Spoonful Herbals: Greater Burlington Area Mutual Aid: Food and Herbal Justice

2022 Grant Amount: $3,300

2022 Grant Amount: $3,300

This funding would assist us in formalizing and deepening our capacity for local mutual aid efforts through distributing locally grown or harvested medicinal plants, herbal teas and nutrient dense foods with an emphasis on serving BIPOC and LGBTQ2Scommunity members. To ensure that BIPOC community members get our donations directly, BIPOC collaborator stipends are included in our funding request.

While the benefits of mutual aid are invaluable and unquantifiable for the community, the funds will allow us specifically to supplement Conscious Homestead’s BIPOC care kits, contribute remedies to Northeast Indigenous communities through Free Pharm, give culturally and ecologically relevant medicinal plants to Alnobaiwi for their Forest Garden, and donate prepared local nutrient-dense foods to Food Not Bombs’ free meals program.

Different plants are ready for harvest at different times throughout the growing season (roughly May to October) and will be prepared into remedies
accordingly. Common nutrient dense, medicinal and delicious preparations include nettle pesto (spring/fall), kim chi (late summer) and elderberry syrup (summer). This project has been underway at a small scale since 2015. With support from City Market, we can increase the impact and sustainability of the GBAMA: FHJ program in this year’s growing season and continue for years to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted disparate access to local, nourishing food and herbs. During the pandemic, we offered donations of herbal remedies to Abenaki communities experiencing COVID outbreaks through Free Pharm, to Conscious Homestead’s BIPOC care packages, and shared nutritionally-dense foods with underserved community members.

We also contributed to the Alnobaiwi Nebizonkpiwi (Medicine Woods) at Ethan Allen Homestead to build capacity for long-term food sovereignty, including investing in traditional Abenaki garden and forest crops. The effects of inequitable access to local, nutrient dense foods are still profound and with the support of City Market, we will be able to further strengthen these connections and our support of the community with the GBAMA: FHJ initiative.