The Ethical Forager

Part of: Ethnobotany Series

Course description

Imagine if you could leave your favourite berry bushes and medicinal tea plants healthier, stronger and with a larger and more stable population than if you had not done your harvesting? This course goes beyond conventional foraging practice to introduce the concepts of gratitude, stewardship and reciprocity. Many traditionally-managed plants respond well to human interactions if these are done purposefully and respectfully. Indeed, left to grow ‘naturally’, these plants can have higher levels of disease and lower health than if they are being regularly picked and tended. Today, culturally-important plants such as springbank clover, camas and nettle are all on the decline, and the ethical forager can help to reverse this trend. Using a number of traditionally-managed plants in both Europe and BC such as willow, cattail and nettle, you will learn about the ethics of stewardship as well as practices such as pruning and transplanting to assist the plants you are harvesting from.

NOTE: Thursday’s class is held on the UVic Campus, and the Saturday is a three hour field day in Metchosin. Transportation is not provided.

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