The Unexpected Journey—Stories of a Solo Traveler
The Unexpected Journey—Stories of a Solo Traveler “What am I doing?!” I said to myself as intense panic began to set in. I was standing on the edge of a mountain, 20 miles deep into Montana’s national forest with no phone service or map after I had wandered off in search of a trail with… Continue reading
Brassicas: Wild and Tame
I’ve been walking through my neighborhood lately to the library instead of driving. Its a nice four mile round trip loop that starts out in a pretty nice area with big properties and then through some open spaces where I’ve been keeping tabs on the overgrown wild plants. Lots of nettles, mushrooms, pepper tree, nasturtium,… Continue reading
Wild Black Sage + Turkey Tail Mushroom Tonic
One of my favorite pairings of local wild flavors is the complex minty aroma of black sage (Salvia mellifera) with the rich heaviness of cacao. Its been a crowd-pleaser in my black sage truffles from last year, but I wasn’t in the mood for a heavy chocolate dessert. Instead, I opted to infuse some freshly… Continue reading
Herbs for Dealing with Wildfire Smoke Inhalation
As the winds die down here and the danger of the wildfires have passed, we are left with our valleys filling with harmful smoke that can impact our breathing and health. Those with lung or heart diseases and other health conditions are the most at risk for complications due to exposure. Children and the elderly… Continue reading
Wild Nettle Soup (vegan)
Welcoming springtime also means the onset of weed season. While many reach for their choice of mass plant destruction (with herbicides being of greatest concern), there are gentler and more sustainable ways to manage the green overgrowth in our yards and public spaces. Many of our wild plants that find their way into our gardens… Continue reading
Raw Hummus with wild Tumbleweed
This morning I was walking around the farm assessing the non-native plant situation where I’m planning to start my epic herb garden. Most things are going to seed and dying at this point in the season except one prominent plant that I’ve been seeing popping up on the local hillsides lately. They are better known… Continue reading
Magic Potions Kids Workshop
Join us for an interactive and educational experience for kids to learn about the magic of healing herbs and everyday weeds. After a brief tour of the local flora, we will be crafting our very own personalized potions and elixirs! Recommended for ages 7 and up and an accompanying adult. Cost: $25 per child, siblings… Continue reading
Fermented Raw Nut Cheese & Wild Spices
My fermented raw nut cheeses have been quite a crowd pleaser (for vegans and non-vegans alike, which is a total win!) and with so many requests for the recipe and process, here it is! My first go at this I used some wild harvested pinyon pine nuts which, let me tell you, was the most… Continue reading
Prickly Pear Mead [Recipe]
Probably one of the most delicious fermented brews that I’ve enjoyed is Prickly Pear mead. Okay, maybe technically its called a “melomel” because it is fermented honey and fruit. But, technicalities aside, with prickly pear fruit in season now, its a great time to make use of this delicious abundant native fruit here in Southern… Continue reading
Jess Starwood is an established author, chef, herbalist and educator. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine and Holistic Nutrition. In 2021, she wrote and photographed her first book, Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying and Using More Than 25 Wild Fungi.
She also writes regularly for Edible Ojai & Ventura County, Edible San Fernando magazines and The Mycophile—the publication of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA).
Jess founded The Wild Path School where she teaches foraging, wild foods, herbalism and nature education classes for adults and children. She is a member of the Culinary Committee for NAMA and is on the board of directors for the Arizona Mushroom Society and the newsletter editor for the Los Angeles Mycological Society. She has also worked as a wild food consultant and forager for Michelin starred chefs Niki Nakayama and Aitor Zabala. Jess has been featured in National Geographic, The Guardian, and the Orange County Register.
Classes and workshops for adults and children are held regularly in the Greater Los Angeles area and west coast. Weekend and week-long wild food adventures are also occasionally available. Be sure to check out the event calendar or join the mailing list to be notified first of openings and availability.