Events 2013

Look who talked at Richters last year!

FEB 3 PROSPECTING FOR HERBS

With Conrad Richter, President, Richters Herbs

Through the years Richters has introduced many herbs new to North America, and it has been Conrad’s job to find and develop those new varieties. Conrad will describe some of the ways he finds promising new plants and how any gardener with a keen eye can do the same. Plants have a vast repository of genetic variation packed into each species and man only begun to mine the possibilities. Ever since farmers first started saving seeds, man has created improved varieties through selecting seeds of the best plants. But all it takes is a chance mutation or a chance cross of two plants to get something entirely new and exciting to horticulture. Conrad recounts some of his spectacular finds of the past, and show how his excitement continues today with the introduction of exclusive new varieties for 2013. View the Slide Presentation

FEB 10 MAKING YOUR OWN TINCTURES

With John Redden, Registered Herbalist, Viriditas Herbal Products

Tinctures capture and concentrate the vital healing power of herbs in a way that can be conveniently stored for years. Made with a solvent, usually alcohol, they are easy to use when the need arises. John Redden is owner of Viriditas Herbal Products, a manufacturer of professional grade herbal tinctures used by practicing herbalists, naturopaths, and doctors. Every summer John goes on extended collecting trips across Ontario to gather the wild herbs he needs to make his tinctures, and many in the healing profession consider his tinctures to be among the best available. In this seminar John shows how you can make and use your own tinctures made with herbs from your garden. John maintains an active clinic alongside his tincture business, and he has taught herbal pharmacy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and was editor of the Canadian Journal of Herbalism. View the Recorded Presentation (Download the Handout)

FEB 17 ADVENTURES WITH WILD EDIBLES

With Mieke Schipper, Gamiing Nature Centre, Peterborough

The First Nations peoples lived on wild foods found growing throughout Southern Ontario. Native food plants are often tastier and more nutritious than farmed foods transported over long distances -- and they are free for the taking. In this seminar Mieke will show you which plants are good to eat, where to find them, how to prepare them to eat, and how to grow them in your garden. She is the founder of the Gamiing Nature Center located on the west shore of Pigeon Lake, in the Kawatha Lakes region of Ontario. Gamiing is a nature preserve and education centre with a strong focus on native plants, wild habitat restoration and the preservation of biodiversity. The name, pronounced “Gaa-’ming”, means “at the shore” in the Ojibwe language and was chosen to honour those who lived on the land before us. 2-3pm

FEB 24 PERMACULTURE AND FOREST GARDENING

With Travis Philp, Greenshire Eco Farm

Permaculture is a system of ecological design that strives to emulate natural ecosystems so that our gardens and farms become self-sustaining, healthy and bountiful. It seeks to create gardens and landscapes that arrange all the elements of the design in ways that maximize the synergy of the design while minimizing the need for human inputs such as labour, fertilizer and pesticides. Trees and idea of forest gardening play a big part. Increasingly the principles of permaculture are being adapted for homes, even in the cities and suburbs. Travis, a trained environmental and eco management technician, is a resident of the Greenshire Eco Farm where he manages the permaculture garden beds and looks after crop planting, maintenance, harvest and the weekly filling of food boxes. He will show you how to incorporate the principles of permaculture around your home or farm. View the Recorded Presentation

MAR 3 DRUMMING IN THE HEARTBEAT OF MOTHER EARTH

With Adele Racine Passmore, Thirteen Moons, Kawartha Lakes

We all love to garden and we get a lot of satisfaction from growing our own fresh herbs and foods. But how do we go further and create real harmony in our lives? For the First Nations and Metis peoples harmony starts with the idea that we are connected: connected to each other, connected to our ancestors, and connected to Mother Earth. Adele, whose Metis heritage was awakened when she learned to make her own drum, shares her journey and how she learned to embrace her connection to her ancestors with her drum. For many cultures and for thousands of years the drum has been used in rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, meditation and healing – a rite of passage for some. View the Recorded Presentation

MAR 24 SEABUCKTHORN - ONTARIO’S LOCAL CITRUS!

