Apprentices Gathering – Mabon


What a pleasure it is to work with enthusiastic people on the topics I love. On Saturday, I welcomed a small group of apprentices into my home and foraging grounds, to work on a variety of preparations and experience more of the world of Urban Herbology. The apprentices are studying my online course at their own pace at home, we meet 4 times a year with additional meetings and communication when needed. The next such meeting will be in December and is open to all my apprentices, online and from the original Amsterdam groups. Further details, at the end of this post.

Here are supplementary links and photos to assist those who were with me on Saturday.


I make mine from the few fruits that I forage and don’t eat straight from the plants. I use honey in place of refined sugar and I don’t always use rum. My recipe is in the apprenticeship notes but the link here shows a selection of suitable (purpose made) containers and explains the process.

Photo credit -
Photo credit –

Heat infused oils

My usual method. Of course there are other ways to do this but this is my regular way of infusing herbs into oil, with heat.


Beech nuts

Here’s a nice short video by Wild Edibles, showing how to open beechnuts (although it’s also possible with teeth) and a good mention about their toxicity.

Hawthorn Recipes

Hawthorn and Blackcurrants Amsterdam 2012

Hawthorn elixir


Rosehip honey

How to process the rosehips, to make rosehip honey.

Rosehip Amsterdam

Turkish hazelnuts


Himalayan balsam

A very invasive plant in this country. The green seeds smell pleasantly of butter and the plant is edible. Flowers can be eaten in salads, stems used as drinking straws and the plant chopped into salads and cooking. The link post shows several plants (including balsam) which I harvested at this time a couple of years ago.



Some useful information about how to care for the plants which you took home today.

photo credit - Plantsarethestrangestpeople
photo credit – Plantsarethestrangestpeople

Peperomia family

The plant we tasted at my house was Peperomia maculosa. It tastes of coriander and has many medicinal uses. Here is another link about these wonderful plants which are well known as houseplants, outside of the tropics. The Peperomia species which seems to be the best studied regarding its medicinal properties is Peperomia pellucida. hat wasn’t available at the garden centre when I looked for it, but several other species were. I settled happily for P. maculosa (shown in photo) as I love the fresh, spicy flavour.

Photo credit - EatTheWeeds
Photo credit – EatTheWeeds

Japanese quince

I had a busy day at school recently, pruning the spiky Japonica which encircles the building. Hundreds of fruit were on the prunings so naturally, I harvested them. Here are some tasty ways to use Japanese quinces.

Japanese quince


Photo credit - wikipedia
Photo credit – wikipedia

Indonesian Jamu

The last two sections of this UH post mentioning Bali, give an example of how Jamu is used. The anti inflammatory orange drink is called Kunjit asam. We will make it (and sugar free alternatives) at the December meeting.

Jamu: Traditional herb system of Indonesia.
Jamu: Traditional herb system of Indonesia.

In December, among other things, we will look at;

  • Indonesian Jamu
  • Herbal wines
  • Immunity boosters
  • Schnapps
  • Midwinter foraging
  • Sacred spaces at home

If you are interested in joining or finding out about my apprenticeship course, please contact me or take a look at this page.


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