The Wild Food & Medicinal Herb CSA (Community Supported Awareness) provides hands-on education for those who want to connect more intimately with their local landscapes and move towards more sustainable practices with respect to food and medicine. Learn how to safely use abundant local plants for food and medicine, experience your local bioregion more intimately, and join a greater community to share knowledge about ethical wildcrafting. To find out more, scroll down or use the quick links below:

The Unexpected Treasures in Your Local Landscape
What Plants Are We Talking About?
How the CSA Works
Upcoming CSAs
Wild Food & Medicinal Herb Slide Show

The Unexpected Treasures in Your Local Landscape

IMG_1736The Wild Food & Medicinal Herb CSA is about getting to know your neighborhood and community with a different eye. Our local landscapes provide abundance all around us, we have just forgotten or just do not have time to stop and see what is at our feet.
Imagine that instead of clearing those spring weeds out of your garden with a furrowed brow, you extended your gratitude for their presence and harvested them as a nutrient-dense addition to pesto, salad or soup. Could you believe that the impassible Manzanita hedge in your neighborhood could actually provide a local and tasty source of vitamin C supplementation all winter long? Even something as dreaded as blackberry roots can be turned into a resource when recognized for its medicinal value. And don’t forget about all those acorns piling up under the oaks! With a little education and hands-on practice, you can stop ordering your expensive super foods from south of the equator and allow your local landscape to nourish your core.
We believe by gaining these skills, our community members will become more self-sufficient by relying on local plants to meet some of the basic needs of everyday life. In addition, this practice will more intimately connect individuals with the flora and fauna of our local environment, and therefore increase the commitment to responsible stewardship of our precious natural resources in Nevada County.

What Plants are We Talking About?

IMG_0240We are advocating for the use of plants that are widely abundant, underused, and those that are easy to grow with minimal resources in our sierra foothill region. Our harvests include native, invasive, naturalized, and cultivated plants that grow readily in our local landscapes and are commonly found in large quantities. They are ethically collected from farms and other private land holdings.
Modern history has taught us that natural resources do not come in a limitless supply, free for the taking. Harvesting is a thoughtful practice that, when done ethically, does not deplete precious resources but rather encourages healthy growth. It often means leaving delicious or highly medicinal plants alone, because the population is not strong enough to tolerate harvesting of even one plant. It may also involve the complete removal of an invasive (but useful) plant population from a critical area where desired natives are in danger of being out-competed. The practice of ethical harvesting is complex, and ultimately, ethical harvesting is really about land stewardship.  It involves a relationship of give and take, deep gratitude, recognition of the greater ecosystem, and the know-how and commitment to help cultivate healthy landscapes for the future.
Watch a slide-show of some local plants that can be used as food and medicine.

How the CSA Works

wild csaWe use the familiar term ‘CSA’ because like a farm CSA, we are asking community members to commit for a period of time over the Spring or Fall harvest season. Not only will you enjoy a spectrum of nature’s bounty over the season, but the structure also provides an opportunity to build your plant identification and processing skills. By the end of the session, you will have processed a variety of plants into food and medicine and will have the confidence to further develop these skills on your own.
Unlike the traditional CSA, you’ll do more than just pick up your produce and take it home. In this model of Community Supported Awareness, education is a primary component. At each distribution, participants will engage in a 90 minute session of hands on learning, which includes an introduction to each of the plants, identification tips, a review of some traditional and modern uses, and then process the plants as a group into food or medicine. You will leave with step by step recipes for any additional processing that needs to happen at home.
Please note that the CSA meets for an extended period of time for the first distribution to provide an overview of the practice of wild foods and home-scale herbal medicine. This introductory session will provide you with a strong foundation for your CSA experience and help maximize your learning over the course of the season.
Watch a slide show of one of our Spring CSAs.
Rachel and Matt, thank you for a truly inspiring class. I have been drinking fir tip, bee balm and dogwood tea from my own backyard and I feel like my eyes have really been opened to the endless possibilities that wild crafting offers. Kate F, Wild Food & Medicine CSA
Rachel and Matt- incredible..the amount of knowledge you effortlessly packed into three sessions with us. It was a great group. You are such great guides and teachers. I wish we were still meeting, so much to learn and explore in the wild!  Corey H, Wild Food & Medicine CSA

Upcoming CSAs

Twild food potluckhe next Wild Food & Medicine CSA : Dates TBA
Location: 5 minutes from downtown Nevada City
There are three distributions, every other week:
First meeting: 5pm7pm, includes Introduction to Wild Food & Herbal Medicine, plus 1st CSA distribution
Second meeting: 5:30 -7:00 pm
Third meeting: 5:30 – 7pm, followed by wild dessert & drink potluck


1 Comment

3 Edible Weeds | sierragardens · April 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm

[…] get hands on with local experts and treat yourself and your family to the Wild Food and Medicine CSA??taught by Sierra Harvest’s own Rachel […]