I’ve had a few questions about my plant walks, so I thought I would answer them here.When and where are your plant walks? Walks generally run between April and November. (I’m planning to organise a couple of winter walks too. Winter is one of my favourite seasons, not so much for harvesting, but for identifying plants. It’s a chance to encounter the plants in a very unique way that I find quite beautiful and insightful.) All walks take place on Wednesday evenings or Saturday afternoons and last for two hours. I’ve chosen a handful of locations in different areas of the city that I am familiar with, which are easily accessible by transit or bicycle and have parking. Because I live in Old Ottawa South, many of the locations tend to be in that area. If folks have suggestions for other potential locations and I can get there by bus or bike, I’d love to hear about them! The dates, times and most of the locations can all be found here and you should also see an Upcoming Events listing on the sidebar to the right. What happens on a walk? On the walks I talk about the edible, medicinal and other uses of wild plants. I discuss ways to identify the plants, what parts to use and how and when to harvest them. I cover different methods of preparation. I have to warn you, my love of the plant world is an extension of the passionate environmentalist in me, so I spend A LOT of time talking about ethical, regenerative foraging practices! I talk about native vs. invasive plants, poisonous plants, and how to stay safe, especially in an urban environment. After a walk, you should have enough information to identify a couple of common, abundant plants and how to use them for free food and medicine. At the end of the walks I always have a wild snack and drink for people to try, made from the plants talked about on that walk. It could spruce tip soda or sumac lemonade served with garlic mustard pesto and crackers or puffball cutlets! How much are your walks? If you want to attend only one walk, the fee is $20. If you bring a friend or sign up for more than one walk, each walk is $15 each. If you choose to attend more than one walk, I am asking that you sign up for all the walks in advance to take advantage of the discount. The nice thing about attending more than one walk is that repetition is a great way to learn and seeing the same plants often and at different stages of growth and maturity helps with identification. It’s also a good way to learn the progression of different plants that are available at different times of the year. Some things are only available in the early spring, some plants don’t appear until it really heats up in the summer. I am also offering exchanges and work trades. Want to spend a couple of hours helping me harvest calendula in my garden? Do you have web design skills? Can you create a beautiful poster for a Wild Garden event? Do you have some garden veg to trade? I’ll take a massage! If you want to help out in the garden or have a skill or service to trade, let’s talk! How do I sign up/pay for your walks? Here on the website. I am asking for online registration for a couple of reasons. Last year when I just did a handful of walks, as a hobby in my spare time, registration happened by email and people paid when they arrived at the walk. Keeping track of email registration is time consuming, so I’m hoping to streamline the process by having it all happen online. Ideally, it will be as easy as possible for both you and I. I’m still figuring out how that will look, so if you have feedback to share, I’d be happy to hear it. The other problem I encountered last year was that I had quite a few ‘no shows’ on every walk. I prefer to limit my walks to smaller groups; it’s easier on my voice, has less impact on the environment we’re passing through and it means better quality for you! As a result though, sometimes I had a waiting list. Having ‘no shows’ meant lost revenue for me and a lost opportunity to people on the waiting list. I didn’t mind the lost revenue last year because the walks were something I did for fun, outside of my day job. Now, my hope is to have educational plant walks become part of how I craft a sustainable livelihood for myself. As a business I am now also responsible for increased fees on just about everything, including insurance. Now, ‘no shows’ matter. If it is at all possible, I would prefer people to pay in advance. If you would rather not pay online, there is a ‘pay by cheque’ option. That’s cool too! If you really want/need to pay the day of, that is still an option, but I would ask, if you do register and choose that option, out of respect for others who might be on a waiting list, please do try to make it out. For all of the above reasons I am asking for 48hrs cancellation notice for a full refund, less transaction fees. Oh, and I will still accept email registration if necessary, although the less of that I have to do, the better. I should also mention that if registration is too low, I will cancel a walk and do my best to ensure you get that information 24hrs in advance. All walks will proceed in light rain, but will be cancelled on short notice in the event of a downpour or thunderstorm. Registrants will receive a full refund in this case, or have the option to apply their registration to another walk.What if I show up for a walk or am running late and can’t find you or get lost?Call my cell phone! I will make sure all participants have the number so they can call if they need help with directions. So I think that covers most of the questions I have received. If you have any others, or if you have feedback and suggestions, let me know. For anyone who is interested in getting a sense of what a plant walk is like, I am doing a free walk this Saturday, May 4th as part of the Jane’s Walk weekend. You can get the details for that here.
"My passion is sharing the wisdom of plants with others. I love to see the transformation that occurs when people realise how surrounded we all are by nutritious, edible and medicinal plants, even in urban environments."
The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.