Dec 16, 2019
Brandon Ruiz is a community herbalist and urban farmer living in Charlotte, NC. He owns Atabey Choreto Medicinals, directs the CLT Herbal Accessibility Project and spends his time working in urban gardens, making medicine and working with his community. Brandon works mainly with plants of the tropics, specifically from the Caribbean and Borikén (Puerto Rico), his ancestral homeland.
In this interview, Brandon shares his plant path starting with a remedy from his grandmother that saved him from surgery. We discuss how he mingles herbal medicine with herbal history and herb cultivation, and also with community activism - looking at the elements we need to cultivate a community movement.
Brandon shares how he started a community garden project and how connection to plants can bring people together, why he began growing plants for food with ancestral connection, and the importance of growing your own food to connect with your ancestors. We talk about the challenges of tracking ancestral history and lineages for BIPOC, and bias in genetic testing. Finally Brandon shares words of advice for others wanting to start up an herbal history garden or cultural community herbalism project.
Donations to the Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project can be made via the website.
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