West Coast Wild Harvest Issue 1 Spring/Summer 2016 - Page 51

HARVESTER’S TALE Bryce M. Watts harvesting thimbleberry leaves in the Fraser Valley the names of plants I came across. As soon as I began to discover all the wild edibles in the forests around the south coast of BC, I couldn’t stop myself. I had to try these new plants; I had to experience these foods for myself. At the University of British Columbia, I had the pleasure of taking a course taught by Dr. Felice Wyndham. It was she who first introduced me to ethnobotany, a term that I quickly came to realize was the perfect marriage between my two loves: plants and world cultures. It took me several years of switching into every faculty I could to finally make that discovery, but thankfully, I got there in the end. Bryce M. Watts harvesting along the river bank in the Fraser Valley In the Forest One of my early ideas for how I could incorporate foraging and ethnobotany in my life (while feeding myself and keeping the lights on) was Voyageur Teas: I wanted to create a line of small batch, herbal teas from wild plants. Once I graduated, I dedicated myself to setting this up. During the spring and summer, I set out into the forest every day, often accompanied by my dad. SPRING/SUMMER 2016 51