For Email Newsletters you can trust

Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Edible SEAWEEDS & SHELLFISH of the Salish Sea

Workshop instructor Kim Chisholm ecstatic over a successful clam dig

Saturday, May 28, 2016 from 10:00-6:00 at Deception Pass with special guest Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman

Join us for a wonderful day during one of the lowest tides of late spring on the shores of Deception Pass where geography, fauna and flora meet in dramatic form, providing a wild edible smorgasbord for the ages. Did you know that all seaweeds are edible in our region, but that certain ones are better and more nutritious than others? Did you know that each species of clam and shellfish leave distinct markers in the sand and gravel so that you can know what you’ll find before you dig them up? And did you know that the shores of Deception Pass provide what is perhaps the most diverse set of wild edible and medicinal plants in northwest? Join us for a great day of hands-on discovery at Deception Pass State Park.

Workshop Itinerary

10:00 Start:

Please arrive early for a super punctual start, as we’ll have much to do today! We’ll begin with an intensive overview of the seaweeds, shellfish and shore plants we’ll be experiencing today that will be designed to make learning easy and understandable.


Workshop instructor Chris Chisholm gathering Bull Whip Kelp from the shore immediately after a storm.

11:00 Shore Plants:

We’ll begin the field portion of the workshop with a walk along one of the best trails for native plants that we have ever seen, learning how to distinguish characteristics of edible trees, shrubs and plants.

12:00 Preserving & Preparing Wild Edibles

We’ll return along the high-tide area, gathering remnant shellfish and seaweeds, hang them to dry, then begin prepping clam chowder, nori roles with shrimp, and other wild edible delicacies in preparation for our dinner feast later.

1:00 Seaweeds

The tide will be starting to go out fast at this time, so we’ll collect seaweeds which present themselves, and depending on weather, we will try to dry them for later use.

2:00 Shellfish

Now will be the best time to walk onto the beach and dig shellfish!

3:00 PM Low Tide’

This hour of the workshop will be it’s pinnacle a low tide revealing the best of the shoreline.

4:00 Wild Edible Cooking

Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman will share all his seashore cooking secrets with you.

5:00 Wild Edible Feast

Revel in a wild edible dinner prepared by our Wild Chef Charlie Borrowman!

Species We May Encounter:


Dicot Trees:

• Pine Family (pine, firs, spruce)
• Oregon Garry White Oak
• Other Medicinal Trees

Dicot Shrubs:

• Blueberries & Huckleberry Species
• Cranberries
• Roses
• Blackberry & Raspberry Species
• Hazelnut Filberts
• Currant & Gooseberry Species
• Other Medicnal Shrubs

Dicot Herbs:

• Aster Order & Sunflower Family
• Bedstraw & Cleavers
• Medicinal Figwort Order
• Plantains
• Mints
• Medicinal Carrot & Ginseng Families of the Parsley Order
• Stinging Nettles
• Medicinal Plants of the Pea Family, Willow Order & More

Monocot Herbs:

• Cattails
• Eel Grass & Other Grasses
• Wild Onions
• Blue Camus
• Rice Root & Chocolate Lilies
• Wapato
• Medicinal Orchids, Sedges & Rushes

Ferns, Horsetails, Mosses & Lichen:

• Medicinal Lore


Brown Algea:

• Bullwhip Kelp
• Kombu Sugar Wrack
• Wakame & Ribbon Kelp
• Arame Forked Kelp
• Hijiki Sargassum
• Bladderwrack Rockweed

Red Algea:

• Dulse Palmaria
• Nori
• Turkish Towel

Green Algea:

• Ulva Sea Lettuce



Bivalve Class

• Geoducks & Soft-Shell Clams; Hardshell Clams (Basket, Zebra & Kelly, Razor)
• Oysters & Scallops; Mussels

Cephalopod (squids, octopus), Snail & Chiton Classes


• Shrimp
• Crabs
• Barnacles


$95 general.
$90 if you attended one of our introductory plant classes or our plant workshop.
$85 for a second friend/family member.
$80 for a third friend/family member.
$75 for a fourth friend/family member.
$70 per additional friend/family member.
$65 if you attended this workshop with us in the past, or covered this material in one of our ethnobotany camps or expeditions.

Extra Cost: Please note that if you would like to gather seaweeds and shellfish today, you will need a Washington State Shellfish & Seaweeds License. Cost is $14.30 (or $8.30 youth 15 and under) for an annual resident license, or $18.15 ($9.30 youth) for a one-day non-resident combo license. Be sure to purchase in advance at Fred Meyer or

Extra Cost: Also, a parking pass is required at all state parks. Cost is $35 for an annual pass available at Fred Meyer or or $10 for one day if you show up without an annual pass!

Registration: Who & How

Our weekend workshops are designed for adults, but youth are also welcome to register with an enrolled parent or guardian.

Check/Mail Registration Option: Send payment in full or a minimum $45 per person check deposit payable to the Wolf College, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371 with participant name(s), phone number, email address, age of any minors, and any allergies or health restrictions we should know about. Balances will be due upon arrival at the workshop.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 253-604-4681 or 425-248-0253 and we will run your card securely over the phone.

Or Use PayPal to register online securely with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account:
Participant Name:
Phone Number(s):

Our refund policy is that deposits are not refundable unless your registration is not accepted. If you cancel after making additional payment, you may receive a credit for a future program, minus a 25% administration fee of total payments made, in case of emergency. You will receive a full refund if your program is canceled and not rescheduled at a time that you can attend. No refund (and not necessarily any credit) is given if a participant is inappropriate at the program and asked to leave.

Preparatory Information

• Before the workshop, check out our blog article on harvesting seaweed and shellfish and please read and get a license(and parking pass) as described above if you plan to gather shellfish and seaweeds. If you do, also bring a bucket and shovel, or better yet, a 4 prong “cultivator” rake. Also, some of the best online information about seaweeds is posted by Ryan Drum, Ph.D. who lives right here in the San Juan Islands so be sure to check out his articles.

• Prepare to be outside in all weather, and bring rubber boots, lunch, water, plus a camp stove and cooking gear if possible, and the rest of your 10 Essentials.

• Finally, please note that this is just a one day workshop, so if you would like to learn to a more advanced level and have time to really practice your skills, please enroll in our 5 Day Summer Course: Wild Ethnobotany & Herbalism Training


Contact us for carpooling information from Tacoma, Seattle, Poulsbo, Port Townsend, Everett, Bellingham & Burlington. Otherwise, please meet at the S12-Cornet Bay Day Use Shelter near the end of Cornet Bay Road.

View Larger Map

1. Take exit 230 off Interstate 5 (sign reads “Route 20, Burlington, Anacortes”).
2. Go west (left) on Highway 20 (toward Whidbey Island and Anacortes).
3. About twelve miles from the interstate exit (after passing an oil refinery on your right, and just after passing a golf course on your left) turn left at the stoplight (sign says “Oak Harbor, Port Townsend Ferry”) to stay on Hwy 20 W. If you go straight on Hwy 20 Spur W instead of turning you will end up in Anacortes.
4. Continue for about 7 miles (you’ll have crossed the Deception Pass Bridge), then turn left onto Cornet Bay Rd. and follow it until you come to the Shelter (near the end).