Wild Food Weekend

Date: May 31 – June 2, 2019

Location: Elderberry’s in Paonia, CO

With CSCH Botany Director Kat Mackinnon and Herbalist/Author Briana Wiles

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” ~ John Muir

Join us for a weekend of foraging, crafting, and connecting with your wildness! Author Briana Wiles and Kat Mackinnon, herbalist, botanist, and ancestral skills teacher are our guides for this down-in-the-dirt Spring workshop. Along with the recipes and methods for turning wild plants into delicious fare, we’ll be going into the botany, stories, sustainable harvesting techniques, and ecology of the more common feral foods of the Western Slope. We’ll be making ash cakes and savory salads, as well as gathering containers for bringing home your spring time bounty!

Our workshop begins Friday night with an opening circle, talk and potluck that is free and open to the public! Come learn about the importance of connecting with our wild and naturalized foods. Bring your favorite dish to share (please label ingredients). We’ll also have a few wild foods available to taste!

On Saturday we’ll begin with exercises designed to drop you into the landscape and begin connecting with the plants. Throughout the day we’ll be foraging and preparing for the Saturday night wild foods feast, gathering together all the wild treats (come prepared to get dirty-foraging means getting in the muck!). The feast itself will be hands-on, with participants learning how to cook ash cakes and cattail flowers, how to make a foraged soup using the rock boil method, and of course, creating fantastic wild salads! Music, stories, and tea around the fire for dessert.

Sunday morning we’ll explore preserving your wild harvest, including techniques for making storage and gathering containers from local materials like Willow and bark baskets.

Come for the knowledge, stay for the food!


  • Workshop
    • General Public: $249
    • Current CSCH Student: $199

Want to attend, but can’t afford the whole workshop? Sign up for Saturday only at a discounted rate by calling Elderberry’s at 720-722-4372.


About The Teachers

“I call these two the Wild Foods Dream Team. It would be hard to find a more skilled, enthusiastic, and fun pair of teachers with intimate knowledge of Western slope edible and medicinal plants. Not only do they understand the health and nutrition benefits of cooking with wild plants, they also know how to make them delicious!” ~ Lisa Ganora, Director, Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

Kat Mackinnon

Kat is a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, as well as a certified Bach flower essences practitioner through the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism and a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalists Guild. Previously, Kat studied Forestry at the University of Arizona, and ancestral skills with Tom Brown’s Tracker School. She currently works as the Botany course director,  and faculty for the Fundamentals and Advanced programs at the CSCH. Kat also has her own clinical practice and runs Meet the Green, through which she teaches classes on herbalism and primitive skills. Check out her blog at meetthegreen.com.

Briana Wiles

Briana Wiles is an herbalist, author, and wild plants expert. She teaches classes on foraging and medicinal plants. Briana also runs Rooted Apothecary, in Crested Butte, CO,  which offers bulk herbs, herbal remedies, and her own line of body-care products made with foraged botanicals. Visit her online at rooted-apothecary.com.

Briana is the author of  Mountain States Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 100 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness, newly released in March of 2018, and Mountain States Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Alpine Sorrel to Wild Hops.