July 2018: Wild Food Foraging

daphne-of-the-woods clipped.jpgLocation: Northeast Nova Scotia, Twa Corbies Hollow, approx. 45 minutes from New Glasgow and Antigonish

Date & Time: Saturday, July 14, 0900 – 1600
Storm Day: Note that the course will take place rain or shine, but in the event of seriously stormy weather, the course will take place the following Saturday at the same time.  We will notify students in the event of a storm day.
Pre-Register Rate: $50
Ages: Adults and youth to age 12 (youth must be accompanied by a guardian)
Limited Spaces: We keep classes small to give all students individual attention.  Classes are limited to twelve students.  This does not count staff, support persons or children that may be present with their parents.
Refunds & Class Choice: Please be certain of the class and date you desire when registering.  Due to class size restrictions, we cannot move registrants to other classes.  Registration fees are non-refundable within 30 days of your chosen class.

Email to register.  Directions will be provided to registrants.
Contact: twa.corbies.hollow@gmail.com

beaked hazelnut

Beaked hazelnut, a delicacy in these parts. Elusive, but only if you don’t know where to look.

Course Description:  Most people know there are wild foods in the meadows and woods, but they don’t know how to identify them.  Even fewer know how to harvest and use them.  Some are even afraid of them.  According to David Arora, author of Mushrooms Demystified: “There are few things that strike as much fear in your average [person] as the mere mention of wild mushrooms . . . [But] once you know what to look for, it’s about as difficult to tell a deadly Amanita from a savory chanterelle as it is a lima bean from an artichoke.”  This applies to wild plants, as well.  If you know what to look for, Nature provides abundantly and the Maritime provinces are blessed with a surfeit of wild edible foods.  In fact, our family resides on a semi-remote wooded homestead and as much as 25% of our food is foraged from the wild meadows and forests.  And this is a skill you can learn, too.

Sumac makes a pleasant summer beverage similar to lemonade.

Staghorn sumac–northern lemonade.

There is no “perfect time” to pursue wild foods.  Some are best in spring, others midsummer, still others far into autumn.  Some wild foods are even to be found in winter.  This course will take place in middle summer which provides the advantages that many wild plants will have reached their mature form for identification purposes, some wild plants are best at or near maturity (such as mint, wild carrot and lamb’s quarter), and some plants with desirable seeds will be going to seed, i.e., dock.  Many fruiting plants will be past their blossom stage and growing fruit, giving students a chance to see the form of the unripe fruit so they may mark the plant for later use.  Participants will learn to identify, harvest and use a number of wild Maritime edible foods, including some of the easier-to-identify mushrooms, cattails and various wild herbs and berries.  Of special interest will be cattails, wild mint, forest shamrock, sumac, wild cherry, Japanese knotweed, josta, daylilies and medicinal lichens.



One of the most common mistakes foragers make is not knowing when to harvest or how to make use of wild foods, so we will cover the full lore of each plant and/or fungus so the new forager can make best use of them.  We will also look at testing foods for edibility and reaction, and how to render use-resistant plants (such as cattails) edible.

Course Requirements: Dress appropriately for warm weather, but it is advised you bring a day pack with rain gear and a sweater as the weather in these parts is fickle.  Be sure to wear appropriate footwear.  Some sort of hiking boot is strongly advised; this is rough country. Also, participants should bring a stout knife, folding or straight blade, as well as lunch and snacks.  Use hats, sunscreen and bug spray according to personal need, though in July biting insects are rarely much of a problem.   For your own safety, please do not wear shorts or you will get scratched up as we hike through meadows full of wild rose shrubs and bramble berry canes.

We will hike three to six miles over the course of the day to study forage on location.  There will be a lunch break at a comfortable base camp and two rest periods, so the pace will be leisurely.  Much of the terrain is meadow or dirt road, but there are areas we’ll go into the woods and the terrain is rough.  Students must be moderately fit and able to handle rough ground.  If you would like to attend but avoid the rough ground, you may wait at the base camp during that portion of the course, which takes from one to two hours.

The wildwood is a source of hidden bounty, if you learn to see it.

Your teacher: Author and naturalist, Cliff Seruntine, is a certified psychotherapist, shaman, horseman, and fiddler. He is also a veteran of some of the most rugged wilderness on Earth–the Alaskan bush–where he dwelt at a remote cabin for many years.  Cliff now resides on a homestead in the Nova Scotia highlands and brings a polymath, spiritual perspective to Nature experiences and decades of wilderness living know-how to his courses.


9 thoughts on “July 2018: Wild Food Foraging

  1. Margaret

    Next year for sure!

  2. Lori Digou Westbury

    Hi there
    I would like to register for this event for myself and
    my 12 year old son. We will be coming up from Sydney and will need directions
    Thank You

    • Hi, Wendy, please email with your names, preferred email contact, (phone number, in case of emergency such as storm day), and send e-payment to our email address via Interac or Tangerine, which most Canadian banks and credit unions now offer.

  3. Rose Westbury

    I am quite interested in taking part in this adventure. Please register me for this!

    • Hi Rose. Thank you for your interest. Please email us directly with your name, email and a contact phone (for emergency). You can send e-payment through Tangerine or Interac.

      • Rose Westbury

        Hello again Cliff! Sorry I neglected to send payment before now. What email address should I use for the Interac?

      • Hi Rose,

        You can use this one: harpandlore@yahoo.com

        Please remember to send me the password, and also your preferred email address and phone number (for in case there is a storm day).

        Best! Cliff

  4. judy googoo

    My husband both would love to come, how do we pay, any seats available, we are from Cape breton,

    • Hi, Judy! If you would like to attend, there are still a few spaces available. Please contact me directly through email (listed at the top of the page beside where it says “Contact”. It’s not formatted as a hyperlink to minimize internet spiders redirecting spamware to this site and email address, so you’ll have to copy and paste the email address.

      To register, I’ll need the preferred email address for both of you and a registration fee of $50 per person. We prefer e-transfer through either Interac or Tangerine, which most Canadian banks and credit unions now offer. We do not accept PayPal.


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