Ethnobotany is the study of the human relationship with plants. One of the most fascinating bodies of work being conducted by an ethnobotanist are the research and teaching efforts of Kathleen Harrison. Kat is the founder and director of Botanical Dimensions and when not visiting her legendary garden and farm in Hawaii, is busy working on indigenous culture folklore research and botanical herbarium projects in Mexico and Peru.
We were honored to have her present an ethnobotany overivew and share a little about her life work at a Same Canoe workshop.
The Amy B Greenwell Ethnobotanic Garden is an exceptional ethnobotany resource in Wet Hawaii. The Same Canoe project hosted a tour fo the Ancient Hawaiian Agriculture features on the farm, led by Noa Lincoln. He focused on the food and medicinal crops of taro, sugar cane, banana, kukui, and kava and walked us through one of the few remaining intact stone wall pre-contact Hawaiian agricultural field systems. We even learned how to water with rocks! (think condensation)
Medicine at Your Feet is a workshop program hosted by David Bruce Leonard – and a book he has authored – that help us identify and understand the medicinal uses for common plants, some often considered ‘useless weeds’. David took us on a walk around One Island’s farm and up to our Medicine Wheel – and shared stories about his life discoveries – in this wonderful workshop.