This blueprint is a guide to identifying common poisonous plants in Scotland.
Illustrated by Jason Kerley and produced in partnership with the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine.
Lords and Ladies
In Season March – October
These beautiful plants grow in the shade. Don’t be tempted to eat the bright red berries or use the leaves as make-shift loo roll as they will both have painful consequences.
Not to be confused with… Foxglove or Comfrey.
Comfrey leaves are used in Herbal Medicine to heal tissues, mainly externally. It is also used in organic gardening as fertiliser.
In Season: June – September
Foxglove can be poisonous when eaten and grows in open woodland, hedgerows and moorland.
Not to be confused with… Comfrey
Comfrey leaves are hairy, especially underneath. Their top surface has an indented and structural feel.
Foxglove leaves are much softer when young and leathery when older.
In Season: March – October
Monks Hood can be found in gardens, woods and ditches and is poisonous to touch.
In Season: March – November
Night Shade can be found in forests and hedgerows. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic when eaten.
In Season: June to July
Hemlock is actually part of the carrot family but is a notoriously poisonous plant. Hemlock has a repellent smell when its leaves are when its leaves are crushed.
Not to be confused with… The other members of the plant family with umbrella like flowers. This includes wild versions of the carrot and parsnip, and also fennel, dill, sweet cicely, etc., which smell pleasantly of aniseed.
Extreme caution in picking this family is required.
“An ambient dream journey; recalling memories and personal stories of healing with plants. A lot of the once common knowledge around medicinal plants has been lost through the violent processes of capitalism, church and colonialism, disproportionately affecting women. Therefore, remembering, reclaiming and sharing this knowledge is a personal as well as a political act. By meeting and using local, widely available plants, often labelled as ‘weeds’, we can take control over our own health, as well as the health of society and the environment in order to heal and re-enchant the world.”
– Louise Boer
This blueprint is a step-by-step guide to creating a Bokashi compost.
Illustrated by Ila Colley and produced in partnership with the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine.
Bokashi is a type of composting in which you seal food scraps and organic waste in an airtight container, add a “bokashi bran,” and periodically drain off the liquid, until the food scraps are fermented and ready to be composted. The composting method was developed by Dr. Teruo Higa in the early 1980s, and is translated from the Japanese to mean “fading away.”
Bokashi is an anaerobic method which takes advantage of certain strains of bacteria that don’t need oxygen in order to thrive, as opposed to other forms of composting, which are aerobic and require open air to break down materials.
‘Compost Recipe (Bokashi Style)
For Superfast, Anti-Pathogenic, Compact, and Nutrient-Rich Compost
1x Bokashi Bran
Some Nitrous & Carbon Rich Stuff
- Vegetable Scraps (Nitrous)
- Old Leaves (Carbon Rich)
- Newspaper (Carbon Rich)
- Coffee Grounds (Nitrous)
1x Compression Device
- Potato Masher or Dinner Plate
2x 25 Litre Bucket (Stacked)
1x Electric Drill for Hole-Making in 1st Bucket Base
1x Tea Towel (Cut into Circle for Solid Waste Filter)
1x (Optional) Spigot for Second Bucket
Stack compost bucket inside hole-y bucket & keep that lid on tight for funky fermentation.
Layer the bucket with Bran and Nitrous and Carbon Rich Stuff
Bokashi Tea drains through the second bucket
Drain Tea twice a week
Dilute with water and feed to plants
Good Omen #1:
- Squiggly Mycelium on Surface
Good Omen #2:
- Fluffy, White Mould in Gaps
Day 4, 7, 11, 14
Dilute with Tap Water to feed Plants
Last Stage: Bury that good stuff for a month under 30cm of soil until it becomes formless and powerful dark matter.
Finally: Add your Bokashi Compost to soil and let some roots feast – Bon appetit! ‘
An angled worm’s eye view of some folk harvesting from a veg patch, using elements to evoke the urban setting like background photo collage of curbs and paving, and classical Scottish landscape at centre – the sublime being excavated with the carrots. Soil layers populated by different organisms, mites, fungi, worms, moles, roots. Part of the idea in producing this piece was to ‘evoke a sense of collaboration, discovery, unearthing and autonomy’, in line with our vision for the Ecopoetics project.