Wild Things: A Year of Wild Food & Medicine (Year Two) 2021

Welcome to Wild Things: A Year of Wild Food & Medicine (Year 2). During this second 8 month journey together we will be deepening our exploration of the wonderful wild herbs growing all around us. We will continue our reflective practice on the importance of sustainable harvesting practices & low impact foraging, whilst delving deeper into the world of botany, ecology & sensory herbalism.

Year 2 encourages you to build on your existing knowledge from the first year of the course & to gain confidence to apply what you have learned. Like year one, our classroom sessions will be made up of a mixture of theoretical & practical activities, & we will be visiting seven new habitats on our virtual herb walks including the seashore, taking our eyes off the ground and looking up at the trees, and rooting around in the mycelial networks of fungi. The combination of theory and practice will grow confidence in medicine making & your personal relationship with our herbal allies.

We will celebrate some of the many herbal traditions that make use of wild weeds around us, and aim to foster a culture of self & community empowerment & sufficiency, which respects diversity as well as common understanding.

As with the first year, this follow up course is about re-connection & about building sustainable, healthful practices through a deepening relationship with our local ecosystems.

The plants that are covered on this course are those that are common and abundant in the Northern British Isles. While the theoretical elements and practical remedy making sessions will be applicable wherever you are, we suggest this course will fit best for people living in the British Isles or in a similar climate. 

About Grass Roots Remedies Co-operative

We are an Edinburgh & Glasgow based workers' cooperative whose central philosophy is that herbal medicine is the medicine of the people and should be accessible to everyone. We offer a series of practical courses and workshops, run the low cost Wester Hailes Community Herbal Medicine Clinic, the North Edinburgh Community Herbal Clinic, and produce simple resources to enable folks to practice herbalism at home.

For more information check out our website here:

Course Outcomes

  • Build onto knowledge of plant, algae and fungi species and wider families
  • Improve botanical identification skills
  • Virtually visit a range of habitats in and around Edinburgh to deepen an understanding of the plant communities and ecological niches in various localities
  • Reflect on ecological harvesting techniques and connect personal practice to wider social and environmental issues
  • Try out recipes and build confidence in remedy making towards a home medicine chest
  • Continue to develop and deepen a sensory approach to herbal medicine
  • Gain insight into the edible and medicinal properties of common British plants, with a deeper focus on the properties of chosen favourites
  • Gain insight into the edible and medicinal properties of common British fungi & seaweeds
  • Deepen your understanding of herbal actions and therapeutics through exemplary case studies for home ailments


  • This is an intermediate level course which relies on some prior knowledge. Participants will have either attended  the in person or online version of Wild Things: A Year of Wild Food & Medicine (Year 1), or have a foundation knowledge in the following:
  • beginners botany, taxonomy & principles of ecology
  • the basic methods of practical remedy making such as infusions, decoctions, herbal syrups, ointments, aromatic waters, folk method tinctures & infused vinegars
  • edible & medicinal properties of some of our common British plants & their main biochemical constituents
  • familiarity with herbal actions
  • sustainable harvesting methods, drying & processing herbs
  • using a sensory approach to learning about herbs & their actions in the body (or an interest in finding out more about this approach)

Course Format

This course consists of 15 fortnightly sessions spanning from March to October to cover a range of seasons. Each fortnight we will release a new session which alternate between 'indoor' theoretical content mixed with practical remedy making skills & sensory herbal tea tastings, and 'outdoor' virtual plant walks exploring the common and abundant plants of that season. In total there are 8 'indoor' sessions and 7 'outdoor' sessions.

Each session comes with a guided sensory tea tasting - we will post 15 'mystery herbs' out to you at the start of the course to explore with us over the 8 months. The course handbook covers another 40 common species including fungi & algae (seaweeds). This brings the total of herbs covered to 80.

To create some opportunities to share with other students and receive support from the tutors, we also offer a private Wild Things Facebook group, and two Zoom Socials - one in the middle and one at the end of the course.

