Wild Foods Nature Walks

Learn to ID plants & mushrooms in season & discover the wonders of nature in the DC area.


UPCOMING WALKS

CLICK HERE to get email notifications for upcoming walks. I generally schedule public walks at least twice a month, most often on Saturday mornings. I usually post them less than a week in advance. Private walks are available too (scroll down). Email me at matt@mattshabitats.com if you have questions or want more information.


Summer Tree Identification

Saturday, July 31 -- 9:30am-noon

Wheaton, MD

Fee: $30/person

On this walk, you'll learn various ways to identify trees including leaves, fruits, bark, growth patterns, and buds. We should come across various maple and oak species, sycamore, beech, river birch, kentucky coffee tree, tulip poplar, black locust, black walnut, and more. You'll learn about various uses of the trees and their connections with the rest of the natural world. We will also touch on some other plants including some edibles. Walking up to 2.5 miles mostly on paved trails and grassy areas.

BEFORE REGISTERING, SCROLL DOWN TO READ WALK INFO/POLICIES BELOW.

IMPORTANT WALK INFORMATION & POLICIES

EATING AND COLLECTING WILD EDIBLES

All walks include the opportunity to sample wild edibles, often including wild foods I prepare ahead of time. Not all walks include collecting plants or mushrooms to take home -- it will depend on species abundance and park rules.

NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS

All purchases are final and not refundable. I don't give credits for future walks, but you can transfer your payment to another person and have them attend in your place.

HAZARDS

Please consider your ability to physically handle weather, trail conditions, and length of the walk before registering. We often come across poison ivy. Occasionally there'll be ticks, mosquitoes, stinging nettles, and stinging wasps/bees. Other hazards such as falling branches/trees and venomous snakes are extremely unlikely, but possible.

DIRECTIONS WILL BE EMAILED

After you register for a walk, you'll receive an email the day before the walk with details including directions. If you don't, please contact me (matt@mattshabitats.com).

RAIN DATES AND CANCELLATIONS

I generally will cancel a walk if steady rain is expected. I'll send out an email at least an hour and a half before the walk to let you know. If a rain date is listed in the walk description, keep it open in your schedule. If there is no rain date or if the rain date is also a washout, your payment will be refunded via PayPal.

If there are fewer than 8 signups for a particular event, I may cancel it. If you registered, I'll notify you and your payment will be refunded via PayPal.

CAN I BRING MY DOG/CHILD?

I don't allow dogs on my walks. As far as children, that's a maybe. Walks posted above are tailored toward adults. I don't encourage folks to register children under 10 although some kids have done fine. Sometimes parents have had to leave early or spent more time with their child than learning with the group. I do frequently lead private walks oriented toward children (see below).


PRIVATE WALKS

I'm available for hire to lead walks for private groups. I've done them as birthday celebrations, work retreats, family outings, home-school groups, and people who want a personalized tour of a specific area. Sometimes we do a walk similar to my public walks, and sometimes we've focused on more specific topics.

My fee is generally $175 for the first hour and a half for up to 8 participants. Add $25 for each additional participant. Add $25 for each half hour. Driving time from Silver Spring, MD to the walk location might add to my fee.

Contact me at: matt@mattshabitats.com to discuss and see if we can work something out.


PRESENTATIONS

I also am available for giving presentations to groups (garden clubs, nature enthusiasts, etc) on wild edible plants and/or mushrooms. This is a fun way to "armchair" forage and pique interest in what wild foods can be found locally throughout the year. My rate is generally $150 for a 1-hour presentation. During the pandemic, these will be done remotely via zoom.

"I have taken so much of what I learned from you on my own hikes and have shared the knowledge with my family and friends. Thank you!!!" -- Renee C.

"The foraging was a GREAT birthday present. Matt was really good. I learned so much and have many new things to eat!" -- Adam S.

"Matt is knowledgeable and was fantastic communicating with our group which spanned about 6 decades in age." -- Sidra F.

"We cannot thank you enough for your awesome guidance at the Nature Club. The kids (and parents) learned an incredible amount in such a short time. Our daughter has been scouring our yard for edible plants ever since! You are a skilled teacher and I hope we can tap into your knowledge again in the future!" -- Parent from a private walk

"My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed your back yard edibles tour. She was bouncy all day long and we've been eating great salads enhanced with stuff from our yard." -- Kimbra & Ellie

"Over the past ten years my children and I have had the great opportunity to learn from Matt. His walks have brought a deeper understanding of the local habitats and ecosystems of our urban and suburban wilderness. Learning to identify, and ethically harvest mushrooms and edible plants as well as tapping our local maple and birch trees for spring tonics brought great connections to the plants and fungi in our area. We highly recommend his excellent forays and hope others will join in on the fun!" --Kerstin Z.


PRESS

DCist -- Review of Spring Wild Edibles Walk

Washingtonian -- Mushroom Foraging

NPR -- Pawpaws

Washington Post Express -- Pawpaws

Key words: Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, foraging, wild edibles, mushrooms, fungi, eat, food, urban foraging