Nature’s Handmaiden – The Art of Wildcrafting

The ethical wildcrafter is actually a steward who tends to the well-being of plant ecosystems while transferring their potent medicines to those who need them. Thus, a great deal of knowledge is required. One must not only be able to correctly identify plants, but know when to harvest and from where. Which plants to leave undisturbed, which to assist (such as lifting a fallen tree branch off of them), which to propagate.

Good record keeping, having the right tools and timing the entire process to the moon, seasons, weather and one’s personal schedule to complete all the necessary steps from harvest to storage are skills the wildcrafter develops.

We’ve just added the wildcrafting course to our syllabus. It covers the ethics, the process, tools, record keeping, etc. This isn’t the course for plant identification, we’ve decided to split that up into separate modules according to the plant families. However, we do cover the poisonous plants to watch out for. We also cover poison oak,ivy,sumac. How to identify them and what to do if “smitten” by their juices.

Students will put together their wildcrafting tool kit, their record keeping notebooks and explore the areas they expect to harvest from.


2 thoughts on “Nature’s Handmaiden – The Art of Wildcrafting

  1. You are a true blessing! Thanks so much for all you have done and are doing.I’m so excited about everything that you have put together. It’s fun to see what others have done,and believe or not it turns out out that all this techy stuff is really kinda fun :)

    • Thanks! I often think of these techy tools as a way to grow the new neural pathways we need to keep our brains functional enough to remember everything we need to know about plants. We just need to keep a balance! At the moment I’m working on our herbal chemistry course. Whew! How to put that together so its not so dense as to become a sleep aide!

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