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 & mushrooms including edible ones with lots of sampling and usually some gathering to take home.

Maple Sap, Tree ID, & Winter Wild Foods
Saturday, Feb 20 & Sunday, Feb 21
Takoma Park, MD (metro accessible)
Fee: $30/person

Exploring the suburban wilds of Takoma Park, learn how to tap maple trees and collect your own sap using several methods starting with just a pocket knife, a container, and some nature know-how. We'll also id maple and other trees, ID and sample several wild edible plants and some mushrooms and drink fresh sap from the tree. Walking around 1/2 mile on wet, muddy and/or snowy pathways, grassy areas, and some steep hills. Participants are required to wear facemasks (must be snug!) and we will be mindful of social distancing. Takoma Metro is 1 mile from meeting location.

Note: For the sap to run, temperatures need to be cold at night and warm during the day so there are no guarantees. Saturday is looking possible, Sunday is looking better. Nonetheless, you'll get to see the techniques for how to tap trees whether the sap cooperates or not.


Pay with Venmo $30 to @mattshabitats (let me know your email and specify which day) or pay with paypal: 

Saturday, Feb 20 from 2-4:30:

NEXT EVENTS: Depending on conditions, I might repeat the above walk this upcoming weekend.  I generally schedule public walks less than a week in advanced and most often on Saturdays, but sometimes Sundays. Private walks are available (scroll down) if you prefer to limit group size or do a walk on a weekday. Keep posted by getting on my mailing list.


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. If you register for a walk, be aware that we often come across poison ivy and occasionally ticks, mosquitoes, and stinging nettles. Other possible, but rarely encountered hazards include: bee/wasp stings, falling branches/trees, and venomous snakes.

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, work retreats, and family oriented walks.

My rate is generally $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. 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 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

Over the past ten years or more 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.

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.