Wild Wisdom is a unique, multi-season outdoor & online series covering ethical wild food foraging, medicine-making, and craft!
Launched in 2019 in partnership with the Wild Foodies of Philly, this 9-month in-person and online program is designed to introduce participants to the most common 100+ wild edible, medicinal, and craft plants of the Philadelphia bio-region. Monthly sessions include in-class and in-field time to botanically I.D., gather, and harvest useful plants with in-depth sharing on plants’ ecological, nutritional, medicinal, and cross-cultural usage, as well as an online intensive on at-home preparation. The program includes course binder, field-friendly plant info cards, guest presenter visits on special topics, 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.
Wild Wisdom classes will meet March – November 2022 for a total of 3 hours monthly:
In person: Classes will meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month* in person at the Farm at Awbury, 6336 Ardleigh St. The AM class will run from 10:00 AM to Noon, and the PM class will run 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Students will register for one or the other time slot.
Online: The cooking portion of the class will be online for all students on the 3rd Sunday of the month* from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.
Guest Presenters: In the case of guest presenters, we will meet as a full group for the full 3 hours, with no online cooking class to follow.
The first Saturday class will be held on March 19th and the first on-line cooking class on Sunday, March 20th
Classes will generally meeting on third Saturday and Sunday of the month, with a few exceptions due to holidays. The 2022 class schedule is: March 19/20, April 23/24, May 21/22, June 25/26, July 16/17, Aug 20/21, Sept 17/18, Oct 15/16, and Nov 19/20.
The cooking portion of the program will be held online this year, with the in-person sessions serving to do a deep dive on the plants of the month, botany, safe sampling, and harvest. Plants will be foraged and collected on-site from Awbury Arboretum’s The Farm during the monthly in-person session and the cooking portion will follow the next day with a Zoom link for you to join in your kitchen to watch and/or process the plants together as a group or prepare at a later date through the Zoom recording.
With COVID safety in mind, we will be holding two back-to-back sessions each third Saturday, and enrollment is limited to 17 students per session. In addition, we are holding the program seasonally when we can host a majority of the class outside with masks required. Before coming to the first program, students will be asked to sign a COVID waiver and the group will maintain an expectation and practice around self-disclosure of health to the group in the case of anticipated exposure.
Cost: $550 for the full year
Participants have two payment options:
1) pay the full balance up front or
2) pay in two installments – $275 upon registration and $275 by July 1st
Please note: Registration is first come, first served, and we do anticipate this program to sell out. Please register using the form below.
Two half-price work-trade spots are available — one for each session. Work-trade responsibilities include assisting with set-up, clean-up, occasional support of the class listserv, and photo documenting the programs. Interested? Please click here and complete the Word Trade Application form.
Questions? Please contact Alyssa Schimmel at email@example.com
Leader Alyssa Schimmel is a community herbalist, licensed massage therapist, gardener, grower, teacher, and forager passionate about sharing knowledge of regional food and medicine ways in community. She serves as the course designer and program lead of Many Hands Community Apothecary at The Farm at Awbury Arboretum, a mutual-aid herbal education program and community medicine network. She previously served as Education Director of The Philadelphia Orchard Project where she developed the School Orchard Program serving 14 K-12 schools 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. She has also taught at institutions including Swarthmore College, Haverford College, The Village, and more. Her training includes studies through Wild Ginger Community Herbal Center, Sky House School of Herbal Medicine, Human Path school, Mountain Gardens, and formal study through David Winston’s School of Herbal Medicine.