Archives for category: herbalism

Flavour is another reason for using weeds in food.

Herbalists like myself love to talk about the wonderful nutritional benefits to be discovered in common garden weeds such as lambs quarters, stinging nettles, dandelion, chickweed and many, many more.  The above link introduces you to how weeds make food more enticing in terms of taste.  If  herbalists are not so convincing when we go on and on about nutritious weeds, perhaps this article can convince you to try them for the flavour.  I still remember the first time I tried a weed as a gourmet food.  My neighbour, Eleanor, invited me over for lunch and she added chickweed to the salad.  This weed tasted fresh, cool and sweet.  The flavour reminded me of corn on the cob and it was simply delicious.

Do you cook with common weeds?  I would love to hear about it.

(A note to the nature newbies!  If you do not know how to identify plants, you should seek out experts who can introduce these plants to you.)

Thanks to Sarka, my good friend and the author of Wellness Intel, for passing along this article to me.  I do love it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

English: Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica).

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)

Last week I was interviewed for a documentary focusing on the cosmetic industry in Canada.  It was so much fun!  My basic message was that if we are concerned by what is in our cosmetics, we can use our creativity and empower ourselves to make our own.  Yes, there is much to do in terms of petitioning the government and helping to change laws that will allow for greater transparency.  We have gotta know what is in these products if we are to make informed consumer choices!  And people are getting the word out there, such as the folks at Femme Toxic or those who are putting together the documentary, Fairly Foul.  But, until we sort all of this out, if you want a really clean cream, facial cleanser, deodorant, etc., today, the fast and easy way of avoiding questionable chemicals in products is to make your own.  I want people to see that is not that hard to make your own stuff.  Your homemade products will be of excellent quality and you will know exactly what is in them!


Yes, people have their doubts!  Sometimes when I mention how easy it is to make your own stuff, people ask about safety in terms of freshness and bacterial contamination.  That is when I break the hard news that if you make your own products, you will be making some things every few weeks and other stuff every few months.  It is like food.  If you want a Twinkie for breakfast, go for it and buy enough for the year.  Each day grab yourself a Twinkie from the pile.  Yes, this is a safe breakfast, but not necessarily a beneficial one.  If you want some nutrition to fuel your day, you are going to have to find fresh food and prepare it in some way.  Great skin care products are somewhat similar.  Like our friend Deborah says, this is a bit like the Slow Food Movement.  It is the slow cosmetic movement.  It takes some effort, but it is more than worth it.

To address the safety issue regarding natural products, I like to encourage people to know more about what they are putting on their face.  It is a great idea to start a recipe file with two parts.  One part should be the recipes. Include the ones that you have tried and the ones that you want to try.  Record your experience, tweak your method.  It is like cooking and you will only get better at it with practice.  The second part to your recipe file should be a list of ingredients.  For each ingredient you can keep record of all sorts of fascinating information such as what it does and what benefit it is to your skin, why you add it to products, what products it is use in, where it comes from, where to buy it and even any folklore or history of use.  And, why not record what chemical constituents are also in it?  Anytime you read anything new about this ingredient, add this information to the file and record where you found the information.  Within weeks, months, or years, who knows, you might have enough to write your own book on the subject!   Most importantly, you are educating yourself on this subject!  And you will have a kick’n file that you can refer to at anytime.

For those who are interested, I offer a super introductory course on creating your own skin care products.  We make the products, we try the products and you take home enough products for approximately one month’s worth of skin pampering  Of course you take home the recipes, too.  The cost is $40, plus tax, per participant.  I am able to do this at our space, Fleurbain, and I am also available to come to you and lead the workshop anywhere within Montreal.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine St. West, suite #917.

For more information, email me at fleurbain@gmail.com

YES! We did it! We opened our doors to the public…

in the midst of the celebration

On November 5th, we had a  party and business-launch and vernissage of art! It was a fabulous evening.

We are proud and happy to announce that we are HERE. You can join us!

Tammy is available for full consultations and mini consultations.  Please email tammy.schmidt.herbalist@gmail.com to book an

Tammy Schmidt, CHT

appointment. Her herbal dispensary is stocked and beautiful.

Tammy is also excited to announce a series of really cool workshops this winter.  Would you like more information?  Email fleurbain@gmail.com to sign up for our newsletter.

private or drop-in painting classes with Natasha Henderson

Natasha is in Fleurbain during regular gallery hours, 3pm to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday. She also is hosting a variety of drop-in and pre-registered workshops in painting, feltmaking, and other creative endeavours. Please call 514-504-3290 or email fleurbain@gmail.com for more details!

Natasha Henderson, BFA

The beautiful Espace Fleurbain is ready for you…

Talk to us about hosting your event, about space rental, about your verdant ideas about life in the city.

Right, Natasha?

October has been a great month of getting Fleurbain ready for the world!  Moving art and herbs into one beautiful space.  Hanging picture rails, installing shelves and countertops.  Cleaning things up.  It’s been a busy month!

And finally, (drumroll…), November 5th, starting at 5pm, we are having our Grand Opening!

Yes, you are invited see what we have come up with.  Natasha Henderson is showing paintings from her Bach series.  Tammy Schmidt will be there to introduce you to the concept of an herbalist’s office.  And of course, we would like to offer you some delight from our favourite café, De Farine et D’Eau Fraîche, and other refreshments.

come on over!

Saturday, November 5th, anytime after 5pm.

We can’t wait to introduce you to Fleurbain, the space!

917 – 460 Ste. Catherine St. W

Montreal, Quebec

Come on over!

Fleurbain is under construction. Fleurbain is moving… moving in, setting up shop, shifting around, clarifying, distilling, and experimenting to compound our knowledge and expertise.

Fleurbain is no longer only a dream and a website… Fleurbain is a site.

We will have a grand ouverture and vernissage soon (probably in early November), but in the meantime we will have small open-houses, host workshops, and meet with our clientelle in the realms of herbalism and art. In coming weeks we will announce regular opening hours, but for now we are available by appointment.

Tammy Schmidt, Clinical Herbal Therapist, is available for appointments through tammy.schmidt.herbalist (at) gmail.com and Natasha Henderson Artist and felt-making crafty Workshop Instructor is available through nhen@videotron.ca. We can both be reached through fleurbain@gmail.com!

See you soon, Montreal!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal

… and the apartment sized harvests. Within one hour I picked basil, parsley, tomatoes, stevia, chamomile and lavender. I then planted some greens for the fall – a little late, we will see. After that I made a pesto and documented it. Okay, on with the rest of the day!

parsley and basil pesto

a nice big jar of pesto nearby an experiment in pickled jalepenos

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal.

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