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Afternoon Puyallup Class: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

To get a jump-start on the ethnobotany skills we cover in this class click here for our blog posts on the subject. Wolf College afternoon classes with directors Kim & Chris Chisholm are primarily designed for homeschool families, but they are also open to others who can’t attend the evening class. Children ages 7 and older may also attend on their own if registration form is completed before the start of class. Cost: First Family Member $15.00; Additional Family Members $10.00 if paid at least a day prior, otherwise $15.00 per person at the door. $5.00 for toddlers too young to benefit from instruction. Our sample itinerary includes:

15 Minutes: Making Herbal Remedies – We will spend the first several minutes of class preparing an herbal salve. While the herbs are infusing in heated organic olive oil, you’ll learn about honorable harvesting methods, and we’ll discuss how to make decoctions, infusions, tinctures, essences and other kinds of home-made medicine.

30 Minutes: Plant Walk – We will walk the area around our class location and identify wild edible and medicinal plants by family. If harvesting rules permit, we’ll bring some back to use later in class. Please remember to dress for the weather!

45 Minutes: Top 10 Local Wild Edible Food Plants – It can be challenging to find wild edibles that are available during the winter, or anytime in the backcountry, but spring is at hand, so depending on class location, we hope to find some of these plants near-by, and take one of our Top 10 Wild Edible Food Plants inside to sample as part of a nourishing dish. We’ll bring something along in case local rules deter us from harvesting.

45 Minutes: Wolf College Tenets of Herbal Medicine and the Top 15 Wild Medicinal Plants of the Backcountry – This class isn’t about theory; we’re only going to introduce wild native plants that have been proven to heal.  Check out our blog entry on our Top 15 Proven Medicinal Plants for more information.

15 Minutes: Finishing Our Herbal Remedy – We’ll put the finishing touches on our salve by straining it and melting beeswax into the infused oil. We’ll finish with a quick note about allergies and how to use and store your salve.


- Hats, warm clothes, proper footwear, and rain gear if necessary.
- Flashlight/Headlamp will make things a lot easier for map reading after sunset.
- Any potted plants, plant samples, pressed leaves, flowers, etc. that you want help identifying.
- Any of your favorite plant books. The ones we recommend and will have for sale at class include:

1. Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel for general learning.
2. Lone Pine Plant Guides such as Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar & MacKinnon for itentifying wild plants in the field.
3. Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas for using urban greens.
4. Medicinal Plants books for your area by Michael Moore to focus on wild herbal plants.
5. And critical for any home apothecary is Rosemary Gladstar‘s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide to gain skills on using herbs you grow at home.

Finally, please note that we can only cover the basics during a 2-3 hour class, so if you would like to learn to a more advanced level and have time to really practice your skills, please enroll in our April 5th Seaweeds & Shellfish Workshop and our April 13th Wild Edible Plants Foraging & Herbal Medicine Making Workshop, or our youth camps including:

Wild Cooking & Herbology Day Camps:

June 23-27, 2014 at Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup and also consider our special series of family classes talking place simultaneously this week. No transportation options available.
August 4-8, 2014 at Dash Point State Park
in Tacoma – Federal Way with transportation from Seattle, Renton, Kent, Auburn, Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake, Sumner, Puyallup, South Hill, University Place, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor and various points in Tacoma & Federal Way.
August 25-29, 2014 at Millersylvania State Park
 in association with Wolf Haven, International with transportation from Centralia, Olympia, JBLM, Tacoma, Puyallup & South Hill.

July 6-13 Overnight Youth Camp: Wilderness Chefs & Herbal Medics

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  • Michelle A.

    I'm really sorry, but I'm not feeling well & it doesn't look like I'm going to be up for this tomorrow now.

    March 11, 2014

  • Michelle A.

    Ages 5 & 2

    March 11, 2014

  • Kim (.

    Would this be appropriate for a 6 yr old?

    March 2, 2014

    • Chris C.

      Yes. Our afternoon class is designed for all ages and there will likely be a couple other children that age attending as well. Looking forward to it, - Chris

      March 4, 2014

    • Kim (.

      I will verify our schedule!

      1 · March 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey, is this 1 pm or 4 pm? I'm seeing different times different places. Thanks!

    February 24, 2014

    • Chris C.

      HI Heather. 1 pm. We also have a second class at 6:30 in Tacoma, but where did you see the 4 pm listed?

      February 24, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I eventually figured out that one type of notification converts PST to EST, probably because I listed my East Coast hometown.

      February 26, 2014

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