Healthy Living Workshops at La Jardin

As Revolver reported in early October 2012, La Jardin is a highly successful pop-up restaurant located in the hip Barrio Italia in Providencia. As an extension of its philosophy the restaurant offers urban agriculture workshops most Saturdays. The workshops range from how to begin your own small garden in your apartment or house to how to make vegetable milk and broth.

 Photo by Ben Bookout
Photo by Ben Bookout

Nicole Teschner and Claudia Flisfisch are the teachers at these workshops. Nicole has her license in horticultural therapy and Claudia studied agronomy at Universidad Catolica and ecological agriculture at CFT IDMA. They are both very knowledgeable in organic growing techniques and plant uses.

 Nicole and Claudia (photo by Ben Bookout)
Nicole and Claudia (photo by Ben Bookout)

This particular workshop that we visited was on medicinal herbs and their uses. We began the workshop under a canopy of old shirts sewn together into a shade structure, in keeping with the recycled art theme of the restaurant. Here Nicole and Claudia introduced us to several of the medicinal herbs we would be learning about, asking us to examine each and choose one plant we identified with most. I chose rosemary for its fragrance and culinary use, but came to find out that it is also an antioxidant and supports circulatory system health.

After the introductions, we went into the gardens at La Jardin, where a number of medicinal and culinary herbs growing in the grounds surrounding the restaurant. It was during this tour that Claudia and Nicole revealed some of their extensive knowledge of herbs and their uses. For example, Lavender can be used as an antiseptic. Violet Flowers are edible and aid in flu relief. Nettles stimulate blood flow and can eliminate toxins in injuries. According to Nicole, our desire for desserts after dinner is our liver calling for energy to aid in digestion. She suggested drinking Boldo tea, instead of eating dessert, to aid in digestion. These are just some of the useful insights Claudia and Nicole provided the class on the tour. After learning about individual plants the students learned how to make medicinal tinctures, lotions and salves.

 Photo by Ben Bookout
Photo by Ben Bookout

La Jardin already has an extremely creative atmosphere with good healthy food. The restaurant is taking its community outreach to a new level with this series of urban agriculture workshops. For more information on the workshops being offered, contact Nicole at tallereslajardin@gmail.com or Claudia at sembrandolaciudad@gmail.com

La Jardin
Bilbao 497, Providencia
To get here take the Green line metro (L5) to Parque Bustamante and walk 5 blocks east to Av Italia. Or take the 504,501 buses along Bilbao to Av. Italia. Any of the many buses along Av. Salvador will also get you within a couple blocks. Just be sure to get off at Bilbao.

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