Aisha Mirza, DJ, writer and founder of Misery Collective
‘I booked a herbalism course for me and my mum, where every month you go to a different green space in London and learn about the herbs that grow there and then you make a little medicine. Rasheeqa Ahmad, a medical herbalist, runs the course and honestly, I’ve just got really into it and have caught the bug for it: I just want to learn as much as I can.
‘She invited me to a weekly gardening project called Community Apothecary and every week, we go to different gardens and green spaces in London and slowly turn them into vegetable patches, forest gardens, medicinal herb gardens and the like, and once they’re ready, we give them to the local community.
‘It’s just such a peaceful activity to do, and this allotment in Chingford is one of those sites. It had been abandoned for 20 years and was full of brambles – you couldn’t even walk around it because there were thorns everywhere. It’s taken us about four months to clear it and get to a point where we can plant new things.
‘At a time when everything is fucked, gardening and planting are such easy things to return to. You can’t argue with a plant that has 17 different medicinal uses, that is free and easy to turn into a useful medicine that can help people. It feels so peaceful and right at a time when very little else is.’