Many moons ago, I set up an urban gardening project in Amsterdam, called River of Herbs. It is to teach people how to grow and use edible and medicinal herbs, for free. Via River of Herbs I have been managing four quite large orchard gardens, in Park Frankendael, for the past years. Volunteers help to keep the place tidy but in harmony with nature. We garden there at different times and days, to do a little peaceful gardening as and when we have time. And the place is thriving, with beautiful herbs, fruit and wildlife, mingling with the occasional foragers who come to learn and harvest in this place.
I am now trying to get a regular Saturday morning gardening session running at the River of Herbs orchards, weekly, from 9.30 – 11.00.
The location is directly behind Huize Frankendael (Middenweg 72, 1097 BS Amsterdam), four hedged orchards, on two sides of the formal Stijltuin. The orchards are a beautiful green oasis, where you are welcome to spend time, feed your mind and body, whilst gently nourishing the environment.
All welcome, no experience needed
No heavy gardening happens here, the work is generally tasks such as light pruning of bird cherry and rose bushes, and thinning out the edible and medicinal wild herbs such as Geranium, Cleavers, Nettle, Sweet woodruff etc. Sometimes it’s Zen work such as removing little tree seedlings from a woodchip path, other times it’s clearing Cleavers which tend to choke the fruit shrubs, or removing baby Wild garlic plants from a path. The plants and animals lead but as gardeners, our task is to keep it looking tidy and accessible. The work we do is kind to the plants, animals and land, and they depend on the season.
You can take home the cuttings/harvest to use for food and home remedies. It’s organic and managed in a permaculture-food forest kind of a way. Would you like to join to help with this?
I can’t be there every Saturday morning but if we can build a small group of folks who can sometimes meet and help at that day and time, it becomes simple for everyone to know confidently what to do and how to do it, on the days I’m not there.
Would you like to come along this Saturday morning? I’ve got some spare hand tools and gardening gloves to use. I advise you wear long trousers and sleeves, closed shoes, bring a drink and snack. But mostly bring an open heart, love of nature and desire to learn from the plants and creatures of the herbal orchards.
If you need directions or have questions, call or what’s app me on 0627596930. The website for the project is: https://riverofherbsblog.wordpress.com/