Events, News, Today

‘Herb’ your enthusiasm

College life, for many, includes living a rather fast-paced lifestyle, one devoid of what may be perceived as time-consuming — home cooking. According to an article by Roberto Ferdman for The Washington Post, the cause for the diminishment of the home-cooked meal is “the fact that people simply don’t have the time that they used to.”

Yet “Indoor Herbs 101,” an event that took place Tuesday in the University Student Union Sunset Lounge, aimed to encourage students to take some time away from their on-the-go way of life to grow, care and even eat their own indoor herbs.

This event, held by Sustain U and The Office of Sustainability, provided in-depth information through three different workshops. These all focused on a variety of herbs which students could grow on their own and use to create a more eco-friendly approach to eating.  

“Their food can be a more personal thing,” Eric Bryan, recycling and sustainability coordinator for Sustain U, said. “It’s not just something you exchange a certain amount of money for. This is something you can grow to the way you like it, in a way that is not at all harmful to the rest of the world. This is something that you’ve done yourself.”

The first workshop at the event was hosted by Daniel Pierce, a fifth year design major and sustainability assistant for the event. Pierce educated students on how to harvest herbs such as mint, chives, parsley, rosemary and basil. Moreover, he included the health benefits each plant provides.

According to Pierce, mint serves as a versatile plant that can relieve muscle and joint pain, help treat rashes or bug bites to relieve itching, improve skin health and even improve the hair health when added to shampoo or conditioner.

“I hope students will realize it’s not too hard to grow plants inside your home and, also, kind of reteaching this lost knowledge that herbs are hugely beneficial for our health,” Pierce said. “It’s something that our ancestors knew but for some reason modern culture doesn’t really think about them that much.”

Attendees were able to view the indoor herbs they learned about in-person and find out some little-known facts about each plant. According to Lamiya Hoque, lead assistant for Sustain U, herbs such as parsley can help prevent cancer and aid in managing diabetes.

“You need a connection to the real physical world. If you put cement over everything then you do lose something in that,” Bryan said about the importance of green spaces. “The idea is, if you don’t have ground to walk on, if all you have is something you put over that ground, you’re removing yourself further and further from the place you live with every step. We’re trying to reintroduce people to the ground under their feet.”

After visiting all three educational workshops at the event, students were able to receive their own indoor herb starter kit, which included a pot and seeds from their pick of either chives, mint, parsley, rosemary or basil.

“Green Games,” the next Sustainability Month event, will allow students to compete in a series of interactive games and obstacle courses to highlight the importance of sustainability both on and off-campus. The event, hosted by The Office of Sustainability and Associated Students Inc. Beach Pride, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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