What I Like to talk About

Wild Edible Plants & Mushrooms: These programs run the gamut from Foraging for Beginners to Gourmet Survival Food. They're perfect for people who appreciate local, seasonal, organic food; anyone curious about the idea of becoming more self-sufficient; and  everyone with an adventurous palate.

The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Presentations include both simple slide shows and hands-on workshops. Attendees may sample several cocktails (or mocktails) made from locally foraged ingredients, and/or take home a bottle of homemade bitters.

If Grandma Didn't Teach You: Many of our grandparents (and great-grandparents) were more closely connected to the land than current generations. We run the risk of losing their wisdom and understanding if we don't actively try to preserve it. These lessons lead to personal enrichment and inspiration.

Learning from the Land: Mother Nature's gifts go far beyond useful plants and lovely sunsets. Creating an intimate connection with our environments grounds us, and teaches us about relationships, sustainability, and respect.


My Background

I’m a Harvard graduate and the author of seven books including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, and The Wildcrafted Cocktail. I lecture at botanic gardens, flower shows, conventions, clubs, and conferences around the world, and I work with RemyUSA, teaching foraging mixology workshops across the US.

I have a background in show business (Broadway cast of Les Miz), which taught me how to engage an audience, and I combine that with years of practical experience and plenty of book learning. This gives me a unique and entertaining approach to education.

I'm a regular contributor to several Edible magazines, and I'm the co-host, with C.L. Fornari, of the Plantrama podcast. I was named a Great American Gardener by the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and I'm the National Secretary for the Garden Writers Association.

A long-time instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, I have recently moved to Santa Fe, NM. Now I split my time between the desert southwest and the lush northeast. It’s quite a contrast botanically speaking, and one that keeps me constantly exploring.


“You did a SUPERB job of educating our Master Gardeners last week…they were fascinated with the information you provided and appreciated the knowledge and practical experience that you shared with them. In addition, you taught the class with such enthusiasm and energy that most wanted to go right home and start their Spring gardening!”  Paul Trader, Extension Executive Director, Rockland County, NY

“Your presentation was wonderfully paced and developed. Your approach was confidence-building. Your images were both inspiring and instructive. Your demonstration was a delight!" Catherine Crane, Program Chairman, City Gardens Club of NYC

Previous Speech Topics




Santa Fe, New Mexico


Available Upon Request


I am an expert forager and wild foods cook. My life centers around making the most of the wild harvest, and teaching others to do the same. But foraging is about more than food. It's about connecting with your environment in a way that feeds both body and soul, making your life more grounded, healthier, and happier.

Available to Verified Event Organizers Only

Contact Me