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The Good Herbs: Foraging Classes

Because of the impending apocolypse, it's probably a good idea to brush up on your foraging skills since it's likely Bi-Rite or Whole Foods won't be up and running when the big earthquake hits. (Or maybe just until universal healthcare gets fully operational and meds are available to all.) Tellur Fenner of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicinal Clinic in Oakland teaches regular foraging classes in public parks and gardens across the Bay Area (the next classes happen this weekend in Berkeley and Oakland) that combine light hiking with hands-on instruction on California's edible and medicinal plants. Now that it's Spring, you'll likely find a lot of baneberry (a natural muscle sedative), Oregon grape (liver and spleen detoxifier), dandelion (digestive aid) and balsamroot (immune booster). Bring a light lunch, some rain gear (these events are rain or shine), a camera and a notebook to record your finds. You'll want know you're looking for when Mother Nature (or the slow-moving bureaucracy) forces you to become a believer in holistic diet and medicine.