wellness for body and Earth
Healthy Holidays Herbal Wellness Dinnertasting wood sorrel at Clapping Hands Farm

herbalism & wild foods

“Upon reflection, I realize that I seem to distrust eating things I find in nature. I think it's been hammered into me that food from the store is safer and cleaner, and plants in nature are "unknown," dirty and potentially harmful. Which, I guess is true to a point. That's why joining you on your walk was so enjoyable....almost an epiphany.
~plant walk participant

Give the gift of a wild plant backyard ramble!
Buy online and receive a beautiful gift certificate via email or snailmail. 

Bodywork Gift Certificate

2-hour personalized walk $150 


MAY YOU REMEMBER that plants are our food, friends, medicine, and teachers.

The Power of Plants

wild spring greensWe cannot live without plants. Whether we are conscious of it or not, our food (including animals), our clothing, shelter, even the air we breathe, are gifts from the plant world. Plants are one of the oldest forms of medicine. A majority of Earth’s peoples still use herbal remedies as their primary health care and medicine, and many U.S. Americans were still connected to this wisdom just a few generations ago.

There are natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals, processed foods, and doctor visits for minor ailments, and some of them are growing wild in your backyard, local fields, woods, even in the cracks in the sidewalks! Would you like to re-awaken to the presence and benefits of the green allies growing all around you?

My Approach and Experience

Also known as “Planty” Kim, I share my love and knowledge of the natural world in a playful, reverent, and accessible way for folks of all ages. Growing up, I was blessed to dig up sassafras roots to make cleansing teas with my great-grandmother Rena Midgett, and begin learning the gifts of the trees from my granddad D.A. Calhoun and father, Dempsy Calhoun.

One of my earliest healing memories is of my mother, Karen, using the leaf from an aloe vera plant growing in our home to treat a burn on my body—as a small child that made a huge impression on me. As an adult, plant medicine gained my full confidence when, living in Ghana, West Africa, I was successfully cured of malaria by medicines my host family made from the Neem tree.

My nine year apprenticeship with respected herbalist Suki Roth at Herb Haven deeply informed my wisdom of our plant allies. Frank Cook, a global emissary and educator of the plants, continues to inspire my relationship with the green world.

I was blessed to facilitate plant classes at Central Carolina Community College every spring and fall from 2011-2016. From 2009 - 2013 I had the pleasure to co-lead a biannual Wild Walkabout with my friend Leif Diamant at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Music & Dance Festival.  Thanks to Abundance NC for helping me kick off my DIY plant medicine workshops back in 2008. And what an honor to offer tree classes for several years at the UNC Botanical Garden. Stay tuned for the re-launch of my popular Back to Our Roots Women's Herbal Immersion.

My Wild Food & Herbalism Offerings

Seasonal Workshops, Classes, Immersions

Spring Equinox tree walkExperience a sense of joy, wonder, and connection as the “green wall” is demystified and the plants and trees you see every day come alive with their names, stories, smells, tastes, and uses. Check out the events page for a calendar and details of my upcoming workshops, classes, and immersions; from half day dips to four month dives into the world of wild nourishment and healing. 


Customized Plant Explorations

I delight in creating customized plant-centered experiences for schools, home school groups, camps, community groups, non-profits, businesses, personal residences, and festivals.

Let's meet, eat and drink some of the 100+ medicinal and edible plant friends growing wild all around us.  On a leisurely walk, we can gather plant friends to create a tea or other herbal preparation to enjoy together. 

Meredith College nutrition workshop at AHA sanctuary

For example, the last few summers I have happily hosted a class from Meredith College's graduate nutrition program in which we spent half a day together: taking an edible and medicinal plant walk, harvesting wild greens for a lunch and herbs for tea, and creating an echinacea tincture. Other customized explorations have included a Mother's Day Neighborhood Walk for a group of moms in Raleigh as a gift from their kids, and brown bag lunch mini-wellness workshop series for a local nonprofit in which we discussed herbal approaches for winter health including lots of samping homemade tinctures, syrups, and other plant medicines.

Depending on group size I may host you at my home. We can also meet at local park or I can come to your yarden (a travel fee may be necessary). There is a gift certificate for a 2-hour personalized wild plant ramble in the top right corner of this page. For more information, please contact me directly.

honeysuckle flower infusion

Testimonials

“Hi Kim, We thoroughly enjoyed our plant walk on Saturday!!! We ate redbuds and made wysteria flower water later in the day! The girls were careful to speak to the plants and say "please and thank you." :-) Upon reflection, I realize that I seem to distrust eating things I find in nature. I think it's been hammered into me that food from the store is safer and cleaner, and plants in nature are "unknown," dirty and potentially harmful. Which, I guess is true to a point. That's why joining you on your walk was so enjoyable....almost an epiphany.” 

“Hi Kim, Thanks for a delightful experience. I love your whole presentation, and the obvious love you feel for the plants! Lots of information painlessly delivered. Easy to remember and assimilate. And oh my! That Wild Greens Pesto was SOO Good! ~Joy Gardner

"Whether on a herb walk or in a herbal workshop, Kim's deep connection to the plant world will fill you with wonder and nourish all your senses." ~Suki Roth, Community Herbalist

“Kim Calhoun is a very magical and gifted naturalist who connects wonderfully with young people.” ~Catherine Deininger

“Kim Calhoun knows how to celebrate our Piedmont habitats, joining exuberance with scholarship cultivated from all over North Carolina and beyond. A true Chatham native, Kim Calhoun has a rare depth of botanical and ethnographic knowledge from both traditional and academic sources. This course should be taken in every season.” ~George Pauly

Kim has conducted several workshops for my students over the years. She does a wonderful job at tailoring each one to the needs of the students and our educational goals. Her workshops are thoroughly planned, engaging, and hands on. Kim possesses a natural ability to connect with all types of learners and has a knack for making people feel comfortable and welcome and, thus, ready to learn. Her workshops are fascinating and fun. After each workshop, I’ve had students tell me that it was the “best educational field trip they’ve ever experienced.” ~Bill Landis, PhD, RD, Meredith College

Planty Kim's Famous Wild Greens Pesto Recipe

Delicious and nutritious pesto year round! (PDF)