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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Custom Class Theme: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

Wolf Journey Book II - Trail of the Traditional Herbalist - Artwork by Joanna ColbertWild Edible & Medicinal Plants – Quick Class Itinerary

6:00 PM – Arrive early to complete registration and browse our library of ethnobotanical resources.

6:15 PM – 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.

6:30 PM – Plant Primer – Receive an intro to the best resources to help you learn in-depth, accurate, and expeditious information on wild edible plants and herbal medicine. This section of class may save you untold time!

6:45 PM – Plant Walk – Before it gets dark outside, 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!

7:30 PM – 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 will find and sample some of these plants near-by.

8:00 PM – Wolf College Tenets of Herbal Medicine and the  Top 10 Wild Medicinal Plants of the Backcountry – Evening classes will receive a powerpoint, while youth classes will learn the tenets of herbal medicine through hands-on examples. But 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 10 Proven Medicinal Plants for more information.

8:30 PM – 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.

8:45 PM – Questions & Clean-Up


– Hats, warm clothes, proper footwear, and rain gear if necessary for the outdoor portion of class.
– Flashlight/Headlamp will make things a lot easier after the sun sets.
– Any potted wild 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.

To get a jump-start on the skills we cover in this class click here for our blog post on the subject and to practice these skills in depth, check out our summer kids camps, our overnight youth camps and adult expeditions on ethnobotany.

Class Locations:

Next Regularly Scheduled Class: Friday, April 8, 2016 in Puyallup WA. We will email you directions and the preparatory information upon registration and a couple days before class. Other options include our Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants Weekend Workshop and our summer Trail of the Herbalist: Wild Ethnobotany and the Herbal Foray week. Questions? Email anytime.

Friday Evening Class Series Fee Options:

Pre-Registration: $20 for one person, plus $15 for additional friends/family members registering together.

At-The-Door: $25 for one person, plus $15 for additional friends/family members attending together.

Registration Options:

PayPal Option: Register securely for our Friday Evening Classes with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Click to Choose Your Deposit Options:
Choose Your Class Theme/Date:
Participant Name; Age if Minor:
Cell Phone Number(s):

Check/Mail Registration Option: Send with a check 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.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 425-248-0253 and we will run your card securely over the phone. Questions? Email anytime.

Our refund policy: Deposits are not refundable unless your registration is not accepted. 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.

Other Class Topics During the Academic Year:

Jan-Feb: Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo

Feb-Mar: Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering

Mar-Apr: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

Apr-May: Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

• June: Special Week of Classes at Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup

• July: Special Week of Classes at Lake Sammamish in Issaquah

Sep-Oct: Climate Change Training – Lifestyle, Debates, Emergencies & Carbon Sequestration

Oct-Nov: Backcountry Crafts – Making Rope, Berry Collecting Baskets, Sleeping Bag Mats & More

To schedule other morning or afternoon classes for homeschool families, private schools, scouts and other groups, we recommend 3 hour class times for the subjects above, such as 10:30-1:30, and collecting $15-$25 for the first family member, $10-$15 per additional family member, with a minimum of $225 required for most classes in Pierce County, depending on exact location, materials needed, and instructor availability.

To schedule other in-depth workshop level programs we recommend 6-8 hour time periods, collecting $45-$95 per person depending on subject materials, similar to what is shown on our workshops page.

2 comments to Custom Class Theme: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

  • Rod Henderson

    Hi, I have interest in a more in depth class on wild edible plants that are locally available. I live in the Port Orchard area and have spent much of my 62 years out doors, hiking, backpacking and kayaking. I’m retired from the Washington State Dept. of F. and W. After retiring at age 50 I spent 7 summers volunteering for the Nat. Park Service in the back country working out of Staircase. I would be interested in an all day or overnight training where we would not only identify but also prepare and eat what we find.

  • Hi Rod. Thanks for your comment. We love Staircase Nat’l Monument and were there again in October for a week. Give us a call at 253-604-4681 to discuss creating a custom course for you. Let us know if you want to have one of our instructors to come up to the Port Orchard area for an individual training, or if you want to put a group together for Kim and me to teach. You can also register for our 5 day course Wild Ethnobotany & Herbalism Training which runs July 21-26 this summer in the Bellingham WA area, and in the meantime, come down to our March 6 evening plants class in Tacoma for an introduction if you like. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the class content.