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Resource Review: The Herbal Academy, The Foraging Course

I’ve taken several courses with The Herbal Academy now. I may review the other courses and intensives at some point but for right now, I want to focus on their Foraging Course.

I love being able to go out into the woods and come home with dinner (or at least part of dinner). I can’t always do it and sometimes it’s just my husband going out as some patches are too difficult for me to safely get to without causing issues with my ra or fibro, but I absolutely love cooking with wild things – plants, game, fungi – love it.

I am definitely late to foraging as we didn’t do much more than morel hunting until I was 37 or 38. This is one of those things where, if I could go back in time, I would absolutely hand my younger self a plant id book and a wild cookbook. If you have never had fresh steamed stinging nettles, I really think you’re missing out, especially if you tend to be anemic like myself.

picture of stinging nettle plants

This isn’t really a plant ID class – there are some good ones out there online but this isn’t that. This class is more about how to forage safely and ethically and being a good steward of the Earth and of the plants. There’s a lot I can appreciate about that.

Interesting note: there is a presentation on foraging by Rebecca Beyer and I’m pretty sure it’s the same Rebecca Beyer as the author of a book that I reviewed (and really loved).

It’s a pretty in depth look for not having a lot of identification involved, especially around the actual nutrition of the wild plants. I can see where this class would be hugely beneficial for anyone looking to go vegetarian or vegan and wanting to find good nutrition without relying on a lot of supplementation.

In the herb section, there is a bit of identification knowledge that is shared but, for me, it really reminded me that I need to sit down with my botany book and actually learn about identification from that perspective (not that I’d leave my id book at home on my next foraging hike).

I did like that they include some very detailed monographs for some of the most commonly foraged plants and some recipes for what to do with them.

Overall – I really enjoyed myself. I like the self-paced nature of online courses – if you need the interaction with teachers, The Herbal Academy is probably not for you but if you can work on your own, if you are comfortable with that, they put out excellent classes with combinations of print and video and excellent diagrams.

Some other time I’ll review the Herbarium but I’ve done a couple of their short courses now and been very pleased. I’ve done their natural perfumery course and their emulsifiers and preservatives course and learned a lot from both of them

The only thing I don’t care for is that there is limited access – it’s usually quite a long time that you have access but I’m not a huge fan that it isn’t life time access. So, if you do sign up for one of their classes, make sure you have time to go ahead and do it.


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