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Spring Herbal Workshop

Learn about the medicinal magic of spring wild herbs and the versatility of weeds.

Dee Dade, a Dorset herbalist, is passionate about seasonal, wild herbs wherever they thrive, be it fields, hedgerows, gardens or cracks in the pavement. On this fascinating one day course, Dee shares her knowledge and love for the underrated, ignored herbs and weeds that grow uncultivated and abundant in this country. She focuses on the practical, medicinal and well-being value of plants like nettles, dandelions and plantain, as well as the importance of the ancient, powerful practice herb craft and the part it can play in our lives today.

Hosted in our beautiful 18th century threshing barn, the day begins with a tea tasting before heading out to forage our fields and hedgerows. Spring is all about elderflower, daisies and ground ivy, just some of the plants you will go in search of. You will discover more about responsible foraging, identification, seasonality and medicinal benefits before returning with your bounty for the practical sessions. Our River Cottage chefs will prepare a delicious lunch, incorporating some of the flowers and leaves you may have collected on your walk. In the afternoon there will be hands on tutorials covering amazing vinegars, tonics and teas specifically designed for seasonal ailments like hayfever. The day will close with a demo and tasting of Iron Tonic, an infusion of nettle tops, apricots and red wine before you head home with your handmade produce and a new-found foraging skill to enjoy.

Why take a look at our Summer and Autumn Herbal Workshops too?

Your day

09.30 - 16.00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30am and transported down the hill to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer (5 minute journey approx.)

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet Dee and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Introduction

    Dee will introduce you to the day ahead, followed by a tea tasting to wake up the senses.

  • Morning forage

    The herb walk around the farm will incorporate foraging guidelines, identification, folklore, seasonal information and medicinal uses.

  • Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage so a two-course lunch of local, seasonal dishes will be one of the highlights of the day.

  • Afternoon apothecary

    Dee will teach you how to infuse vinegars, cook with nettles and make herbal teas with one specifically to relieve hayfever. The day will end with a demonstration and tasting of Iron Tonic.

  • Departure

    The tractor and trailer will be ready to take you and your produce from the day back up the hill at 4pm.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

The herbal information and recipes shared on this workshop are intended for your general information, please always take the necessary precautions when using herbs. Treating chronic illness or long-term symptoms should always be treated under the guidance of a qualified herbalist/medical practitioner. Herbs can have contra-indications - allergies, medication, convalescence, pregnancy, long-term illness/disease being some. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to check for all/any contra-indications when using/taking any herbs in any form.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018