Foraging for wild food is a skill that many have lost, but until relatively recently, this was how we survived. Perhaps this is why so many people fall deeply in love with foraging because it reawakens an innate skill. It’s not our fault that we don’t know how to do it. Most of us weren’t taught. But it’s a valuable skill and a skill that people are drawn to for many reasons. What’s drawing you to foraging? With a diverse range of plants and suggested uses, there’ll be plenty in the Foraging Diploma Course to inspire you, including home remedy suggestions and foraging tips to enhance your skillset.
You’ll start the Foraging Course with an introduction to the subject of looking for wild food. We’ll ask you to consider why people forage and then furnish you with some basic botany information. You’ll look at safety and legal considerations regarding picking food from the wild and finally, you’ll look at various ways to preserve what you pick.
Weeds are a gift to the forager (if not the gardener), you’ll look at uses for a number of very common weeds. You’ll then dive into the fungus kingdom, learning how to identify both edible and psychotropic mushrooms. The edible mushrooms are divided into woodland dwellers and those that grow among grass to help you focus your searches.
How you forage and what you forage for will change throughout the course of a year. The Foraging Diploma Course sets you off on a journey through the seasons, starting, naturally, in the Spring. You’ll learn about spring greens, edible flowers and spring tonics. We’ll give you a nudge to try some new punchy flavours and to stretch your identification and collection skills by looking for plants like Hogweed and Pignut.
You will learn about a generous range of Summer plants and the changing seasons as you enter Autumn and then Winter. You’ll learn how to make the most of the final root, berry and nut harvests before your choices drop back in Winter. But don’t worry, there are a few more new plants for you to find and try in the deep mid-Winter!
It’s then on to psychotropic plants – those incredible plants whose active constituents can alter the way we feel by interacting with our nervous system. You’ll explore both the gentle, relaxing plants that can help you sleep, then the stimulants and, on the other end of the psychotropic scale, the tropane alkaloid hallucinogenic plants.
There are enough suggestions and inspiration on the topic of trees in the Foraging Diploma Course to keep the novice forager busy all year, as you explore fruit, bark, leaves, sap and more! You’ll also look to the seaside to discover coastal and seashore plants, and seaweeds. You’ll even branch into carnivorous territory as you learn to find some shellfish.
The course finishes with a celebration of the art of making drinks from your foraged finds – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. No matter your tastes, there’s something for everyone here and hopefully, it will get your creative juices flowing.
So, check the weather forecast for some dry weather, pick a sunny day and ready, steady, forage!