Repair’s “tea parties” have been an ongoing community-based project in Los Angeles since 2015, and are offered on-demand, depending on our availability. Our tea parties are typically offered in private homes, though we have also provided tea parties in places of worship. We developed the tea party model after recognizing that many of our community members find it easiest to comprehend and face difficult realities about food quality and production, if disturbing information is coupled with hands-on healing activities. Our tea parties include brief introductory learning and discussion modules about a) the racial and gendered history of plant medicine in the United States, b) Harriet Tubman’s background as an herbalist, c) pollution, traumatic stress, and cellular damage in human bodies, d) food quality in domestic and global agriculture and manufacturing, e) the uses and sources of anti-oxidants, f) prospects for and limits of plant-based approaches to wellness, g) learning to blend and use organic and wild-crafted herbal teas as a health support.
We then invite participants to practice blending herbal tea recipes from our supply of dry organic and wild-crafted herbal tea ingredients, which they can then take home or give away. In longer versions of the workshop, we also may include a participatory skit on cellular damage and anti-oxidants, and/or provide a demonstration of the process of creating herbal extractions using dry herbs and organic vegetable glycerin. Our tea parties are intended to encourage self-study, and build enthusiasm and empowerment about prospects for communal and self-care using plants.
Support for the Repair Tea Parties has been provided by NetCE