Wild Foodies of Philly! In search of food beneath our feet!

10 Tour Guide Tips:

  1. Introduce yourself and (it's a good idea to) emphasize that you are an enthusiastic, not an expert.  No one knows everything about wild edibles.  Even the experts sometimes disagree and can be wrong.
  2. Claiming to be an expert increases your liability. If you charge money, you should know quite a bit about wild edibles and be aware that you are also increasing your liability. You should have customers sign a waiver.
  3. Keep your tours to about 2 hours and plot an interesting walk. A circular route that includes a water feature is a great idea. Try not to over-talk the subject; people learn by doing (smell, taste, touch) and appreciate just being out-of-doors.
  4. Limit the size of your group. If a crowd gets too big, the experience is diminished.  You can open it to about 30 people if the tours are free, because often only 1/3 - 1/2 of those who sign up actually show up. But, if they paid, then almost all will show up, in which case you may want to limit it to 10-20.  One-on-one tours are also really great for people who really want to learn the subject.
  5. Invite everyone to make comments and ask questions as you do the tour. Tour guides can also learn a lot from their students.  But politely ask attendees not to speak while you're talking to the group.
  6. It's good to give people at least a sheet of paper with the Cautions and Comments, names of the plants, and a brief description or notes.  Talk about the "Comments & Cautions" don't just hand it to them.
  7. Keep a notebook to supplement your reference materials.  And take notes during your tours of things you need to research further.
  8. Take a water thermos, scissors, knife, and spade for sampling.
  9. Public parks are for plant identifying and tasting, not foraging, as a rule.  Sometimes parks offer "weed" removal events, which is a great opportunity to forage.
  10. So, get out there!  Teach, learn, and have fun! 

Munch on!  With care!

Lynn Landes, founder of Wild Foodies of Philly