May we remember that plants are our food, medicine, friends, and teachers
“Hey Kim! I am incredibly grateful for the time we all got to spend together. Your energy is radiant and nourishing. The education you shared was something that I have been yearning for but what I appreciated most went beyond plant ID. I greatly valued your recognition and respect for your own ancestors as well as those Indigenous to the land around us.
Everything was so so amazing, from your respectful handout, the persimmon soda (bubbly magic), the twig ID, the side by side tree comparisons (Rock Chestnut Oak vs. Tulip Poplar), the observation of young and older species (Sweetgums and Sourwoods), and, of course the supremely delicious Forest Persimmon Cookies.
I cannot wait to dive into all of it, and begin experimenting with my own nut milks, flours, syrups, medicine, and more! I know your classes fill up fast, and truthfully I don’t want to hog space because everyone should get to experience your walks, but I do hope to attend another in the future. Take care!” ~Maggie
see here for more kind words and praise.
Would you like to re-awaken to the presence and gifts of the wild food and medicine growing all around you? Also known as “Planty” Kim, I have been sharing my love and knowledge of the plant world in a playful, reverent, and accessible way for the last 15 years:
Year-round Walks, Classes, & Workshops
Experience 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.
What to expect:
• plant and tree ID
• safe & sustainable foraging practices
• how to create delicious & nutritious wild food & beverages
• herbal medicine making skills
• a sense of community with fellow foragers
• beautiful and diverse outdoor learning locations
Find out about my upcoming walks and classes here, from half day dips to four month dives into the world of wild nourishment and healing. Here’s a sampling for the year…
Offered Annually (drop ins available for multiple day classes with space) :
• Spring Equinox Tree Ramble (1/2 day)
• Spring Edible & Medicinal Plants (5 consecutive weeks)
• Eat Wild Spring Foraging Workshops (1/2 days)
• Wild Spring Plant Ramble by Donation (3 hours)
• Spectacular Spring Tree Exploration (four 1/2 days over 4 months)
• Splendid Summer Tree Exploration (five consecutive evenings)
• Wild Summer Plant Ramble by Donation (3 hours)
• Fall Edible & Medicinal Plants (5 consecutive weeks)
• Fall Equinox Tree Ramble (1/2 day)
• Fantastic Fall Tree Exploration (four 1/2 days over 3 months)
• Eat Wild Fall Workshop (1/2 day)
• Wild Autumn Plant Ramble by Donation (3 hours)
• Creating Herbal Holiday Delights (3 hours)
• Wild Winter Plant Ramble by Donation (3 hours)
Personalized Wild Plant Explorations
I delight in creating customized wild plant-centered experiences for individuals, families, home school groups, camps, neighborhoods, non-profits, and businesses. Let’s meet, eat, and drink some of the hundreds of medicinal and edible plant friends growing wild all around us. On a leisurely walk we can sustainably gather from the plants and trees to create an herbal tea or wild food to enjoy together. My most popular personalized plant experience is for folks curious about what wild food and medicine is growing in their own backyard, land, or neighborhood. I can come help you identify and safely appreciate some of your free forageable flora during these “Wild Plant Rambles” ranging from 2 hours to longer learning journeys.
Other past examples of custom plant explorations include: hosting fieldtrips for Meredith College’s graduate nutrition program and NC State’s plant biology program, leading a Mother’s Day neighborhood plant walk for a group of moms in Raleigh (a gift from their kids), and speaking at mini winter wellness workshops over lunch for a local nonprofit sharing herbal approaches for health (with lots of samping homemade tinctures, syrups, and other DIY plant medicines).
A personalized wild plant ramble is a unique way to celebrate a special person, event, or holiday. For more information on customized plant explorations including times and fees, please contact me directly.
My Approach and Experience
Growing up I was blessed to dig up sassafras roots to make nourishing teas with my great-grandmother Rena Midgett on the Outer Banks and began 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 healing 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 quarterly plant classes at Central Carolina Community College 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. More details on my plant learning journey here.
The Power of Plants
We humans have evolved with the plants, and our lives are completely interdependent. Wherever our families originated on this astounding earth, plants were our original medicine. According to the World Health Organization, a majority of the planet’s peoples still use herbal remedies as their primary health care and medicine. Many U.S. Americans were still connected to this wisdom just a few generations ago: my great-grandmother Bessie Farmer raised and healed her 15 children using folk medicine she learned from her Native, Black, and European ancestors as well as the support of other working class folks in her rural eastern NC community. I believe safe and sustainable foraging skills are a foundational component of resilient local food and health systems. It is a great joy to support my community in respectful remembering of these ancient and sacred relationships with our plant kin.