Wild Wisdom

“Wild Wisdom” at Awbury Arboretum

A unique, year-long series during which participants learn to forage wild edible, medicinal, and craft plants.

Launched in 2019 in partnership with the Wild Foodies’ of Philly, this 12-month program is designed to introduce participants to the most common 100+ wild edible, medicinal, and craft plants of the Philadelphia bio-region. Monthly classes will meet every second Wednesday of the month at the Francis Cope House.  Each 3-hour monthly session includes in-class and in-field time to botanically I.D., gather, and harvest useful plants, and includes hands-on preparation time to process introduced plants into various food, medicinal, and craft preparations. The program includes 4 seasonal off-site field trips, potlucks, guest presenter visits, and in-class participant projects. Topics will include: botany, introduction to regional ecology, tools of the trade, making of medicinal preparations, spice blends, salads, dressings, main dishes, nut processing, tree tapping, intro to mushroom foraging, and more! This program is geared toward those looking to grow ever-closer to the region’s wild sources of food and medicine and those committed to sharing this knowledge with others.

Our 2019 program is sold out.

Keep an eye out for future foraging-related events at Awbury Arboretum.  In the meantime, check out the Wild Foodies of Philly and consider joining one of their Meetup events.


WILD WISDOM is designed and facilitated by:

Lynn Landes is the founder of The Wild Foodies of Philly, an educational organization that was started in 2010.  Its mission is to learn more about our wild world and to share that information with the public. Lynn created a resource website at www.WildFoodies.org that contains a large reservoir of information, much of which has been designed by Lynn to facilitate ease of understanding of the more that 200+ edible, medicinal, and fiber plants thriving in the local region.  Through their meetup of over 4,000 members, the Wild Foodies have conducted hundreds of tours and hosted events for the public, schools, colleges, and other organizations, some of which have been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and other news media outlets.

Alyssa Schimmel is a community herbalist, gardener, grower, teacher and forager passionate about sharing knowledge of regional food and medicine ways in community. She works as Education Director of The Philadelphia Orchard Project, and has collaborated with Awbury Arboretum teaching medicine making to youth of the Teen Leadership Program, catering seasonal dinners alongside Chef Gail Hinson, and teaching medicine making and wild foods classes through Wild Foodies. Her training includes studies through Centro Ashe Community Herbal Center, Sky House School of Herbal Medicine, Mountain Gardens, and formal study through David Winston’s School of Herbal Medicine.

Heather Zimmerman is the Program Director at Awbury Arboretum where she designs and manages over a dozen public programs and produces the arboretum’s public events. She has worked previously as a horticulture educator for Penn State Extension and several historic houses in the Philadelphia region. She is a graduate of the Barnes Foundation Horticulture and Landscape Design Program, a board member for the Philadelphia Orchard Project and teaches beginning wild edible identification and cordage making to youth. An avid nature lover, wild foodie, gardener, and wilderness survival aficionado, she is elated to see the Wild Wisdom program opening at Awbury in January.