Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Northwest Event Sources: Foraging, Gardening, Natural Medicine, Hiking, and Other Adventures


Seattle has felt like spring for over a month now, so despite the fact that it's still snowing and freezing elsewhere- I'm all amped up for playing in the dirt and digging things out of the mud.

I am a big fan of self and alternative forms of education.  I've never done well in a classic classroom setting, and I struggle with the idea of being restricted by finances, scheduling, or prerequisites.  I crave hands-on experiences, real-life situations, and the kind of timing and flexibility that fits with my already ongoing life. 

I have been compiling a list of resources, more or less as I come across specific events- and I thought that it would be a good idea to put them all in one place, as well as share them with anyone else who might be interested.  Most of these are Washington and Oregon specific, although there are a few events listed in other areas.  The links below go straight to the relevant calendar of events.

- Seattle Tilth is a local non-profit that focuses on teaching organic farming and sustainability methods.  They have both adult and children's classes that range from container gardening, raising chickens in the city, backyard beekeeping, composting, growing mushrooms, and raising goats.  They have both individual and ongoing courses, and are usually in the range of $25 (for Tilth members) to $35 per individual course.

- Bastyr University is the largest university in the United States that focuses on natural health arts and sciences.  Their main campus is located in Kenmore, just north of Seattle, with some courses taking place at their Stone Way location in Seattle proper.  They offer both formal education programs, as well as many individual events that are open to the public.  Public courses range in subjects from EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique aka tapping), gluten free living, yoga, reflexology, massage, and exploring the healing powers of balsam poplar.

- Fresh Picked Seattle focuses on wild food, mushrooms, fishing, foraging, and ethnobotany.  Their calendar features events from numerous different organizations, and is a good place to find a range of events, focusing both on finding food, as well as eating it.

- Dandelion Botanical Company is located just a few blocks from my apartment in Ballard.  They're a small herbal apothecary that focuses on organic and ethically crafted sources.  They offer both an intensive Professional Herbalist Certificate Course, as well as individual classes focusing on local pro-biotic foods and herbs, wild edible plants, and homemade herbal medicine.  Individual classes range from $15 to $37. 

- Earthwalk Northwest focuses on earth awareness and primitive living skills, with a hands-on approach.  They offer apprenticeships in primitive living and plant & ethnobotanical studies, as well as individual events- such as harvesting wild edibles while hiking trails in the Cascades.

- Wild Food Adventures is probably the organization that I'm the most excited about.  They host intensive retreats and events such as the Native Shores Rendezvous, and the GingerRoot Rendezvous, as well as day-trip style events that include clam digging, harvesting sea vegetables, and neighborhood foraging, to name very few.  They have events all over Washington and Oregon, as well as specific events in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Idaho. 

Let me know if there's anything I missed!

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