Community Apothecary

 

 

First Curve's Community Apothecary is a community outreach program that utilizes circular economy practices to connect with urban foragers, local urban farms, and community gardens within Chicago. Collaborating with these plant folx allows us a share of the abundant, wild and weedy medicinal plants, which we harvest, process, extract, and offer back to the community as herbal remedies at an accessible and sliding-scale price point.

The Community Apothecary also offers apprenticeship for those who want to learn about medicine making and bioregional herbalism. Apprentices have the opportunity to connect with plants throughout their growth cycle, learning to harvest, process, extract for medicine, formulate, blend, bottle, and eventually guide community members as to which herbal remedies might work best for them. This gives apprentices the opportunity to learn about the practice of bioregional herbalism through each step of the process, and to empower community members to engage with herbal healing within their own communities in their own way, and in relationship with the plants around them.

Check out our Community Apothecary Online Shop.

We also hold at least two pop-ups per year. Our first on Nov. 6 from 11am - 3pm at the Chicago People Patch at Patchwork Farms went off without a hitch! There was a lively fire cider making workshop, a community apothecary stand with sliding-scale herbal remedies, yoga, free zines, delicious and toasty herb-infused apple cider, and more!

We hold these pop-ups twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring to support and gather our community around our plant friends and allies.

These pop-ups further support our efforts to provide more accessible herbal remedies and education for our community, empowering community members to engage with herbal medicines to support their health and cultivate preventative self-care.

It also supports the first cohort of budding herbalists taking our Bioregional Herbalism and Medicine Making course, who help to curate, make, blend, bottle, and package the herbal remedies we will be offering.

Earnings from each 'season' (fall/winter & spring/summer) of our Community Apothecary are allocated in several ways, with portions going to:

  • Patchwork Farms for hosting the event
  • Any other farms, gardens, & foragers we work with throughout the season.
  • A scholarship fund for apprenticeship
  • Supporting the costs of running the program
  • Local community empowerment initiatives
    • This year we will be donating to Chi-Nations Youth Council:
    • From their website: Chi-Nations Youth Council was created in 2012 and comprised a diverse group of youth and adults, with a mission to create a supportive, open environment for Native Youth, raise awareness of cultural identity, and promote a healthy lifestyle through arts, activism, and education. We work towards this goal by strengthening the community through avid volunteerism, fundraising, and traditional values.

At this point, our Community Apothecary is in its early stages of development, and we are working to develop relationships with more local urban farms, urban foragers, and community gardens. If you know someone that would be interested in supporting this project, or are interested in participating in the apprenticeship aspect of this program, please reach out to alex@firstcurveapothecary.com

Images by Cameron Sand