Herbal Cooking – Developed with community members

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August 2022

We worked with community participants and developed cooking guides using forageable plants, and herbalism from a Scottish perspective and a Grenadian perspective.


It is important to us to centre the community in our work.

To us, this means understanding the audiences we are reaching, and integrating local knowledge into our outputs. In addition, we provide opportunities for community members to develop content with us, which is then directed back at their community. We want to expand the possibilities of advertising space and facilitate communities utilising the sites that exist within their boundaries, digitally or physically. This case study is an example of this type of working.


Glasgow is a diverse city. It has “the largest percentage of ethnic minority groups (12%) of all the selected Scottish cities.”

With that diversity comes a rich bank of cultural traditions, knowledge, and cuisines. As part of Ecopoetics, PLW wanted to create resources explaining how to cook with seasonal food, foraged goods, and their health applications. We also wanted to centre Glasgow’s cultural diversity, and diversity of perspectives on herbal cooking.


What We Did

Initially, we approached this wanting to create a cooking show. We formed a partnership with Film Beat UK, a Glasgow-based production house with a background in working in the third sector and professional development schemes.

We created a call out for community cooks—professionals and people with an interest who also understood the health applications of foods. We circulated this on social media, on our website, and through our local connections. However, as we had only just gone public as an organisation, we had very few applicants. The two participants we eventually found came from personal recommendations. 1) Rachel Anderson, a Scottish herbalist— from the work done by artist Louis Boer (see Case Study Four); 2) Don’tay, a Grenadian herbalist— from our production runner.

We also created a call-out for a show presenter. We were looking for someone “born and bred” in Glasgow Southside, with an approachable personality, and ability to make a conversation exciting. Again, due to our freshness as an organisation, we had few applications, and those that did apply did not meet the criteria.

After assessing the costs, realities of our capabilities, and strength of the output we could produce given that, we decided to switch gears and create TikTok-specific cooking guides, shot on a phone. This significantly cut costs and allowed us to work in a more direct way with participants, collaborating more effectively, and problem-solving together.

We created a resource list of local green grocers, organic vegetable producers, and farmer’s markets. Rachel and Don’tay referred to this list when deciding where they wanted to source their seasonal produce. We then made this resource publicly available on social media, and on our website.


Our Approach

  • Fair Pay. Ensuring fair pay standards is paramount when doing this type of work. Institutions and organisations often have more resources than individuals, so when working with individuals, we follow union guidelines and fair assessments of people’s work and life experience when costing fees. The experience of people from unusual pathways often goes unrewarded, particularly financially. We wanted to pay people a true reflection of their experience in a given field
  • Facilitating Ethical Community Engagement, and creating a space of trust, listening, and collaboration with participants. We spent time building trust through development sessions
  • Working Locally


  • Developed methods for success in gaining community trust.
  • Established long-lasting relationships in the local community
  • Produced 7 videos on Herbal Cooking, generating the most likes and comments of our entire campaign


  • This was a popular segment, which we were unable to draw many impact results from due to a lack of money spent
  • Through production and meaningful relationships, we created an interest in our organisation and cooking outputs, which we have, thus far, been unable to utilise
  • Our direct approach to filming allowed for cost-effective production, deeper collaboration with participants, and faster turn-around times


We should consider continuing this segment, drawing on the relationships built to find new participants Utilise the meaningful relationships built by:

  1. Asking the participants to create additional resources or recipes as follow-ons from their work, and/or
  2. Creating a network of like-minded individuals from Glasgow with knowledge around Herbal cooking. We should consider implementing this with a funding application