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Plant identification through patterns: An introduction

Plant identification through patterns: an introduction - 3 identical workshops.

I will be doing 3 plant identification workshops this year. They will be on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May and Saturday 1st June from 10:00am to 4:00pm. These are 3 identical workshops. Each workshop is one day only. So just choose one date. Booking is essential for these workshops. Please email to book a place. 20 - 35 pounds depending on income.

I do not run a deposit system for these workshops so please only book a place if you are really committed to it as I find it very difficult to fill a place last minute from dropping out. Thank you for your understanding.

All monies through the workshop go to the unrestricted funds for Friends of Bedford Fields. They are the group that oversee and ensure development and continuation of Bedford Fields Community Forest Garden.

This workshop will equip you with the tools for you to start identifying a plant anywhere in the world by looking at 6-8 of the most common plant families and and by learning common-sense methods to systemically gather information about an unknown plant.

This workshop can help anyone from complete beginner to those able to comfortably identify individual plant species through foraging, gardening experience or a book but don't know how individual species relate to wider plant family patterns. If you are familiar with these patterns and with flower parts then this workshop won't be suitable for you.

The workshop will run as follows:

- An introduction to plants. You will learn how to use all your senses and your understanding of the variety of plants will be widened. You will look at all parts of the plants, from roots to shoots to fruits.

- An introduction to plant families: you will learn at least 6 major plant families in the garden and how they can be identified to at least family level very quickly with a few combination features. This will allow you to start to identify around 10% of species of plants around the world. You will have time to familiarise yourself with some species and genera within the families - it's always good to have a few plants under your belt.

- There will be lunch provided and a lunch break - usually in the middle of learning plant families. YUM

- Identifying unknown plants and reinforcing plant family knowledge. We'll have a go at being resourceful i.e. collecting as much knowledge as much as we can with our newly acquired skills to start identifying unknown plants.

- You will go home with a booklet of key plant I.D information containing the plant families you learnt, a list of resources, some nice pictures of plant parts. It is inevitable we will discuss identification with an edible context as this is the tutor’s interest and because the workshop takes places at a forest garden with over 100 edible species of plants.

Other details

Please bring good shoes and anything to protect you from the weather. It could be that warmth (and sunburn) will be the issue, but I'd bring a waterproof too just in case.

We will be potentially tasting new wild plants which means I need to know of any allergies, including to medication, that you may have, in case of the extremely unlikely event of an allergic reaction. I (Ben) am the qualified first aider.

There is a compost toilet on site but you're also welcome to pee in any hidden corner. As well as that, there are a number of cafes and pubs within 2 minutes walk from the garden if necessary.

Please bring a hand lens if you have one. Not to worry if you don't:)

It won't really be necessary to make notes because you'll receive a booklet at the end. But feel free to bring paper and pen if it you want because it can help learn as you go along to write it down.

There will be food and tea provided and we can pick a salad on the day. Please tell me if you have any dietary requirements. Bring your own bottle of drinking water if you can.

Cost is 20 - 35 pounds depending on income. This is a spectrum from unemployed/concession to part-time to full-time employment. We will however not turn anyone away so please get in touch if you can't afford the suggested price. 

Lunch is provided but with no dietary requirements in mind. Please get in touch if you have a dietary requirement.

Please note also that Ben is also happy for experienced identifiers to shadow him. Please get in contact about this possibility.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call/text 07922513704 or email 

Payment is cash on the day or by direct bank transfer. We will send bank details upon confirmation of your booking.

Hope to see you!

Earlier Event: May 18
Bedford Fields Saturday Workday
Later Event: May 25
Bedford Fields Saturday Workday