Foraging Course – Welcome!

This welcome unit introduces ethical foraging and why I forage urban herbs rather than other plants.

Listen to the podcast and add notes to your worksheets or Foraging notebook.

Use the Foraging forum to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Foraging Course contents:

  • Foraging safely and ethically
  • Using foraged herbs
  • Identifying plant families
  • Plant profiles and worksheets
  • Botany basics
  • 26+ units
Lynn harvesting Tansy for herbal mosquito repellent.

You will soon be noticing edible plants growing close to your home. It is far better to know one useful plant really well than to know almost nothing about many!

Do you dream of edible cities?
I believe that cities should be edible environments and that city dwellers should know how to care for and use the plants. My dream is for streets to be planted with edible fruit, nut and leaf trees. Many are already in place but we can do so much more. Buildings such as schools and hospitals should be obliged to incorporate fruit bushes and other edibles in their planting schemes.

If more urbanites understood how to forage safely and sustainably, they could help to nurture the whole ecosystem and create far healthier and more pleasant places in which to live. I believe that increased urban foraging will act as a driver to further clean and improve towns and cities. When you eat from an area, you want it to be clean...

Since talking about this in a TEDx talk a few years ago, I feel that the tide is turning. If we want edible towns and cities to become a reality, we must take action and help it to drive forward!

Magnolia: Edible flowers and medicinal leaves, in the middle of the city.

Urban Foraging Today
How much free food grows in your town? There are hundreds of edible species growing in Amsterdam and most other cities.

Some of my favorites are: Nettles, Elderberries, Apples, Lime leaves, Hazelnuts, Ginkgo nuts, Blackberry shoots, Ground Elder leaves, Rosehips and Cleavers.

I forage a little something from the city almost every day of the year. It connects me to the seasons, the local landscape, enriches my diet and it's a great way to meet interesting people!

Photo credit: A foraging walk in Amsterdam with Lynn.

Just a pinch of herbs...
Herbs are strongly flavoured or scented plants so we only need to harvest a few leaves to add to a meal. This reduces environmental impact and reduces the risk of poisoning and eating polluted plants.

Urban foragers should focus on herbs rather than "vegetables".

Focusing on local herbs increases creativity and promotes understanding of the plants which grow in urban areas.

Chickweed (Stellaria media): Source of year-round vitamins and minerals.

How clean is our food?
Where does our food come from?
How clean is it? Who has handled it? How processed is it?

City foraging risks: urban pollution, local laws, poisonous plants...

I like to take responsibility for at least a small proportion of my family’s diet and I look after the land where they grow.

The units in the Urban Herbology Foraging Course should be followed one by one. This helps to build your skills and knowledge.

Start with Foraging 1 - Ethical Foraging Rules

2 Replies to “Foraging Course – Welcome!”

  1. Hi Lynn,
    Thank you, I really enjoyed the introduction pod cast. It’s interesting that you focus in on herbs rather than the general vegetable group of plants. I agree that taking small amounts is the best way to avoid eating something that could potentially be poisonous. It’s also refreshing to hear that rather than try to learn the names of all plants and cultivars students can focus on some herbs and plants and know them really well. A very different approach to the RHS course I took a few years ago where there was pressure to learn so many each week. I’m really looking forward to learning more.

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