New book out by Sharpham Trust forager!
Published: 31 August 2020
The Sharpham Trust’s resident forager has her first book out.
Brigit-Anna McNeill’s Bloom & Thrive is out on Penguin-Random House books, and she namechecks Sharpham in its pages!
“To the beautiful land of Sharpham Trust in Devon, for showing me her secrets and for the people there, who open the doors for me to teach about the plants and nature within their forests, fields and riversides,” writes Brigit-Anna.
She helps people to understand and experience the benefits that plants give us, leading nature-connection retreats and foraging days on the 550-acre Sharpham Estate – cared for by the charity The Sharpham Trust.
Her book is an extension of her outdoor work and is aimed at people at the beginning of a relationship with plants, flowers and herbs.
Writes Brigit-Anna: “Bloom & Thrive is for anyone who notices the plants on their way to work and sees hope in their potential to brighten our daily lives. It is for the person yearning for a connection with the power of nature and a different way to care for themselves that is more at one with the natural world.
“It is for anyone who wants to learn about plants and reclaim knowledge lost from our modern, electronic world”.
She adds: “This book is an invitation to see again the beauty of the wild. To reconnect with the plants that once were our medicines and to notice the weeds and the tiny flowers growing so strongly yet tenderly in the hedgerows, gardens, forests and riversides, from the cracks in the concrete, beside the roads; growing, blooming and thriving, offering remedy and recovery.”
Inside, there are chapters on using plants to help with focus, energy, good skin, sleep, happiness and first aid. She combines recipes too and instructions on making easy home herbal tinctures, oils & balms.
She has included plants that have brought the most joy and healing into her own life, she says. “Many are wild forgotten weeds, household names and garden friends.”
Making past wisdom present
And she’s hoping to re-connect us with the herbal medicine wisdom of yesteryear: “I want to inspire you to revive the medicine of the common people, to embrace the way of folk medicine - for health, for fun and for life,” she says.
“All over the world, plant stories have been whispered and spoken from heart to ear to heart, and used to support, care and comfort….But this knowledge has faded, no longer being passed on through families and generations.”
“I believe, however, that more and more people are searching for simple, natural ways to care for and support their well-being, both physically and mentally. And that is where this book comes in.”
Brigit-Anna’s knowledge includes a good deal of health and safety. She’s careful to warn about plants that could have bad consequences if picked and eaten.
Bloom & Thrive will be stocked in the library within Sharpham House and is available from major bookstores. It can be ordered from Totnes independent bookstore Arcturus Books on 01803 864363 and [email protected]
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