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Intro to Wild Edible Plants (Part 1 of 2)

Instructor: Pat Armstrong

Naperville Prairie on a suburban lot

What you think are weeds might just be wild edibles. Learn how to identify 25 common wild edible plants most people can find in their own yards (or near by), followed by a field trip next week (June 11th) to the instructor’s home to see how to grow wild edibles in an urban yard.

This class will be taught by PAT ARMSTRONG. Patricia (Pat) Armstrong has been a major contributor to the restoration, protection, and understanding of the Midwest's natural heritage for over fifty years. Throughout her life she has served as an educator, environmentalist, ecologist, scholar, researcher, artist, photographer, field biologist, restoration expert, consultant, writer, entrepreneur, and innovator.

She has taught in public schools, colleges, universities, nature centers, arboreta, and lectured for gardening clubs, non-profit organizations, and seminars. As a participant in the Juneau Icefield Research Program she was Michigan State University's first female instructor.

Her published works include four books, many scientific papers, and numerous popular articles. Pat has trained hundreds of prairie-restoration and management professionals, and has led several expeditions to remote areas throughout the world to help others appreciate wilderness.

Pat's expertise and extensive knowledge of native plants, their habitats, ecological importance, and other valuable data, range from the tiniest of mosses and lichens, to the largest of trees. She is an expert in prairie and woodland ecosystems, with over forty years of experience in management and restoration. As a consultant for Illinois' DuPage County Forest Preserve she has spent many long hours surveying rare and endangered habitats, and her work has helped save many remnants from destruction. Despite all her responsibilities, Pat is always willing to take the time to answer questions, making her one of our area's most valuable assets.


This is a two part class.

The June 4th class will be held at McDonald Farm in the Clow House and will feature an illustrated lecture.

June 11th will be a field trip to Pat’s home in Naperville to tour her yard with over 300 species of native trees, shrubs, prairie grasses and wildflowers, approximately 40% of which are edible. Click here for details on the field trip.

Cost: $45 (TOTAL for both classes)

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  • Chris

    What are the 25 common wild edible plants that are going to be covered?

    May 30, 2013

    • Michelle

      That is what you will be learning in the class.

      June 3, 2013

  • Dejan

    I agree with Shylo...There are a lot interesting classes being put on by the Clow House/Pat that my wife and I would be very interested in attending but unfortunately the workshops seem to always be scheduled for weekdays. Any possibility of scheduling weekend workshops in the future????

    May 27, 2013

    • Michelle

      Glad you are interested in our classes! Yes, we have been hearing this from other Chicago attendees and are working with our instructors to schedule some weekend classes.

      June 3, 2013

  • Shylo B.

    This sounds great, but the dates are tough for me. Any chance of reprising the class later in the season?

    May 27, 2013

    • Michelle

      Yes, we will be offering this class several times throughout the year. We'll keep you posted.

      June 3, 2013

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