Forage Classes + Walks


Photo by Juliana Sohn

Scroll down to see what is on offer, seasonally. Private walks for you or for a group of friends or colleagues are by appointment. 

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

Forage, Harvest, Feast cover by Marie Viljoen

Visit my Instagram @66squarefeet to see the seasonal forages I am finding, and to help guide or inspire 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

There is nothing more exciting than meeting new flavors, and learning how to use them. Every part of every season offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the plants that surround us in plain sight, especially in places where we do not expect to find them. 

On the urban field trips I lead we learn about three broad categories of edible flora: so-called weeds, whose habit is invasive and which are considered useless; exotic plants (introduced species) that have culinary uses; and little-known edible native plants, which could - and should, but still don't - define an authentic regional cuisine. 

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 tune the senses to botanical and natural details at our feet, no matter where we find ourselves.

All walks are small and low-impact. The group size never exceeds 15 people. 

Picnickers

Photo by Michael Grimm

Forage Picnics

Many walks end with a shared, wild-inspired tasting picnic featuring seasonal ingredients. You can also book a picnic-less walk.

                                               Ways to Walk and Talk

Scheduled Seasonal Walks - listed on Instagram and booked via this page.

Private Walks - For conservancies, team building, kitchen crews, bachelorettes.   

Gift Walks - Give a wild foods walk with picnic or without picnic as a gift. 

Plant Identification - I identify the plants on your land or in your garden.

Talks, Classes - For garden clubs, botanic gardens, conservancies, etc.

Consultation - Garden creation, original recipes, menu design, mixology.

Walk Perks

Frequent Walker Miles - for every five walks you book, the sixth is free. Please keep track and alert me when you're up for a gratis stroll.

Cancellation Policy:

My walks are kept small (and often have a waiting list), so cancellations and no-shows have a big impact.

Refunds for cancellations are given at my discretion (and if I can fill your spot), otherwise you will receive credit for a future walk. No-shows with no notice receive neither a credit nor a refund.

Walks booked via outgoing links to institutions (like the New York Botanical Garden or conservancies) have their own cancellation policies, per those institutions. 

Current COVID-19 Protocols

Walks are open to vaccinated individuals and masks are not required. If you are more comfortable wearing a mask, no problem. 

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Forage Walks

Summer Salt Marsh

Marine Park

31 July 2021

11.30am - 1.30pm

$55.00

Wave goodbye to July as we stroll the wide, grass-flanked paths beside this salt marsh in the middle of Brooklyn.  From invasive edibles like mugwort and sweet clover to fragrant pollinator plants like bergamot and golden rod, we will discover and identify the edible plants of late summer and talk about how to use them. And if we listen carefully, we may hear crickets. 


Our tasting picnic will feature the flavors we have met along the way.



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Lush Summer
Brooklyn Bridge Park
4 August 2021
5pm - 7pm
$60.00

On a walk that explores the lush opulence of late summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park we will identify a trove of edible native American and exotic plants that are perfectly suited to our climate and gardens. After our plantsporation we will gather on a lawn for sips of wild-inspired drinks, and will nibble on a canap├ęs featuring beach plum, and cornelian cherry.

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Balmy Saturday
Green-Wood Cemetery
7 August 2021
11am - 2pm
$60.00

In late summer the beautiful trees of Green-Wood are at their most stately, and offer deep pools of shade on hot days. We will discover what parts of which trees are edible and will also explore the lawns to identify culinary weeds and mushroom surprises. Our picnic will offer tastes of a wild Brooklyn summer.

$5 from each ticket is donated to the Historic Green-Wood Fund.


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NYBG's Edible Plants of Summer
New York Botanical Garden
19 August 2021
11am - 1pm
$59 - $65

Join me in the gorgeous late-summer grounds of the New York Botanical Garden to discover the surprising number of edible plants that grow in both the cultivated collections and the wild Thain Family Forest. The garden offers us a unique opportunity to encounter a diverse range of native American plants that grow in our region as well as exotic imports: specimen plants and trees representing other continents and cultures.

Please book via this NYBG link.

Note: Because of the garden's COVID protocols there is no picnic with this walk. 

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