With Marlene Wynnyk, The Healing Arc, Teeswater

Marlene operates Ontario’s first ever sea buckthorn orchard on her farm in Teeswater. From July to October the orchard looks like a tropical paradise with trees laden with brilliant orange berries. Marlene says that the tart, citrusy berries are so rich with vitamin C that they may well become Ontario’s local citrus fruit. They are also incredibly rich in carotenoids, antioxidants and other healthful phytochemicals, and many people, not just Marlene, are calling sea buckthorn a “Super Berry”. The berries are used for juice, jams, jellies, relish, vinegar, and the seeds can be squeezed to produce a high quality oil. Sea buckthorn is a native of Europe and Asia, where it is known to survive temperatures from -40 to +40 Celsius and is highly resistant to drought and pests. Marlene won the Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence for her work in developing sea buckthorn as a new crop in Ontario. View the Recorded Presentation

APR 21 FIGS A-PLENTY – GROWING YOUR OWN

With Steven Biggs, Award Winning Food & Garden Writer

As Steven Biggs puts it, “Growing figs shouldn’t seem exotic; it should be straight forward stuff!” Indeed, a growing coterie of gardeners across Canada and the United States are mastering the art of growing figs in our temperate climate. Yes, figs suffer from the cold but there are ways to counter the cold as Steven will show. He can fairly be called Ontario’s chief advocate for growing figs, as he has written and spoken extensively on the joys of fig culture. He even learned some Portuguese so a Portuguese-Canadian friend would share his secrets on growing figs. Steven is an award winning journalist and garden writer specializing in gardening, farming, and food production. He is co-author of No Guff Vegetable Gardening, and is a contributing editor for Country Guide. He has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture with a major in horticultural science. View the Recorded Presentation (Download the Handout)

APR 28 OUR COMMON ROOTS – HEALING WITH HERBS

With Chad Cornell, Master Herbalist, Hollow Reed Holistic

Described as having the “soft-spoken zeal of young David Suzuki” Chad takes you on an eclectic, holistic and even mystical field trip through the world of natural healing using plants that are growing in our backyards, fields and forests. While man has relentlessly pursued a magic bullet for every ill, many feel that there is something terribly wrong with modern medicine. As Chad argues, the technology for healing already exists in nature and we just have to reach out for it. His newly released DVD Our Common Roots is a beautiful film about the power of medicinal plants (watch the trailer here). Chad is a Master Herbalist and owner of Hollow Reed Holistic, a natural healing clinic and apothecary in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a graduate of the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing. It is hard not to be impressed by Chad’s heartfelt passion for healing with herbs.

Herb Day May 5, 2013
This year we celebrated National Herb Day with an afternoon of seminars in praise of Elder, the Herb of the Year for 2013. Long overlooked as a herb but remembered for grandmother’s quaint elderberry pie and jelly, elder is coming back as the newest super herb. Research has shown how elder fights viruses and the symptoms of colds and flus. Already there is commercial interest and farmers are planting it by the acre.

GROWING ELDERBERRY FOR FOOD & MEDS

With Conrad Richter, President, Richters Herbs

Amazingly adaptable and hardy, elder grows almost anywhere. We will discuss the varieties of elder, and how to grow them and how to turn the berries into drinks, foods and medicines. View the Recorded Presentation

ELDERBERRY FOR HEALTH & HEALING

With Conrad Richter, President, Richters Herbs

John is a big fan of elderberries for food, drink and medicine, and he will explain why elder is so wonderful for health and healing and why it should be a bigger part of our lives.
Please note: the scheduled speaker, John Redden of Viriditas Herbal Products, was unable to present this seminar due to a family emergency.View the Recorded Presentation

ELDERBERRY FOR FOOD, FUN & MAGIC

With Koidu Sulev, Richters Herbs

Koidu Sulev talks about how to make jam, cordial, vinegar and oil from elder flowers and berries. Koidu also discusses the folklore and magic of elder, as well as some of the fun uses of elder wood. View the Recorded Presentation (Download the Recipes)

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