Edible Wild Plants Certificate Course 2020

December 5, 2020 @ 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
The Resiliency Institute
10S404 Knoch Knolls Rd
Naperville, IL 60565
Connie Kollmeyer


Learn over 200 edible wild plants that grow in our bioregion through classroom, field and home study, but most importantly by eating or preparing recipes with them every class! You 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 your accomplishment.

There are so many reasons to learn how to identify edible wild plants:

  • Interest in foraging for increased personal and economic resilience
  • Connecting with nature
  • Expanding your knowledge of edible plants for landscaping, permaculture, or ecological restoration
  • Wilderness survival
  • To expand or prepare for herbal studies
  • Leading plant walks to share and help build resilient community

“All good things are wild and free!”  ~Henry David Thoreau


Take good notes on oaks!

During the edible wild plants certificate course you will learn 20-25 plants every class using live or dried specimens, photos, and drawings. By the end of the course you will have learned how to identify 200+ plants.


Every morning you will take a plant identification exam of the 20-25 plants that you learned the class prior. When the exam time has ended, Pat (your instructor) will review the test, let you know the answers, and host Q&A time.


Lunch and learn deliciousness!

Lunch time will always include wild edible foods and beverages prepared by the instructor and students. Each student is expected to prepare one recipe a season and to present their recipe at lunch time, making every class a veritable celebration!


After lunch, a guided plant identification walk will be taken, rain or shine, where you can practice finding the plants you just learned in the classroom in the wild. Students who presented recipes will identify their plant on the walk and teach fellow students about it. Always dress appropriately for the weather and bring a change of shoes!



Basic plant identification skills are required to take this class.

A short quiz must be taken to determine plant id proficiency or participants can provide documentation of a plant id class or other evidence of knowledge, or enroll in our pre-course Plant ID Class.





February 22      March 21       April 18      May 16      June 20     July 18   

August 15         September 19     October 17      November 21  

Plan to attend all classes. In order to receive the certificate, only 1 class may be missed and the test must be made up.  No make up classes can be offered.


An event not to be missed! 

In December, the course culmination is a graduation &  potluck celebration hosted at Skeleton Key Brewery in Woodridge,  IL. Each student will receive an Edible Wild Plants Recipe Book containing all of the recipes prepared during the course, and students who successfully completed all of the certificate requirements will receive their printed Edible Wild Plants Certificate.

Family and friends are encouraged to attend!

Graduation 2108: Edible Wild Plants


Devote this 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 Ice Field 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.



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.

  • It is important that you have plant identification skills prior to taking this course. This means you know plant families, understand terminology, and have experience using a field guide.
  • Only one class can be missed, and the missed exam made-up in order to qualify for a certificate. Make-up classes are not offered.
  • There are nine plant id exams for you to demonstrate that you can identify edible (and poisonous) wild plants successfully. You can use your notes and books during the exam.
  • Each student will prepare four edible wild plant recipes (one each season) to share with the class
  • Present four oral reports and turn 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.


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.

One wild edible cookbook. Pat's is included with registration:

TUITION*:  Includes tuition, Edible Wild Plants Cookbook, course materials and supplies.  You will be responsible for bringing in four prepared lunch dishes to share during the course.

"Early Bird" - Register by October 31:  $795 check / $830 PayPal

"Special" - Register by November 30:  $825 check / $860 PayPal

"Regular" - Register by December 31: $855 check / $900 PayPal

"Late" - Register by January 31: $885 check / $920 PayPal


Due to the limited class size, in order to avoid restricting others from registering for the class, your registration is not complete until a minimum $300, non-refundable, deposit is received.  Full or deposit payment received by October 31st qualifies for "Early Bird" pricing, by November 30th for "Special" pricing, by December 31 for "Regular" pricing.  Starting January 1, 2020 "Late" pricing is applied.  All payment balances are due by January 10, 2020.  Payment plans can be arranged.  Please contact Connie Kollmeyer for assistance:  connie@theresiliencyinstitute.net


A work study opportunity is available to one qualified candidate. In exchange for 25-30 hours of work, the work study candidate's course fee will be reduced to $450. Work will include assisting the instructor with class preparation, classroom set-up and clean-up, loading and unloading class supplies, making copies, assisting with the recipe book, and taking photos during class to share on social media at least three days throughout the course. The candidate will be required to meet the instructor at 8:30 am each class meeting date as well as other dates (typically the Friday's prior to class) to forage for plant specimens which will also serve as a valuable, additional learning opportunity for the applicant. Ideally the candidate lives in or very near Naperville, and must commit to attending every class.

By December 1st, email Jodi@theresiliencyinstitute.net with a description of your financial need and your intention for taking this course. We will accept a maximum of 5 requests before selecting the recipient.  Award will be determined by December 15.

*Your participation makes our "Growing Food Security" programs possible-- THANK YOU!