Review: The Forager's Harvest DVDs

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Bad picture, great DVD.

Being a teacher of wild edibles, I'm constantly adding to my library of edible wild plant books. Two of the best books out there for new foragers is Samuel Thayer's The Forager's Harvest and Nature's Garden. They go into deep detail on locating, identifying, and preparing foraged foods. Unlike most books that have only one picture of each plant, Thayer includes multiple pictures of the plants throughout their lifecycle which greatly assists in plant identification.

I was very excited to hear he has released a two-volume DVD supplement to The Forager's Harvest. These two DVD cover the identification, harvesting techniques, and preparation of over thirty common wild edibles. Filmed over the course of two years, each plants is shown in multiple stages of it's life. The high-resolution video makes it easy to clearly see the plant details.


Low-res trailer for The Forager's Harvest DVD.

The two best feature of the DVD's are when he shows harvesting techniques and preparation of the foods. Most books only say what is edible and leave it to the reader to figure out how to harvest them. Thayer shows wonderful tricks and easily-made devices to help with harvesting. For instance, most people would try to harvest a long burdock tap root like a carrot, just trying to pull it up. This will break the root, leaving most of it still in the ground. Thayer shows how easy it is to harvest the entire root by digging a hole next to it then pulling it sideways into this hole. His milk jug cattail pollen collector is simply genius.

Of course, the reason to harvest wild plants is to eat the wild plants and Thayer again shares the many methods he's developed over years of foraging. It's one thing to read how to do something, but actually seeing someone do it, such as making sumac-ade or peeling a thistle, is so much better. You see him eat every plant he harvests, along with whatever steps are needed to make the food ready to eat.

I've been foraging all my life but Samual Thayer makes me feel like a novice. I learned something new about every plant he discussed. Someday I hope to hang out with him for a weekend just munching through the woods. But for now I'll have to satisfy myself with rewatching his DVD a few more times. It's kind of ironic that new favorite video to watch while running on the treadmill is about food!

Adventure! Excitement! Burdock!

Foraging Class at Eden Creek Farm 11/22 & 11/23 2014 (Near Dallas)

When: Saturday, Nov. 22th, 2014 from 1pm to 1pm to 5pm and again on Sunday, Nov. 23rd from 1pm-5pm. (two separate, identical classes)
Cost: $40 for adults 18 and up, $20 for kids 13-17, children 12 and under free. Pay at time of class. Cash prefered, no credit/debit cards.
Where: Eden Creek Farm
4048 FM 55
Blooming Grove, Texas 76626


View Eden Creek Farm in a larger map
Please use the map above to plot your trip and program your GPS. The address doesn't show up properly if you just type it into google maps.

I'll be doing two separate foraging classes south of Dallas at Eden Creek Farm on November 22nd & 23rd, 2014. Both classes will be in the afternoon from 1:00pm-5pm. There is a $40 fee per student, payable at the class. RSVP to merriwether@foragingtexas.com is preferred but not necessary, you can just show up. If RSVPing please state if you are attending the morning or afternoon class. Thanks!

p.s. Children are encouraged to attend but if they interfere with other people's learning the parent will be asked to reign them in or take them away.

Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center Foraging Class

Due to the flood damage from hurricane Harvey, Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center and its associated grounds are closed until further notice and all events there for the rest of 2017 are cancelled.


When: Saturday, Oct. 14th, 2017 from 9:00am to 1pm
Cost: FREE but you must register by emailing nature.center@mctx.org  or calling 281-364-4225
Where: Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center (aka Montgomery City Nature Center)
1300 Riley Fuzzel Road
Spring, Texas 77386


View Larger Map

This class will start inside the nature center building where we will go over the rules & ethics of foraging followed by a brief discussion of good books to advance your knowledge of edible wild plants. The rest of the time will be spent outside examining the many edible and medicinal plants throughout the grounds. A large portion of the outside class time will be on paved paths but towards the end we may also be on dirt trails and mud is a strong possibility. Please keep this in mind if you have limited mobility.

