Wild Autumnal Harvesting Workshop – Process Acorns, Rose Hips, Nettle Fiber & Mushroom Primer

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

Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 10:30-5:30

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.

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. Check out http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Hepatitis-B/White-Oak-Bark/show/926087 for a description of its purported medicinal attributes.

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.

Lorraine Olivas-Romey with Hericlum Abietis - Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Lorraine Olivas-Romey of the Snohomish County Mycological Society helps guide mushroom forays and a great Mushroom Show every October.

Top 5 Wild Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Foraging for mushrooms has recently become quite popular. Is it due to a “back to nature” movement, consuming food that is naturally grown, or the thrill of finding something totally organic? Whatever it is, be cautious about eating a mushroom without total identification that it is an edible.

Workshop Cost, Location & Notes

$85 general.
$75 for additional family members.

This workshop starts at the Wolf Camp home office in Puyallup and includes a foray to a hidden old growth forest surrounding artesian springs. However, we do not harvest there due to its pristine nature. We will be harvesting rose hips, acorns, stinging nettles and a couple other autumnal foods and medicine where appropriate.

We do not expect to find the Top 5 mushrooms during the workshop. We do hope to have samples at hand, and cover the key features of the 5 Mushrooms, including 1) Cep, Porcini, or King Bolete BOLETUS edulis. 2) Lobster Mushroom, one of the Russulas, HYPOMYCES lactifluorum. 3) Hedgehog Mushroom HYDNUM repandum instead of Chanterelles; 4) Lion’s Mane or Bear’s Head HERICIUM abietes, 5) Cauliflower Mushroom, SPARASSIS crispa.

Upon registration, we will email you with a confirmation and some preparation information.  Otherwise, please prepare as you normally would for a hike, including lunch, water bottle, 10 essentials, etc. and dress for the weather! Join us today and at any of our Weekend Workshops on themes of survival, wildlife and ethnobotany, and please contact us for carpooling information.

Registration: Who & How

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

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 425-248-0253 and we will run your card 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 online securely 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.

Or email us to be put on our our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it. You can also like our facebook page to keep in better touch, and once you’ve attended a program, please review us on our Better Business BureauYelpGoogle pages.

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.


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