Nettles Harvest Walk

Learn all about the wonderful benefits of nettles (urtica dioica)

  • Promotes circulation
  • Prevents kidney stones
  • Anti-inflamitory
  • Promotes bone and joint health
  • Treats respiratory issues
  • Lowers blood pressure and relieves tension
  • Reduces severity of acne...

...and it tastes delicious! Oh, and it's super abundant in the Santa Cruz area right now. We'll harvest enough to process (no more sting!) and take home so you have some to make soups, stews, stir-frys and whatever else you want to make with this amazing spring green.

Join a local foraging expert on a hike in the redwoods, pines, creek sides and chaparral ecosystems. We'll learn about wild-food harvesting techniques, recipes and medicines. These classes are really fun and interactive! 

PLEASE BRING GLOVES and a BAG for nettles. Processing will happen at a private home on the westside in Santa Cruz. 

ITINERARY

12:30pm Meet at Kelly's French Bakery at 402 Ingalls St. (or other designated meeting place sent in confirmation email) in Santa Cruz for introductions, logistics and route talk. We'll carpool to the trailhead and walk less than 3 miles. At some point on the trail, we'll enjoy some foraged snacks. Classes are approx. 4 hours including processing nettles. 

Price: $85 (kids under 12 $55)

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What to expect & bring

Please Bring hiking boots/sturdy sneakers. Trails can be muddy. There are hills but nothing long and steep. Bring layers, it can get chilly. Bring gloves and a bag for nettles. Long pants for hiking (and poison oak!) and a full waterbottle are recommended. **Optional** - sunhat, sunglasses, rain jacket, camera, hiking poles and paper/reusable (not plastic) bag for harvesting

Is previous experience necessary?

No outdoor experience is necessary. If you are in reasonably good shape and have the desire and enthusiasm to learn, you will do fine. Our expert leader will give a thorough overview of the route and best practices for the activities. We recommend hiking uphill as training, but it's not required!

What will we be foraging for?

Depending on season, weather, ecosystem, trail and natural shifts in nature, species will vary from hike to hike. Definitely nettles and spring greens. Otherwise: November-March: mushrooms. Spring: greens, shoots, etc. Summer: berries, seeds. Autumn: acorns, nuts/seeds, bark. Whatever is ripe and available!

Important details

Please note we'll be trying new foods for the first time after positively identifying them which means you could have an unknown allergy. If you're nervous about this, we encourage you to just try a tiny bit! Though we've never had an allergic reaction to any KNOWN and POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED species, it's always a possibility.