Tours for Every Season

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most abundant wild spaces for forest food and medicine because of our mild, wet climate and diverse geography. Tree of Life Eco-Tours offers wild plant educational tours throughout the year and guests are encouraged get familiar with the plants and observe how they change through the seasons. Tour themes explore harvesting ethics; reciprocity; respect and our role in helping plants thrive; species identification and comparisons; exploration of edibility and preparation; medicinal and other historical and traditional uses of wild plants.

Guests are invited to touch, smell and taste the wild edibles we interact with on the trail, so they can begin to develop an experiential, heartfelt connection to the plant. When we interact with plants in this manner, we plant a seed of wisdom and connection.

Tree Of Life Eco-Tours aspires to help people connect with the nature, bringing together people and the natural world, one plant at a time.

Spring Tours

  Spring tours explore the emergence of herbaceous species and new growth. Spring flowers, young greens and evergreen needles are often ripe for the tasting! This is my favorite season to host plant tours because there is a new edible surprise around every trail bend.

Guests are invited to warm up after the tour with a hot cup of sustainable, locally harvested Vancouver Island Wild Tea Co. Wild Nettle Tea.

Summer Tours

Experience the forest in her full glory as she prepares the fruits of her labor to spread her seeds near and far. There is so much to see, smell and taste through summer and many native plants are easy to identify now, as summer is when they showcase their uniqueness. Summer tours offer the most abundant and diverse array of wild edibles at various stages of growth.

Guests are invited after the tour to cool down with a cup of sustainable, locally harvested Vancouver Island Wild Tea Co. Wild Nettle Iced Tea.

Fall Tours

Crisp moist air and shorter days bring quiet to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Plants prepare to slumber through winter while the leaf-covered ground comes alive with the fruiting mycelial lifeforce of the forest. Many plants are still easily identifiable and tasty. Fall rains and mild temperatures encourage new growth for some typical spring plants and if we are lucky, there are still some berries to be found.

Guests are invited to warm up after the tour with a hot cup of sustainable, locally harvested Vancouver Island Wild Tea Co. Wild Nettle Tea.


Winter Tours

  Our wet pacific northwest chilled-to- the-bone winter weather can bring out the best in some plants while others prepare to hunker down for the season. Winter tours focus on identification and comparison of evergreen trees and the spectacular ways plants adapt to survive through the cold.

*Due to limited availability of plant species, discounted winter tour rates apply.

Guests are invited to warm up after the tour with a hot cup of sustainable, locally harvested Vancouver Island Wild Tea Co. Wild Nettle Tea.


Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Tours & Education

We can reserve for groups or individuals

 Tours are approximately 2.5 hours

*There are opportunities for donation-based, sliding scale or honorarium paid tours for not-for-profit community groups, schools or volunteer groups.

Group tours (10 guests max):

Groups of 5 or more guests: $40 each (discounted)     

    Individual tours or under 5 guests:   

Individuals:   $50 per guest




Please email or call for more information. or call (250)686-3773

Read below for some fascinating

Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Education

Garry Oak. (Quercus garryana)

Oak trees have been highly regarded by people throughout the northern hemisphere for thousands of years and have sometimes been referred to as the “Tree of Life”. They provide things necessary for daily life and most acorns (the fruit of the oak tree) offer an important food source of high quality protein, starch, potassium, calcium and vitamins.
Our native oak tree is Garry Oak (Quercus garryana). Squirrels collect acorns during fall and bury them until the rains leach out the bitter, inedible tannins from the nut. Throughout history humans buried acorns too, or soaked them in water to leach the tannins. Garry Oak acorns have a very high tannin content and require longer soaking than most species of acorn. Tannins can damage our liver and kidneys, so its important to soak them and change the water daily.
You can make roasted acorns, acorn flour and so much more!


Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium)

This is my favourite forest food! Hucklberries are sweet, tart, super refreshing and packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Huckleberries have other delicious native relatives; high bush cranberry is a taller version while our native wild blueberry has blue berries!
The leaves and bark are edible too. Huckleberry leaf tea is very astringent and is used to treat bladder and urinary tract infections (huckleberries are related to the cranberries we know today and use to treat bladder infections).
The bark can also be stripped and boiled to make tea to treat a sore throat.

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

The white berries, leaves and bark are toxic if eaten in large quantities. The field guides advise against eating any part of this plant. Local First Nations call them “revenge berries” because they can make you sick. 

They are not very tasty and I haven’t even seen birds eat them. I have tried one or two myself, under supervision. Be advised that if if you must eat a small amount in a survival situation; cook them well to remove the toxic saponins.

Snowberry tea or salve is used externally used for cleansing purposes because the saponins are highly astringent. They kill parasites, heal wounds, clean and soften hands (squish these snowberries and rub in your hands!). Historically they have been used topically to get rid of warts.