Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pony Pasture Foraging Tour

I will be leading my first official wild food tour on Saturday, May 26th at 3:00pm at pony pasture rapids in the James river park system. We will meet in the parking lot at 7200 Riverside Dr. Richmond VA 23225. (From Forest hill and Hathaway rd, follow the brown park system signs for pony pasture rapids until you come to a large parking area.) There will be no fee for this tour, as I am still learning myself.

On this tour I will discuss reasons for foraging including survival, culinary exploration, frugality and sustainability. I will teach you how to identify and use common weeds you would find in your yard or garden like wood sorrel, plantain, garlic mustard, ground ivy, clover and more as well as some sought after wild plants like lambs quarters and stinging nettle. I will go over food uses and medicinal uses for all plants as well as any other purpose they may serve.

If you are interested in participating in this tour, please RSVP to if I have many RSVPs, I may split the group into two different tour times. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think may be interested.

Long pants and shoes with socks are recommended, as is proper protection from sun and bugs. Please bring water for yourself and family, and heavy duty gardening gloves if you have them.


  1. it is illegal to collect plants & stuff out of the james river park system.

  2. I'm looking into that, not finding anything. I've sent an inquiry to the James river park system regarding this and the matter of pesticide and herbicide use. I will post their response when it comes. Do you have a specific law you could site?
    You should know that sustainable harvesting is extremely important to me and is one of the first things I cover in my tours. I strongly discourage the removal of any plant that is not weedy and abundant, and I do not harvest in a way that would kill an entire plant when I can help it, I also make a point of spreading seed and encouraging growth whenever I can. My purpose is mostly to educate people about the types of plants they may find around them so they can harvest from their own properties or areas where there would be little impact.

  3. Here is the response from the JRPS:
    The park does use herbicides. The predominant chemical is glyphosate (Round Up), but other more persistent types are also used. In either case, the impact is the same for you: collecting of plants is strictly forbidden. You may not forage in the JRPS.
    To note have such a regulation would open the park to the kind of wholesale plant theft that we had when the park first opened. It has take us decades to re-introduce species. You may eat berries and fruit and nuts while you are in the park, but not collect bags full to take out. And obviously you may not dig up any plants whatsoever. There is a rather stiff fine for doing so: $250.