Samuel Thayer — internationally recognized authority on edible wild plants — was one of our very first guests on ReWild Yourself Podcast (way back in Episode #2!), and I’m so honored to have him back on the show for Episode #152 to discuss a fundamental topic for the conscientious forager: Ecoculture.
Sam has authored two award-winning books on foraging, Nature’s Garden and The Forager’s Harvest, and he’s soon-to-be-releasing a third volume in his Forager’s Harvest series, Incredible Wild Edibles. He has taught foraging and field identification for more than two decades. Besides lecturing and writing, Sam is an advocate for sustainable food systems who owns a diverse organic orchard in northern Wisconsin and harvests wild rice, acorns, hickory nuts, maple syrup, and other wild products.
For Sam, hunting and gathering is not just a passion he pursues on the side, it is life. That may sound unattainable in our modern world, but tune in, and you’ll see that Sam’s approach is practical, comprehensive and well within reach.
In today’s show, we delve into "the management of natural ecosystems to enhance their production of useful products," or as Sam calls it, Ecoculture. Think “agriculture” and “permaculture,” but rather than tending to crops, we foragers tend the wild. Nature is productive, resilient and, perhaps most importantly, it includes humans. Rooted in our ancestry, hunting and gathering is how we cultivate relationship with our ecology, gain sovereignty from the agriculturally-dominated food system and protect the biodiversity of our planet for future generations. Tune in as Sam guides us through the principles of Ecoculture, and learn how you can get started stewarding your local landscapes right now.