Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Southern Cascades: A Summertime Field Exploration
The remote Cascade Mountain wilderness of Northern California is a sight to behold. Recent volcanism has left behind an eerie expanse of rugged terrain dominated by cinder cones, dormant volcanic peaks, and lava flows, all of which give the area a unique look and feel. Mount Shasta (14,162’) and Mount Lassen (10,457’) dominate the horizon, instilling reverence and awe in all who stand in their shadows. Other notable features of the region are the mighty Pit River, which carves its way between the two massive peaks, and the spectacular Burney Falls, which cascades 130’ from its lofty source to the creek below. Floristically, the area is heavily influenced by nearby Sierran and Great Basin Desert elements. Come join us as we explore (and enjoy) this rich botanical landscape while learning about the many useful plants found growing there, including: the insectivorous Sundew, Western Pasque Flower, Button-Celery, Corydalis, Serviceberry, Shasta Fir, Blue Camas, Shasta Lily, Bitterbrush, Fawn-Lily, Bog-Bean, Horsemint, Sugar Pine, and many others! We’ll spend our days hiking and botanizing while reserving evenings for interactive hands-on workshops and relaxing fireside conversation. Keep in mind that cool & refreshing river floats and tension melting hot springs will be worked into the curriculum as well! This full immersion academic field outing should prove to be insightful and rewarding for anyone interested in knowing more about the unique flora of the region.
Topics to be covered/ hands-on activities include:
• field botany/plant ID instruction
• study of plant family characteristics (appearance and basic chemical traits)
• coverage of edible, medicinal, and utilitarian plant uses
• herbal medicine making activities
• wild edible plant processing/preparation methods
• clinical herbal indications plus dosage & delivery methods
• regional ethnobotany
• ethical harvesting guidelines and information about at-risk medicinal plants
• tips on how to identify and avoid poisonous plants
• botanical safety issues/contraindications
• natural history of the Cascades bioregion
• microscope sessions (for up-close plant observation)
• sampling of a large variety of edible/medicinal plants
Dates: July 25-28 (Thurs-Sun). Partial attendance possible.
Meet-up/Departure Time: We will meet at a designated camping area between 5pm-9pm on Wednesday. Class will conclude at 6pm on Sunday.
Location: Near Mt. Shasta, CA
Instructors: Tellur Fenner (Oakland, CA), Eric Yarnell ND (Seattle, WA).
Class will be taught by not one but TWO experienced herbal clinicians who specialize in the identification, preparation, and use of edible & medicinal plants found growing in the Pacific Northwest.
Registration: Email (preferred) or Phone.
Interested, but don’t have a car? Inquire about carpooling options.
To Bring: Since this is a car-camping trip, no serious backpacking gear is necessary. Things that are necessary are: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Rain Gear, Clothes (for hot/cold weather), Hiking Boots, Hat/Sunscreen, Daypack, Food/Snacks (class fee does not include meals), Camp Stove, Camping Chair, Camping Pad, Swimming Suit, Bug-Protection (mesh hat, repellant), Flashlight/Batteries, Water Bottles, Firewood, and most importantly…a sense of adventure!
Optional (yet recommended):
Notebook, Camera, Hand lens, Truck Tube (for river floating!). Note taking and photo documentation are recommended in order to enhance your learning experience.
Recommended (but not required) Texts:
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore
Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples by Nancy Turner
The Jepson Manual 2nd Edition by Baldwin
A Flora of Lassen Volcanic National Park by Gillet
Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest by Turner
Cascade-Olympic Natural History by Mathews
California Plant Families by Glenn Keator
Poisonous Plants of California by Fuller and McClintock
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