Bring a camera, notebook, drinking water, insect repellent, sunblock, and dress for the weather. Please wear comfortable shoes capable of walking on unpaved, occasionally muddy trails. A snack is also a good idea to keep up your energy levels. It's easy to get vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc from wild plants but getting calories is much more difficult!

Due to the large number of students who attend these free classes only one or two of each plant will be harvested and passed around for everyone to examine. Photography/video of the class is strongly encouraged to help you remember everything you learn. I do ask that you get my permission before posting any videos of the class on YouTube.

Please note, the nature center main building also serves as a police substation so there may be police officers around along with the occasional K9 unit. Plan what's in your pockets accordingly. ;-)

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Caddo Mounds State Historic Site May 30th, 2015

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When: Saturday, May 30th, 2015 9:30am-1:30pm
Cost: $50 per student

Click HERE to register for the class.

Be prepared to walk over uneven and potentially muddy ground. We'll be outside and it'll probably be hot. Water, bug spray, sunblock, camera, and a notepad are highly recommended.

Eden Creek Farm (near Dallas) May 23rd (9:30am-1pm & 1:30pm-5:00pm)

EdenCreekFarm 2
When: Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 9:30am-1pm to 1:30pm to 5:00pm (two separate, identical classes)
Cost: $40 for adults 18 and up, $20 for kids 13-17, children 12 and under free. Pay at time of class. Cash prefered, no credit/debit cards.
Where: Eden Creek Farm
4048 FM 55
Blooming Grove, Texas 76626 (see Google map below for accurate directions, most GPS units have it wrong!)

Please email me at merriwether@foragingtexas.com to sign up. This is not necessary but it is preferred, you can just show up. If RSVPing please state if you are attending the morning or afternoon class.

Be prepared to walk over uneven and potentially muddy ground. We'll be outside and it'll probably be hot. Water, bug spray, sunblock, camera, and a notepad are highly recommended.

Please use this map to plot your trip and program your GPS. The address doesn't show up properly if you just type it into google maps.

View Eden Creek Farm in a larger map


p.s. Children are encouraged to attend but if they interfere with other people's learning the parent will be asked to reign them in or take them away.

Deer Lake Lodge

Come learn foraging at one of the most beautiful resorts in the Houston area, Deer Lake Lodge & Spa!

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When: Nov. 11th, 2017 (9am-1pm)

Cost: $45 due at least 4 days before the event. Please email me at merriwether@foragingtexas.com with the subject "Deer Lake Lodge Class" and include the number attending BEFORE paying to make sure there's still spots open.
Payment are to be to my PayPal account.

Where:Deer Lake Lodge & Spa 10500 Deer Lake Lodge Rd, Montgomery, TX 77316

Due to the exclusivity of Deer Lake Spa and Resort you'll need to be "buzzed in" through the main gate. Pull up to the security box and push the single button near the keypad. Tell them you're there for the foraging class and they'll open the gate. Stay to the right side of the driveway and go past the first set of building near the front gate. Follow the driveway up to the building shown below and park to the left side by the other vehicles. You'll be directed to the class's initial starting point from there.

Drive down the driveway until it ends here.
DeerLake

We'll spend four hours exploring the edible and medicinal plants available on the grounds and woods of this location. Be prepared to walk over uneven and potentially slippery ground. Water, bug spray, sunblock, camera, and a notepad are highly recommended.

The class will go on rain or shine but will be delayed by lightening it until the storm passes. Refunds will be given only if the class gets cancelled.

Edna, TX June 28th, 2014

When: Saturday, June 28th, 2014 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Cost: FREE!!!
Where: 317 W. Main St, Edna, TX 77957



This seminar will be inside in air conditioned comfort. Sit back and relax as I pass around live samples of dozens of plants. You'll be able to examine each plant during the presentation to help lock it into your memory.

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