Winter 2018/19 Wild Food Mentorship Program
It’s time to get serious about wild foods!
I want to help YOU prepare for the best foraging season of your life in 2019!
That’s why I’m offering my Wild Food Mentorship program this winter, in which I will be taking on a select group of highly motivated individuals for a series of in-depth, one-on-one consultations aimed at helping you to learn about the wild foods found all across your local landscape throughout the year.
This will take the form of monthly hour-long calls from December through March, in which we will custom tailor a game plan for you, connect you with resources specific to your location, and help you decide how best to manage your time and energy spent foraging to maximize your harvests while adhering to ethically sound, sustainable, and regenerative methods for tending the wild and obtaining a yield.
This program will be offered on a sliding scale of $120-200 ($30-50 per consultation) depending on what you are able to afford. I can just about guarantee that in a single call, I could teach you how to gather many hundreds of dollars worth of common and easy-to-identify wild foods in 2019.
Submit your application via the form at the bottom of the page and I will be in touch with you shortly thereafter to arrange payment and schedule our first call.
Please note that I will be capping the number of students I take on at 20 in order to offer the most in-depth tutelage possible on a one-on-one level.
Space is limited, so be sure to fill out the application now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is running this program?
A: Me, of course — your friend Sam Sycamore! When I’m not busy with the Good Life Revival Podcast, I make my living as a market gardener and commercial forager in southern Indiana, USA. I was formally trained in plant ecology and botany at the University of Louisville (B.S. in biology, graduated 2012), and I have many years of experience as a forager, farmer, and steward of land. I am also the author of a book, Introduction to Foraging, self-published in early 2018.
I personally grow and gather the majority of the produce I consume on a daily basis, and I would love to empower YOU to be able to do the same!
Q: Is this program a good fit for me?
A: If you’re new to foraging and you’re not sure where to begin — yes! This program is primarily designed for individuals with little or no experience gathering wild foods, with the objective of building up your confidence and skill level to the point where you can confidently identify, harvest, process, cook, and preserve some of the most common and abundant wild foods on your local landscape.
My area of expertise is in the plants of Eastern North America (as in, east of the Rockies), though if you’re located in the Pacific Northwest I’m sure I could still be of service. I will only be taking on students in North America, because I simply don’t know enough about the flora on other continents to be much help. If you’re in the American Southwest or far north in Canada, I am probably not the best teacher for you, because I don’t know much about those ecosystems, either.
Q: How is the program structured?
A: Each month from December 2018 through March 2019, we will arrange a time to connect via phone or Skype so I can help guide you through the process of learning about the plants in your area. Think of me as your tutor in a self-directed crash course on foraging this winter — the studying will be up to you in your free time between our calls, but I will be available to offer guidance and answer any questions you have along the way. Here’s how I envision the program running from month to month—of course this is all subject to change based on your needs and goals:
December: evaluate your knowledge, skill level and goals; review best practices for positive identification and ethical, sustainable harvesting; recommend books custom-tailored to your location.
January: review common wild plants found pretty much everywhere; Spring planning—what to look for & when & what to do with it; Q&A.
February: how to use field guides; review botanical jargon; Summer planning— gathering & preserving berries efficiently during the busiest time of year!; more Q&A.
March: Fall planning— processing & preserving fruits & nuts for winter; seed saving & propagation strategies; final Q&A.
Q: Will the program also cover wild mushrooms?
A: Mushroom hunting requires a specific skill set that is somewhat similar to foraging for edible plants, but positively identifying wild mushrooms can be much more complicated — and misidentifying mushrooms can lead to deadly consequences!
For that reason, this program will not include wild mushrooms. If you’re interested in learning the art of mushroom hunting, I can refer you to some good books, but I would highly recommend seeking out someone in your local area who can guide you in person. Remember: all mushrooms are edible, but some are only edible once! ;)
Q: Are you available for in-person consultations?
A: If you are located within a couple hours’ drive of me in southern Indiana, we may be able to arrange an in-person consultation as a supplement to the program. We can discuss this option once the program is under way.
Q: What if the program sucks and you suck as a teacher and I want my money back?
A: I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that! But if you’re unsatisfied with the services I provide and wish to bow out of the program, I will happily refund your money and find another student to fill your spot.
If you have any further questions before applying, please don’t hesitate to contact me!