Wildcrafting for Everyone
June 26, 2020
Faculty: Nova Kim & Les Hook
Discover what the woods, fields, wild, and not-so-wild places around us have to offer!
The day will begin with a walking discussion on the ethics of collecting the season’s most common, as well as those not-so-sought after, wild plants and mushrooms. Particular attention will be given on how to recognize and identify choice edible wild plants and fungi and their less choice or inedible look a-likes. You will learn not only how to identify choice edibles, but also the appropriate habitat to ethically collect from, how much to collect, and how to harvest while minimizing impact on the growing body.
This will be a hands-on exploration of the diverse and plentiful wild edibles found growing all around the Sterling campus and surrounding area. You will learn how to recognize various habitat factors, heightening your understanding of the interdependence of plants, fungi, animals, and weather. This will be an opportunity for reflection on our role in our immediate and broader ecosystems.
Finally, the day will end with a demonstration and discussion of the proper culinary preparations of the edibles we have gathered and enjoyment of the day’s harvest.
Who is this class for?
Students interested in natural resources, environmental impacts and sustainability will benefit from this course.
Wild foods are in abundant supply within their natural habitats and serve as an integral and necessary part of the health of those habitats. Learning to recognize and enjoy them in their season adds important nutrients to our diets while helping everyone understand the importance of protecting their habitat for future generations.
The Program Includes:
- Historical and Present Context of Collecting Wild Foods
- Habitat and Environmental Impact of Wildcrafting
- Current Federal Food Code and State Regulations
- Botanical Identification vs Nomenclature
- Collection Techniques & Equipment
- Harvesting and Land Use (Private vs Public, Permissions, Storage, Transportation)
- Edibility, Health Benefits and Concerns
- Tracking, Documentation, Safe Food Handling, Preparation
- Hands-On Identification in the field
- Technical Referencing in the field and home
- Review of Available Area & Topical Field Guides
- Cooking demonstration
- Sampling of choice wild edibles
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
This course is suitable for anyone, novice to seasoned observer, interested in food biodiversity, natural resources, sustainability and conservation of wild foods and the places where they occur.
Prerequisites: Interest and appreciation of your surroundings combined with the ability and desire to observe and study your environment…and a willingness to try new foods!
Certificate: This course can be applied to the Sustainable Food Craft Professional Certificate.
Tuition & Fees: $250 covers the cost of the instruction, course materials, a copy of Nova Kim & Les Hook’s “Guide to Wild Harvesting & Ethics,” lunch from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and a wildcrafted cooking demo and dinner. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these. Scholarships are available, learn more and apply here.
Check-in & Refreshments- 8:00-8:30
Morning Session- 8:30-11:45
Afternoon Session- 1:00-4:30
Wildcrafted Cooking Demo & Dinner- 4:30-6:30
Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. Please see our accommodations page for local recommendations. Airbnb is also a great local resource with many affordable housing options. We recommend that you book as soon as you are able as there are other events in the area occurring at the time of this course and rooms will fill up quickly. Please contact Caroline Kimball at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.