Forage Walks and Classes

There has never been a better time to learn about the plants that surround us. We know that walking in nature heals us, and understanding how to find free food is not only helpful when budgets are tight, but that more elusive thing: fun - a constant treasure hunt, full of surprises that inform your everyday meals with wild and unsual flavors.

Scroll down to see what is on offer. Small, private walks (four people or fewer) are by appointment. 

If you would like to join my mailing list please send your details to myviljoen (at) gmail (dot) com.

Take care, wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance, and eat well.

Check my Instagram @66squarefeet to see the seasonal forages I am finding, and to help guide you, if you are new to foraging. There's also my second book, Forage, Harvest, Feast - A Wild-Inspired Cuisine (36-plus plants and 510 recipes) - available at Chelsea Green Publishing, at your nearest bookshop, or, you know, Amazon

About my Walks

I lead plant walks in the urban and wild green spaces that surround us. While edible plants are our focus, all plants, and how they fit together, are part of our mobile discussion.

As we walk we learn about two broad categories of plants: so-called weeds - plants that are invasive, or considered useless, or pests; and native plants - some of which could, and should, define an authentic regional cuisine. There is nothing more exciting than meeting new flavors, and learning how to use them.

We learn about what parts of plants are safe to eat, and why, and we talk about culinary ideas and techniques for unfamiliar ingredients. We also discuss the do's and don't's of foraging; urban and rural pollution issues; sustainability, the relationship between invasive plants and natives; biodiversity; and the real problems of commercial over-harvest of native wild plants (like ramps) - all tying in to my approach of conservation foraging.

My hope is to help tune your senses to the botanical and natural details beneath our feet and above our heads.

Every part of every season offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the plants under our noses, especially in places where we do not expect to find them. These experiences offer us an immersive opportunity to breathe out, and relax. If we pay attention. Call it forage bathing.


The walks end with a shared, wild-inspired tasting picnic featuring seasonal ingredients. With sufficient notice I cater to basic dietary preferences like vegan and vegetarian and do my best to accommodate other requests, like gluten-free, or serious allergies, if it is feasible within a diverse group.

Ways to Walk and Talk

Walks may involve hills and steps and rough paths, and require a moderate fitness level. We cover one-to-three miles in two hours. I am happy arrange walks to suit different abilities, and wheelchair-friendly routes are also available by prior arrangement.

Public Walks - Scheduled seasonal walks are listed on this page. 
Private Walks - For friends, kitchen crews, corporate teams, conservancies.
Gift Walks - Give a wild foods walk with picnic as a gift.
Plant Identification - I identify the flora on your land or in your garden.
Talks, Classes - For garden clubs, botanic gardens, conservancies, etc.
Consultation - Original recipes, menu creation, mixology.

Walk Perks

Frequent Walker Miles - for every five walks you book, the sixth is free.

Cancellation Policy 

Credit is issued for cancellations up to three days before a walk.
For cancellations after three days you are welcome to send a guest in your place.
Bad-weather cancellations mean credit towards any future walk.

Forage On* 
Where: Fort Tilden
When: 14 November 2020, 11.30am - 2pm

It's the one - it's the only - forage walk of the season. Thank you, virus. But here on the breezy beaches and backroads the sea air will blow it away. 

"Forage on" has become something of a battle cry for me, this year. It means persist. Keep going. Keep paying attention. And find the foraging fun wherever it may be.

This late in the season we will be meeting and identifying the weedy (like autumn olives and mugwort) and native (like bayberry and juniper and pine) edibles in their late autumn clothes. Knowing what plants look like at every phase of their growth and death is key to knowing where to find them when they are in their prime. 

There will be some nice surprises, too. And there will be a picnic, with hot toddies!

Masks are mandatory and please bring your own hand sanitizer to use before we lift a hot toddy to toast the good things and dispel the bad. 

SOLD OUT, sorry!

Foraging in Winter
Where: NYBG
When: 21 January 2021, 11am - 1pm

Join me for a bracing winter ramble where we learn to identify edible plants in their dormant season disguises.

Booking is via the New York Botanical Garden.


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