The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Wild Foods

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Botanical Name: Amaranthus retroflexus is very common and 60+ spp. worldwide Family: Amaranthaceae Common Names: Pigweed Primary Characteristics for Field ID: Leaves are lanceolate and alternate along the main stem. Stems are red. Part Used for Food: Fresh leaves and young tips of stems. Older leaves and stems are either bitter, stringy or fibrous. Cultivated… Continue >>>

Apiaceae for Herbalists

Apiaceae for Herbalists

The common names for the Apiaceae family are either the carrot or parsley family. The old family name was Umbelliferae; some books still show this and occasionally botanists still use this older name out of habit. This is an *extremely* important family to know. One reason is that it has abundant herbs, spices and foods.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Botanical Name: Sisymbrium irio Family: Brassicaceae Common Names: Wild Mustard, London Rocket Southwest Habitat: Between 1,000’ and 7,500’ – the growing season depends on the elevation. While not native to North America, it is widespread and commonly found in disturbed soil. This is a plant found along trails during Sonoran winter hikes, under juniper trees… Continue >>>

A Fresh View of the Paleo Diet

A Fresh View of the Paleo Diet

I am pleased to share an article by Arthur Haines that helps clarify some of the misconceptions around the Paleo Diet. Arthur has some of the very best thinking on diet, health, wild foods and our ancestors from various traditional cultures. The article originally appeared here. This is an Exist Anew guest post by Arthur… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Whether foraging for greens or wildcrafting herbs, knowing the few toxic plants in one’s environment is essential. Poison hemlock is a potentially deadly plant that is frequently encountered in the forests and meadows of northern Arizona. This article and collection of photos is meant to help you identify this plant in your outdoor explorations and… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Desert Rhubarb

Plant Profile: Desert Rhubarb

Botanical Name: Rumex hymenosepalus Family: Polygonaceae Common Names: Red Dock, Desert Rhubarb, Wild Rhubarb Part Used for Medicine: Tubers Habitat in Which it is Found/ Harvesting Season/ Special Considerations: It is found in sandy areas between 3,000’ and 6,000’. Common in the Verde Valley and the many sandy areas around Page, Arizona. The farthest north… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Botanical Name: Chenopodium album Family: Chenopodiaceae Spinach, beets, chard and quinoa are also in this family Common Names: Goosefoot, Lambsquarters Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The leaves are in the shape of a goose’s foot which helps with the field ID for a non-botanist. Part Used for Medicine: Fresh leaves and fresh tips Habitat in… Continue >>>

Brassicaceae for Herbalists

Brassicaceae – Mustard This family is characterized by flowers that have four petals and are shaped like a crucifix, hence the previous family name of Cruciferae. These plants are often edible and tend to have a spicy, hot energy and flavor although some of the domesticated varieties have been bred for a mild flavor. Besides… Continue >>>

Botany Resources for Herb Students

Botany Resources for Herb Students

Botany Books Whether one is foraging for food or wild crafting medicinal herbs, the primary botanical reference for our region is “Botany in a Day” by Thomas J. Elpel. It is extremely well written and user friendly.  Several of the following internet sites build off the foundation of this book. It should be the #1… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Nettle Leaf

Plant Profile: Nettle Leaf

Botanical Name: Urtica dioica Family: Urticaceae Common Names: Nettles, stinging nettles Southwest Habitat: Nettles like rich, black, damp soil in partial shade. It is most likely found in riparian areas, near seeps or in shady areas where deciduous trees have had the opportunity to help build the soil. It is not at all common in… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

**This workshop was initially put together after speaking with many in the plant community who voiced concern over their safety when doing field work. However, it is open to the general public as these skills apply to everyone regardless of occupation.   The minimum age to attend is 13. Anyone under the age of 18… Continue >>>

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

Many people begin using herbs in small steps – something for sleep, a cold or maybe a headache. As one continues on the herbal path of independent study, information is pulled from many sources. After a few years, this person begins to identify as an herbalist and continues to increase both the learning and use… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

**This workshop was initially put together after speaking with many in the plant community who voiced concern over their safety when doing field work. However, it is open to the general public as these skills apply to everyone regardless of occupation.   The minimum age to attend is 13. Anyone under the age of 18… Continue >>>

Mike’s Wood Stove Winter Root Dish

This is a dish, especially for winter, easily made on a wood stove or baked in a conventional oven Mike’s Winter Wood Stove Root Dish Use a cast iron fry pan, 12 inches in diameter. Get a variety of winter root veggies. There are many possibilities and I have used beets, garlic, carrots, ginger, onions,… Continue >>>

Diet Strategies for Reducing Chronic & Systemic Inflammation

Diet Strategies for Reducing Chronic & Systemic Inflammation

Included below are the notes used during the Diet, Nutrition and Inflammation portions of our curriculum. It is a succinct look at how the foods we eat affect our internal inflammatory state. While the actual classes go into more detail, the foods listed here are good places to begin improving one’s health in this area.… Continue >>>

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