  • Handbook - Another 40 Herbs By Season of Harvesting, Herbal Action, Body System & Suitable Preparations'
  • 15 in depth herb monographs covering Plant ID, Parts Used, Edibility & Nutrition, Constituents, Medicinal actions & Therapeutics, Uses, History & Folklore, Preparations, Growing and Harvesting
  • 7 virtual video herb walks following the seasons
  • Classroom sessions. A selection of the content is: Herbalism in Context, Philosophy of Herbal Medicine, Herbal Energetics, Deepening Ecology, Permaculture, Seaweeds, Trees, Herbal Actions & Therapeutics, Respiratory Herbs, Digestive Herbs, Immune Herbs, Mycology & Medicinal Mushrooms, Herbal Medicine Chest
  • Practical Tutorials on: Sensory Tastings, Seaweed Gels, Creams, Glycerites, Fermentation, Spore Prints & more.
  • 15 'Mystery' herbs posted out to you for sensory herb tastings 

    Dates for Content Release for the 2021 Course
    Content will be released roughly fortnightly starting in March 2021 until October 2021 (with a few weeks break around Midsummer)

    1. Indoor Session 1 - Monday 1st March 
    2. Herb Walk 1 - Monday 15th March
    3. Indoor Session 2 - Monday 29th March
    4. Herb Walk 2 - Monday 12th April
    5. Indoor Session 3 - Monday 26th April
    6. Herb Walk 3 - Monday 10th May
    7. Indoor Session 4 - Monday 7th June
    8. Midway Zoom Social - tbc
    9. Herb Walk 4 - Monday 5th July
    10. Indoor  Session 5 - Monday 19th July
    11. Herb Walk 5 - Monday 2nd August
    12. Indoor Session 6 - Monday 16th August
    13. Herb Walk 6 - Monday 30th August
    14. Indoor Session 7 - Monday 13th September
    15. Herb Walk 7 - Monday 27th September
    16. Indoor Session 8 - Monday 11th October
    17. End of Course Zoom Social - tbc

      An Extra Offering for 2021...

      New to 2021 we are offering the option of increased flexibility:

      - full access to the Online Course & attendance at 7 in person herb walks in Edinburgh for an extra £80 on top of Online course fees.

      This creates the opportunity for those close by to the city of Edinburgh
      to have a blended option - study at home at your own pace and come and meet the plants and other students in person on COVID-aware outdoor herb walks.

      Dates for 2021 In Person Walks

      1. Saturday March 20th Dalkeith Country Park
      2. Thursday April 15th Urban Wasteland - pioneers and ephemerals location tbc.
      3.  Thursday May 13th Tree Walk location tbc.
      4. Thursday 8th July Seaweed Foray with Dr Greg Kenicer, North Berwick (date tbc as depends on tide times)
      5. Thursday 5th August Heathland Walk, Pentland Hills
      6. Thursday 2nd September
      7. Saturday 2nd October Fungi Foray, location tbc.

      To book this, look out for the 'add ons' while enrolling at the bottom of the page.

      • “Wild things two has been another brilliant year of learning and discovery, I feel that this course has deepened my connection to and understanding of the environment we live in and have enjoyed meeting new plants and people. The course as well as being practical and hands on has also given me a growing awareness of the health of our bodies, community and environment and how to take ownership of that in an empowering and forward looking way. Ally and Soraya are thoughtful and sensitive teachers with knowledge and insight to share and seem to be enjoying the journey with us as much as all of us enjoying it with them.”

        — Participant of Wild Things Year Two 2018 (In Person) Course
      • I loved it! A really supportive space to work with the plants in real-life, in the world, and with sensitive and skillful facilitation and input. Thank you!

        — Participant of Wild Things Year Two 2018 (In Person) Course
      • “Ally and Soraya are very welcoming and I have always appreciated their interactive and inclusive approach on their courses and workshops about wild plants and herbalism. They present topics in an illustrative way and break them down so everyone can understand them, no matter what your level is. I would like to thank them for facilitating a lovely space for plant lovers as well as sharing their knowledge and skills over the past two years. It was a joy and delight to be part of the journey.

        — Participant of Wild Things Year Two 2018 (In Person) Course

      How Much Does It Cost?

