Matthew Cohen -

Wild Foods & Nature Walks Gardens About Matt    

Want to deepen your connection to nature? Come out on a walk and learn to identify plants and mushrooms. And, discover that some are pretty tasty to eat!

Walks are in the Washington, DC metro area and geared toward adults. All walks will teach you how to identify lots of plants including edible ones. We will gather wild edibles only where allowed and sample edible native species only when abundant.


Saturday, Feb 22 - noon-3pm
Fee: $30/person

Sweet, yummy maple sap can be collected from many different maple species during mid-late winter. On this walk we'll come across four different species of maple: red, silver, sugar, and boxelder. We'll start by honing your winter tree identification skills so you can learn how to identify maples as well as a bunch of other trees. Once we got some maples identified, you'll learn a few different methods for collecting sap -- if the trees are cooperative we'll get to drink fresh sap straight from the trees! You'll also get to sample homemade tea made with sap and homemade maple syrup. I'll also touch on some of the other wild food plants that are starting to emerge. Walking around 1 mile, with some off-trail meanders and some spots with tricky footing.

Note: For the sap to run, temperatures need to be cold at night and warm during the day. The forecast looks decent, but there are no guarantees. Nonetheless, you'll get to see the techniques for how to tap trees whether the sap cooperates or not.


NEXT EVENTS: Most walks are on Saturdays and last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Walks are generally posted just a few days in advance. Keep posted by signing up for my email list or on Instagram.


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.

Please consider your ability to physically handle weather, trail conditions, and length of the walk before registering.

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. Be sure to add my email ( to your contacts list so my emails don't end up going to your spam box.

If a rain date is listed in the walk description, the walk will be rescheduled to the rain date if there is steady rain. I'll send out an email at least an hour and a half before the walk if that's the case. I don't offer refunds if the outing is rescheduled to the rain date, so keep the rain date open in your schedule. If there is no rain date or if the rain date is a washout, your payment will be refunded via paypal.

If there are less 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.

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 though 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).

I'm available for hire to lead walks for private groups such as a birthday celebration, scouts, homeschool groups, church groups, work retreats, etc.

For 1-3 people, my rate is $100 for the first hour plus $25 for each additional 1/2 hour plus my round-trip driving time. 

For groups of 3 or more, my rate is $150 for the first hour plus $30 each additional 1/2 hour, plus my round-trip driving time.

I can usually repeat the walk scheduled above for private groups but I am open to other topics (winter/summer tree id, mushroom identification, invasive vs native plants, etc) or locations you'd like to explore. Contact me at: to discuss and see if we can work something out.

I also am available for giving powerpoint 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.


March -- Last Day of Winter Walk
September -- Nuts!
October -- Mushroom ID
November -- Fall Fruits on the C&O Canal


"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 Cantori

"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

"We wanted to thank you again for a great learning experience on Sunday. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun. You will definitely see us again on a walk!" -- Matt S.

"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

Matt's walk was fantastic!  I'm so glad I went, even though it was hard to wake my body up that morning!  I really enjoyed seeing all of the spring ephemerals- most of these were flowers I had never seen before." -- Jessy

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

(c) 2006 Matthew Cohen. All photos by Matthew Cohen and Elizabeth Hargrave.

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