This 3 hour course will introduce you to the opportunities and challenges of foraging for wild food in the city. We will begin with an introduction to the principles of safe and sustainable foraging, and the basics of plant identification. On the walk we will cover around 20 different species and discuss how to harvest and prepare them for a range of different drinks and dishes. We will discuss the history, folklore and politics of foraging.
The course will finish with herbal tea and a foraged snack, with plenty of time for further discussion. A summary list of the plants covered and plant family identification will be emailed after the course.
Hopefully going for a walk will never be the same again as your eyes are opened to the diversity of plant life that surrounds us everywhere we go.
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About the course leader
Jason Irving is an experienced forager, herbalist and ethnobotanist. He worked for two years at the UK’s leading supplier of wild food, Forager Ltd, as head forager. The job involved foraging a wide range of plants, organising a team of foragers in Kent and co-ordinating with foragers around the country to supply many of the country’s top restaurants with more than 200 different species of wild food throughout the changing seasons.
He then returned to London to complete a BSc in Herbal Medicine, which included 500 hours of clinical training. He worked for four years as a researcher at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew contributing to a project cataloguing the world’s medicinal plants and their names. Jason has contributed to several books and scientific publications on medicinal plants. He completed the MSc in Ethnobotany at the University of Kent, and stayed on to do a PhD on the trade in medicinal plants.
Over the last seven years, Jason has taught hundreds of people how to find, identify and use wild plants in London and further afield. As a member of the Association of Foragers he is signed up to the principles of the organisation, “promoting sustainability and ecological stewardship through teaching and harvesting wild plants and fungi for use as food, drink and medicine.”