      The Course has four options for pricing, offered on a sliding scale i.e. you pay a price in keeping with your ability to pay. They range from £220 to £550:

      Option 1 - £220   (limited places available) 

      Option 2 - £350

      Option 3 - £450

      Option 4 - £550 

      Add on - £80 extra for attending the 7 herb walks in person

      Why do we use a sliding scale?

      Our core aim in Grass Roots Remedies Co-operative is to try and make herbal knowledge, skills & consultations accessible to everyone. As well as running herb walks, courses & workshops we also provide a community clinic in Wester Hailes, South West Edinburgh which runs by donation to local people (the only one of its kind in Scotland), and a sliding scale community clinic in Granton, North Edinburgh both of which have free workshops running alongside them.

      We use a sliding scale in our workshops and courses: a sliding scale is a mechanism where people pay different fees according to their income, so that services can be made accessible to as many people as possible, and folk are less financially excluded. A sliding scale means that everyone pays a similar proportion of their income for the same service. This increases access for people who are systemically excluded from participating in community activities such as people of colour, people with disabilities or health conditions, immigrants, women-led groups, LGBTQ* & working class communities.

      By paying a higher rate on the scale if you can afford it, you are enabling us to carry out our core work of providing free and low cost education & herbal consultations in areas of deprivation. We really appreciate your continuing support.

      How much should I pay?

      We acknowledge that the average annual full-time salary in Scotland is roughly £20,000 but there are many other factors which determine how much expendable income and financial security folks have. Below are some guidelines to inform which course fee is most appropriate for your situation. We appreciate that everyone’s situation is different and this is a guideline only. We won’t ask for any proof of your personal circumstances and trust each person to judge for themselves which price feels right for you.

      For example, if you are purchasing a £220 place you may:

      - have access to benefits or are employed but have very limited expendable income 

      -have limited savings and/or limited access to any financial support from others 

      - be a carer and/or have dependents 

      - have no recourse to public funds                                               

      -have chronic health issues which impact your financial security

      For example, if you are purchasing a £550 place you may:

      - be able to comfortably meet your basic needs, have savings and an expendable income

      -any debt that you have doesn’t impact your daily life                   

      - own property, or comfortably rent a property

      - own a car and can afford fuel                                                      

      - be able to afford to go on holidays

      Table of Contents

      An Extra Offering for 2021..
      Recommended Reading
      Session 1: March
      Introduction to the Course
      Personal Plant Study
      Radicalising Herbal History
      Introduction to Herbal Energetics
      Mystery Herb Number 1
      Mystery Herb Number 2
      Herb Walk 1: March
      Herb Walk 1
      Mystery Herb Number 3
      Session 2: April
      Deepening Ecology
      Mystery Herb Number 4
      Personal Plant Study

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How long do I have access to the course?

      Students for 2021 will have access to all of the course materials until 31st December 2021. The content from each session is available to download and keep.

      What is your refund policy?

      If you have booked onto the course but have changed your mind we can fully refund minus a 5% transaction fee up until 26th February 2021. No refunds can be given after this date.

      I still have a question, how can I contact you?

      We are happy to answer any questions you might have. Send us an email at

      I'm pregnant, breastfeeding or have a medical condition. Is this course safe for me?

      One key component of the course is our guided sensory herbal tea tastings - we will post out 15 mystery herbs at the start of the course and provide you with guidance on meeting them with all of your senses. For each herb we will provide any contraindications in advance so you can decide for yourself if it is suitable for you to taste them or not. If you have any questions about this, you'll be able to check in with us, and there's no pressure to taste any of them. We will provide full monographs on each herb afterwards anyway.

      I live outside of the British Isles, is this course suitable for me?

      The plants that are covered on this course are those that are common and abundant in the Northern British Isles. While the theoretical elements and practical remedy making sessions will be applicable wherever you are, we suggest this course will fit best for people living in the British Isles or in a similar climate.
      If you live outside the British Isles we will not be able to post the 15 Mystery Herbs to you. You are welcome to join this course and explore these in your own way.

      When are enrollments open?

      We open enrollments for the course usually around November of the year before the course starts in March. If you'd like to be notified of when enrollment is available, sign up below or email us at

      Join Us Here
      Enrollment is open until 1st April 2021

      (Please note - this form enrolls you into our Online Course. If you would like to sign up to the Attended Course please visit our website

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