power for us. We will need birds, bees, butterflies and moths. We will need shovels, seeds, fertile ground and strong arms.
I see our work at Guerrero Street as a venn diagram. One half is the laborious work of urban farming: seeding, weeding, mulching and harvest to provide the security of local medicine. The other half is our work as herbalists; like bookstores in the tech mecca, is plant medicine obsolete?
I’d say, no way. We need plant medicine now more than ever! In the middle of that venn diagram is an irrepressible feeling: we’ve got a lot of work to do.