Taking a walk in the woods, or even around your neighborhood, takes on a whole new meaning when your intention is to forage. There is a transformation in how you look at the environment when the landscape is no longer just window dressing, but a source of nourishment. Now the tree that you have passed by hundreds of times with barely a glance becomes meaningful – you notice it and eagerly await its fruit.
Knowing what plants to look for when, finding them around you, then knowing what to harvest, how to process and prepare it, takes some practice, but Pat Armstrong will teach you all of this in our Edible Wild Plants Certificate course. Over the course of 10 months you’ll learn 200 edible wild plants that grow in our bioregion through classroom and home study, plant walks, and by eating and preparing recipes with them every class! Students will receive an Edible Wild Plants Recipe book containing all of the recipes prepared by the instructor and students throughout the course and a printed certificate recognizing their accomplishment.
- Interest in foraging
- Connecting with nature
- Expanding your knowledge of edible plants for landscaping, permaculture, or ecological restoration
- Wilderness survival
- Learning plant identification
- Leading plant walks
“I had some previous foraging experience prior to signing up for the wild edibles certificate program and was amazed to learn the wide variety of plants and trees we can use for food. Pat Armstrong is a gifted teacher and is passionate about wild foods and enjoying nature’s abundance. We learned the edible parts of each plant, when to harvest and how to best prepare them. Pat would often include interesting ethnobotanical information on the uses of plants as food and medicine throughout history.” ~ Lisa Stuart, EWP Certificate 2015
Devote the time to learn edible wild plants from an instructor who has been eating this way her whole life. Patricia Armstrong, has a Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago in Ecology (Biology-Botany). She taught a multitude of nature classes at the Morton Arboretum for 16 years, plus Botany, Ecology, and Geology at the University of Wisconsin Extension, and Michigan State University’s Juneau Icefield Research Program in Alaska.
Pat’s knowledge and understanding of all things wild and free comes from a life-long personal and intimate relationship with nature that is passionate as well as scientific. She lives in a home she and her husband designed and built to fit into the natural ecosystems of northern Illinois. It is active and passive solar, energy-efficient, and landscaped with over 300 species of native trees, shrubs, prairie grasses and wildflowers, approximately 40% of which are edible. Pat is actively involved in living joyfully with nature. She operates a consulting firm to educate and assist others in appreciating and using native plants and wild edible plants in home landscaping.
This is a college type course where students are expected to study and practice plant id between classes, take monthly plant id exams, and prepare edible wild plant food at home to bring to class.
- attendance at all classes (1 class may be missed, but the exam must be made up)
- pass nine monthly exams (using your notes and books) to demonstrate that you can identify edible (and poisonous) wild plants successfully
- prepare four edible wild plant recipes (one each season) to share with the class
- present four oral reports and hand in four written reports on the edible wild plants used in your recipes
- Optional: Complete a plant id catalog containing botanical name, common name, family name, habitat, food part, time to harvest, notable characteristics for each edible wild plant. This catalog can be used for all of your exams.
During the final class, an edible wild plant potluck celebration will be hosted at lunchtime. Each student will receive an Edible Wild Plants recipe book containing all of the recipes prepared during the certification course, and students who successfully completed all of the certificate requirements will receive a printed certificate.
At least one book to identify wild plants, but you will likely need a few since not one book will contain all flowers, shrubs & trees. We suggest going to your library first to experience the books and see which ones you like.
- Wildflowers and Weeds: A guide in full color by
- A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and north-central America (Peterson Field Guides)
- Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America
- Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to over 200 Natural Foods
- A Field Guide to Trees & Shrubs: Northeastern and north-central United States and Southeastern and south-central Canada (Peterson Field Guides)
- Forest Trees of Illinois
- National Geographic Field Guide to the Trees of North America
- The Tree Identification Book by George W.D. Symonds
- The Forager’s Harvest
- Nature’s Garden
Included with registration:
- Wild Plant Family Cookbook by Patricia Armstrong
2018 CLASS DATES:
February 24 March 17 April 21 May 19 June 16 July 21
August 18 September 15 October 20 November 17
Plan to attend all classes. Only 1 class may be missed and the test must be made up in order to receive a certificate. No make up classes will be offered.
COURSE FEE includes all supplies and materials
Fees listed are for check payments (preferred). If paying by Paypal ADD $15 for fees.
EARLY BIRD PRICING WILL BE EMAILED TO PRE-REGISTRANTS!
September $725 check / $740 Paypal
October $750 check / $765 Paypal
November $775 check / $790 Paypal
December $800 check / $815 Paypal
January $825 check / $840 Paypal
February $875 check / $890 Paypal
Checks are to be mailed to The Resiliency Institute, P.O. Box 5721, Naperville, IL 60567
This year we are offering a work study opportunity to one qualified candidate. In exchange for 25-30 hours of work, the work study candidate will receive a tuition discount. Work will include assisting the instructor with class preparation, classroom set-up and clean-up, loading and unloading class supplies, making copies, and assisting with the recipe book. The candidate will be required to meet the instructor at 8:30 am each class meeting date as well as other dates to forage for plant specimens. Ideally the candidate lives in or very near Naperville.
By January 7th, email Michelle@theresiliencyinstitute.net with a paragraph response describing your financial need and your intention for taking this course. We will accept a maximum of 5 requests before selecting the recipient.