- 1. Where do we meet?
We are based in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. All programs meet on site, not at our office. Pre-registration is required.
Three-hour foraging tours meet at a variety of natural areas 15-45 minutes from downtown.
Directions for all tours and classes are posted here by three days before the tour.
- 2. Why aren’t we told where we are going when we register?
We can’t always announce where we’re going sooner than a few days before because often, we don’t know. Like a snorkeling trip, we go where the conditions are best. If it threatens to rain, we may go someplace else.
- 3. When is the best time of year to participate?
Foraging can be fun every month of the year. While our main season runs from March-October, we go out November-March as well. And while most mushrooms come out July to mid-October, April’s the time for morels. Usually the greatest variety of plants is in April and the greatest variety of mushrooms is in September, but there’s a mix of everything year-round.
All told, our area has over 300 wild edibles. Only 10% or so, however, will be in season at any given time. And just because something is in season doesn’t mean we see it on every tour. This is especially true for mushrooms.
For all these reasons, you can’t see — or gather — everything in just one outing, and this is why we offer season passes.
- 4. How strenuous are the tours?
Most people are surprised at how easy our tours are. Our wild food stroll is an easy, less than a quarter-mile walk on the grounds surrounding The Omni Grove Park Inn.
On our foraging tours, we rarely cover more than half a mile over fairly flat terrain. There are times when the group is given the opportunity to spread out and see what they can find, but participants are invited to travel only as far as they are comfortable.
Note that we do frequently go off-trail as a group, where it can be brushy, the ground is often uneven, and there are fallen branches to step over and rocks to watch out for. If you have any concerns, please check with us.
Also, there are several points on the tour at which we may spend up to half an hour in one spot. If anyone in your party would have trouble standing for that long and would not be comfortable sitting on the ground, we have light folding chairs we can bring along. Just let us know and we would be happy to accommodate you.
If you schedule a private tour, we will choose where we go and what we do to match the needs and preferences of your group. If you want a rugged hike to a remote, secluded swimming hole, we can do that. If you want a short drive and an easy walk to a waterfall, we can do that too.
Foraging is rarely difficult. It is often, quite literally, a walk in the park.
- 5. Do we get to eat what we find?
Yes, see here.
- 6. Do you guarantee that we’ll find mushrooms?
Generally, no. First, although there’s always at least a handful of mushrooms in season, even in winter, the main mushroom season runs July through September.
Second, even in season, foraging tours are like whale-watching tours: we can’t guarantee that mushrooms will make an appearance. Mushrooms, like the rain they rely on, are unpredictable, especially in the Appalachians. They are literally an underground dinner: they don’t announce their location in advance. Remember, these jokers are wild.
For this reason, we usually bring at least one example of the top mushrooms currently in season to show if not to cook up. Overall, remember, foragers can’t be choosers. Fortunately, there are over 150 common edibles to “chew” from. Prepare to be surprised! And if you’re unhappy with the tour, we will gladly give you a refund.
- 7. What should I NOT expect on a public tour?
For one, this is not a hike. Also, we don’t just go to the woods; we spend time in meadows as well, especially in Winter and Spring.
Mushrooms are not always out, but we always find at least a dozen wild edibles.
We don’t just gather things together, we teach you how to do it on your own. Still, this is a tour, not a workshop; you won’t learn everything in a day.
Tours include a tasting, not a meal, but if you dine at one of our six local partner restaurants, you can enjoy a free appetizer created from your very own “catch of the day.”
If you want to hike, to be just in woods, to focus only on mushrooms, to focus on harvesting, to learn as much as possible, or to make a meal together, consider a private tour.
- 8. Are children welcome?
It’s important to start children foraging early. Toddlers put everything in their mouths anyway!
We allow children of all ages to attend — and children under 5 are free — with the following three requirements:
• you are responsible for keeping a careful eye on your child throughout the tour.
• you must make it very clear to your child that they must not taste anything unless specifically instructed to do so.
• on public tours, caregivers must take children out of earshot if they are crying or otherwise disruptive to the group.
- 9. Are dogs allowed?
Dogs are not permitted on our public tours but are welcome, with notice, on our private tours. If you are bringing a dog on a private tour, you must let us know in advance.
- 10. Do you sell gift certificates or season passes?
Yes, please visit our gift card page
- 11. Do you offer scholarships, sliding scale pricing, or work trade?
Yes. Who says there’s no free lunch? At No Taste Like Home, we believe that food and housing are our birthright and should be guaranteed to all. We strive for a gift economy, i.e., where people don’t charge each other for things. After all, Nature doesn’t charge us! For this reason, no one is turned away for lack of funds. We invite you to “give what you can; take what you need.”For more information, contact us. May we all share in nature’s abundance.Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “you owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that: it lights up the world.-Hafiz