Edible, Medicinal, Magical & Useful Wild Plants
Listen to the plants, the moon, the sun, the grasshoppers, the animals & the birds, and they'll be in your heart forever.
Plant walks are a fun, informal, and hands-on way to learn about the wild plants in your area from someone who knows them well. Whether you are just beginning your learning about the green world, are new to an area or ecosystem, or simply delight to hear more stories and perspectives on plants you already know well, plant walks are a wonderful way to learn and to meet like-minded folks. For those on or beginning a green path, going on plant walks with as many different instructors as you can is one of the best ways to expand perspective & learning.
Plant walks are 3- 4 hours long, and take place entirely outdoors in many kinds of weather. Please dress accordingly, bring water, and a notebook, camera, snacks, or anything else you would like to feel comfortable.
Victoria has organized & offered plant walks since 2009. Topics may include wild edibles; medicinal plants; harvesting methods; plants for basic needs and crafts; & basic botany & taxonomy.
Want more focused instruction? A private plant walk on your land or any other chosen location can be tailored to your unique desires for learning and at your chosen pace. Private walks can range anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours.
Would you like a group plant walk tailored to your club, school, or other organization? Private walks can typically accommodate up to 20 people, and can focus on topics related to your group's interests or learning goals.
Inquire about private instruction for individuals or groups by email.
Upcoming Walks :
Sunday, Jan 5 @Hunt Valley/Phoenix MD
Sunday, Jan 26 @Lutherville-Timonium
Wed, Feb 5 @Parkville MD
Saturday, Feb 15 @Kingsville MD
March - TBA
An inner light stirs and glistens from all things living during the cold Winter months. From within the barks, evergreen leaves, roots, seeds, & even sometimes flowers.
In these Winter walks we'll pick up the pace a little, & blend some heat-building hiking with attention to some of Winters's precious plant foods, medicines, and special materials, especially those that help us in the making of fire & crafts. Winter is also a great time to create relationships with the dormant face of plants whom you may know in their showier Summertime forms. These walks are also a great chance to learn about & try out functional Winter clothing for outdoor living, which we'll discuss in every walk.
Each walk is $20 per person.
To register email Victoria at
Bring: plenty of water, snacks, a notebook or camera for taking notes if desired
Clothing suggestions: Think in terms of layers. Choose many layers of loose-fitting, rather than tight fitting clothes, in natural fibers like cotton and wool. Always bring more layers than you think you'll need. Consider furs. In wet or damp weather, especially choose wool, rather than cotton. Wear wind-breaking outer garments (over wool) in cold winds. Large sized boots with space enough to wear 2 or more layers of wool socks without your feet feeling squnched. In wet or soggy weather- rubber boots, with layered wool socks. Extra layers around your neck & thighs keep major arteries warm. So in addition to thick scarves or babushkas, consider layering cut-off sweatpants into shorts over or under your pants. Wear long-johns: soft sweatpants or pijama pants underneath your outer pants work great. Choose clothes that allow you to move freely, rather than stiff ones. Always bring a hat. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Choose layers that are easy to remove, so that when you build up heat from hiking, you can easily remove some to keep from sweating (thus getting damp), and re-don the layers once you cool down again.
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We'll be exploring edge, forest, stream side, & wetland. This area is particularly plant diverse. There will be the opportunity to meet hackberry, stinging nettle in her dormant stage, bamboo, black haw, willows, & witch hazel. Boots suitable for wet areas recommended.
In the forests and edges along Loch Raven, we'll spend time with woody shrubs and trees like bamboo, viburnums, osage orange, hackberry, & black willow, while also paying attention to tender herbaceous wild greens and the dead standing remains of many perennial meadow and edge herbs, such as milkweed, dogbane, and goldenrod. Much of this walk will be off-trail. Be prepared for moderate brambles!
This area is extremely plant diverse. We'll have the opportunity to explore meadow, edge, stream side, and forest, getting to know trees, shrubs, decayed remains of herbaceous plants, and if there is no snow on the ground, tender cold weather greens.
We'll explore field, meadow, edge, forest, and stream side, paying attention to the stalk remains of annual and perennial herbaceous plants, to evergreen leaves, to trees & shrubs, and if there is no snow on the ground, to tender cold weather greens.
About Victoria's relationship to plants:
Victoria studied Ethnobotany & Western herbal medicine at the Evergreen State College in Washington state, where she graduated in 2011. After college she pursued hands-on learning and rigorous self study in permaculture, plant spirit medicine, wild edible plants, primitive skills, and earthskills/rewilding, and has enjoyed much time living close to the land in a spectrum of urban, rural, and off-grid landscapes. Here in the living of everyday life are her relationships to plants created and deepened, through extensive gardening, foraging, wildcrafting, wild tending, and the harvesting of plant material for crafts and tasks ranging from basketry to hide tanning to fiber processing to dyes to fire to primitive tattooing to tool making. Ever traveling, her meeting of new plants and landscapes sprout perpetual wonder, experimentation, devotion, and awe.
The landscapes and ecologies with which Victoria is most familiar are the Southeastern Appalachians, piedmont, & lowcountry, the Mid-Atlantic, Florida (which is basically its own country), the Northeast, and the Pacific Northwest.
On the subjects of plants and earth based living Victoria has had more teachers than she could possibly ever count. In recent years, she is grateful to have learned from Samuel Thayer, Doug Elliot & Yanna Fishman, and such Florida plant nuts as Green Deane, Andy Firk, and Michael Adler.
Articles & Media:
Alive and Awake, by April Bartel, Fox Haven Farm & Learning Center, 2017 (article)
The Forager's Apprentice, Episode 1617 of The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann (audio interview)
Part 2 (of above interview), Episode 1636 of The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann (audio interview)