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Course Catalog

Harvest & Process Autumn Acorns, Nettles & Rose Hips

Collecting Seeds on Western WA Prairies

Saturday, October 21, 2017 Workshop from 10:30-5:30 in Puyallup WA

Rose Hips: Start the morning with a crash course on the Top 10 Most Important Plants for food, medicine and crafts as we walk the “edges and margins” of forest and field to collect rose hips (the fruit of the rose) after what we hope will be our first frost, making the hips particularly sweet. But it’s the Vitamin C we are after in preparation for treating winter colds, and rose hips is our best natural source.

Stinging Nettle is our strongest abundant dry plant fiber, and early autumn is the most ecological time to gather them. We will harvest and dry it, then spin it into cordage using various “reverse wrap” methods. You can take as much home as you make for use over the coming year so you never have to buy rope at the store again. Further, nettles are an incredibly good source for fire tinder in otherwise wet forest environments. You will put together your own tinder bundle of nettle, grass, cattail and cedar bark to practice blowing coals into flame. We will also test the strength of nettle rope, using it while demonstrating the bow-drill method of traditional fire by friction. You’ll also learn to properly dry and store it for continual use as a tea tonic for improved health during the cold and flu season.

Instructor Chris Chisholm gathers the tasty cattail rhizomes from a clean pond.

Acorns: You never know whether it will be a good year for acorns since they randomly produce a bumper crop about 1 in 3 years. Many of the greatest world societies before mass cultivation of grain were based around the oak tree. Whether or not we can collect our own acorns from local native Oregon “Garry” White Oaks, we have plenty from past years to crack open and toss into boiling water to extract their tannins. We will also dry and grind some with mortar and pestle in order to make pancakes and other treats for dinner. In addition to being a critical food source, White Oak Bark has been one of the most revered medicines throughout the ages. Just check out http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Hepatitis-B/White-Oak-Bark/show/926087 for a great description of its medicinal attributes.

Cost & Registration: 20th Anniversary Special by Donation to Max Davis Scholarships:

$65 recommended per adult, or $45 per accompanied child.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 425-248-0253 and we will take your registration securely over the phone.

Check/Mail Registration Option: Send with a check donation 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.

Or Use PayPal to register via secure online donation with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Just sign into paypal.com and “send money” to our email address.

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Refund Policy: Standard deposits ($100 for day programs, $200 for overnight programs) are not refundable unless we don’t accept your application. If you cancel in advance of the program start time for any reason, you may receive a full credit good through the following calendar year on appropriate and available programs listed on our schedule, although an additional deposit may be required to secure your spot in the future program. If a program you sign up for is canceled and not rescheduled at a time you can attend, you may receive a full refund except in case of natural (weather, geologic, etc) disasters, government shutdowns, conflicts or curfews, or other unforeseen emergencies making it impossible for staff and/or attendees to reach or use program locations, in which case all payments made will be held by us without expiration date for your future use in appropriate/available programs of your choice. No refund, nor credit, is given if a participant is asked to leave a program for inappropriateness as determined by our kids, youth and adult agreements for participation.

Preparatory Information

Upon registration, we will email you driving directions and packing list. Please prepare as you normally would for a hike, including lunch, water bottle, 10 essentials, etc. and dress for the weather! Also, be aware that sparks from the campfire can melt your synthetic clothing, so wool might be a good option. Join us today and at any of our Saturday Workshops on themes of survival, wildlife and ethnobotany, and please contact us for carpooling information.

Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes

Wolf Camp and the Wolf College co-owner and lead instructor, Kim Chisholm, demonstrates how to safely harvest stinging nettle leaves without gloves.Those of us living in the Pacific Northwest (and many other regions around the world) are fortunate to be gifted every spring with an abundance of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). While it’s sting can be unpleasant, it teaches us to pay attention to our surroundings and I believe that’s a good thing. It also offers food, medicine and fiber if one knows how to properly harvest it. Here at the Wolf College, we adhere as closely as we can to the following Honorable Harvesting Guidelines for every plant we collect:

Do you need it? Harvest with a purpose or plan . . . → Read More: Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes