Over the years I have taken a number of course from The Herbal Academy for my herbalism work I do with our homestead. This Fall I took a new class, The Foraging Course, from them, this one is focused on the outdoors. Just in time to go explore the woods and do some (gentle) foraging before winter closes in. With the rain returning, the fungi has been off the charts this year. I don’t eat them, but I love foraging them to see what I can find. We have a lot that grows on our land, and in the public lands just across the street from us. Evergreen Huckleberries are still found, as well as this not so friendly to the hands plant:
Our Stinging Nettle gives us a last crop, even in November, as well on our land – I use them in a lot of recipes. See here for more.
*(If only I looked that spiffy….I’m usually in jeans and muck boots)
The class is presented in the way Herbal Academy does all their classes: You can take the class fully online, or you can print the PDF for offline study. I take my class online, but I print out, and store my class in a 3 ring binder so I can come back and peruse it later. I picked up the optional booklets: Foraging Record Book and the Foraging Guide Book, both fit into an included cotton bag for tucking into a backpack. These guides are handy to have and I felt worth the extra cost.
I’ve included a preview of a tiny part of a lesson, one that really comes home to hikers:
You’ll need a practical backpack to haul your supplies, preferably a lightweight one that fits well and feels comfortable. Other crucial supplies include a flashlight, lighter, matches, and a pocket knife.
To make it easy, we’ve compiled a checklist of personal and safety items to consider bringing while foraging:
Checklist of Personal Supplies
- Portable water filter
- Rain gear: hooded jacket and rain pants
- Cool-weather gear: layers, jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, thick socks, thermal underwear
- Sun-exposure gear: hat, long sleeves
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Footwear: hiking boots, sandals, extra socks
- Solar battery charger
- Insect repellant and sunscreen
- First aid kit: bandages, antiseptic, soothing salve, anti-itch lotion, arnica oil, yarrow leaf, lavender oil
Well, maybe don’t walk with Wild Violets and Dandelions in your boots……I’d save them for my hair.
The class covers all aspects, from safety, to ethics in foraging. When and how to pick, how to preserve and use your bounty. It includes herbalism uses and as well many recipes for consuming items found (Red Clover Biscuits?). It has 5 separate lessons, that includes 48 recipes and 24 plant monographs (where it shows a specific plant, breaking down the parts, uses, safety, and so on). Also included are printables and videos to watch.
If you have wanted to include more with your hiking, foraging is a fun addition. It’s educational (my boys are learning it as part of their homeschooling) as you become aware of what grows around you, and at what seasons it does. We often forage but don’t pick anything, instead we study the plants and talk about what we see. It slows us down, and we become more one with the forest.
(FTC Disclaimer: The opinions in this are mine. I paid to take the class. This post contains affiliate links.)