Upcoming Events – 2018



Come discover many of the secrets of plants!  We meet each week at the Todd Mercantile porch (or upstairs in the gallery if it is raining).  Each class begins with a short show and tell of 5 edible plants that are currently on Nature’s shelves so you know what to be foraging for.  This shifts constantly so you will learn a lot by attending each week.   Then we focus on Befriending one plant in detail.  Just as getting to know people; becoming close friends with plants takes time and personal experiences and understanding.  Plants change in appearance as they ‘age’ just like we do, they have family characteristics, formal names and nicknames, historical origins, and they ‘do’ quite a lot. Each week we will delve into ONE plant in detail to discover it’s many precious gifts: Edible, Medicinal, Practical, Playful, Beautiful and even Spiritual. Using a Jeweler’s Loupe to look down the throat of flowers, marveling at the details will further enlighten your appreciation of each green friend resulting in a short poem written in gratitude.  Free class, donations appreciated to cover costs.

Teaching Tuesday, October 2 we will be befriending Plantain

Teaching Tuesday, October 9 I will still be in Charleston for my son’s wedding celebration.  Class canceled.

Teaching Thursday, October 11th…a THURSDAY  A local TV station will be attending to see what we are up to. 🙂  Please come!!  We’ll be befriending Sassafras

Teaching Tuesday October 16, October 23, October 30

November 6 Teaching Tuesday final exam   11-1  Bring something wild to share for a potluck lunch, bone up on your plant knowledge for Plant Jeopardy and bring an offering of your personal gifting: art, dance, theater, stand up comedy.  A book of our class poems will be available for purchase.  As usual our final exam will be organoleptic in nature.

When: Every Tuesday from 11:00-12:00

Where: Todd Mercantile Store, Todd, NC

What: A one hour plant talk following Nature’s Wave!  April through November.  From Roots, shoots, leaves, buds, flowers, pods, fruits, nuts, barks, sap, and back to roots again!  Come and learn what God has provided for our food, free for the knowing and the picking!  Currently (July and August) we are learning the secrets of “Befriending Plants”

Cost: FREE

“Oh Lord, how many and varied are Your works.  In wisdom You have made them all.  The whole earth is full of Your riches.”  Psalms 104:24


What:  Meet at the Todd Mercantile porch, bring water, sack lunch, hat, foraging attire.  Come prepared to go SHOPPING!!  We’ll go back to my home after gathering ‘on sale’ items at some of my favorite local shopping centers and I will teach 2 or 3 herbal preparations  up a few preparations to add to our sack lunches!  Details below.  $25 per person.  This is an outstanding herbal education and wild culinary course.  (Over the  course of the year you will learn how to make teas, decoctions, infusions, medicines, herbal vinegars, jellies, syrups, sodas, fermentations….) using the plants that are offered in the height of their energy as we surf Nature’s Wave together.

When: October 19, October 26
Where: Todd Mercantile Store, Todd, NC, various ‘shopping centers’ and back to Holly’s house in Todd
Why: Ride natures wave with me as we forage for what is ‘in stock’ in each season.

Cost: $25 per person   RSVP required.



What: Forage to Feast, returning from ‘shopping’ to Holly’s house to cook up recipes to create and enjoy together an international and Wild cuisine lunch or dinner.
No Forage to Feast in October due to a wedding in my family. 🙂  The last Forage to Feast of the 2018 season will be Saturday, November 10th 4-8
When: First Saturday of each month unless specified as in June
Where: Meet at the Todd Mercantile porch, bring water, sack lunch, hat, foraging attire (layers).  Come prepared to go SHOPPING!!
Cost: $45 per person.
Menu to be announced.



July 31– Wild foodies are in for a fabulous, tasty learning experience with one of the best, my mentor Marc Williams.

Starting at 5:00 pm, Marc will lead us on a plant walk around my land. Each of you will have a recipe to be responsible for and to forage for. After we have garbled our catch (my term for sorting our weeds), we will each cook an entree for our Mediterranean cuisine meal. Finally, we’ll feast on nature’s bounty and enjoy each other’s company as we sip Dandelion root coffee, Elderberry wine and enjoy a wild dessert. Plan on joining us and expanding your horizons. Rediscover the green gifts that God has so generously provided for our food and medicine. Reconnect to our roots. Reclaim knowledge that will feed your body and your spirit.

RSVP required. Cost $45 – $60  (sliding scale depending on need ) This is a valuable learning experience as well as a delicious nutritious meal.

Marc is a renowned ethnobotanist, wild plant authority, author and teacher extraordinaire, gourmet chef… What a great opportunity this is to learn from such a knowledgable guide and teacher. You will be wildly blessed.


Todd Riverfest Wild Food Talk on HOW to Forage

October ?  TBA –

Where: Blackburns’ Chapel in Todd

About Helen and the Todd Mercantile

Helen Barnes Reilly is the heartbeat of Todd. Her cozy shoppe filled with a fabulous variety of locally made crafts and art, simple toys and puzzles, and delectable bakery goods is a destination worthy of travel. Weekly contra dances, story telling, concerts in the park, banjo pickin with John, craftsman workshops fill “the Merc” with joy and life. This is this place where I have the privilege of teaching my Wild Blessings classes! I am so thankful!  Please be sure to support Helen by buying her cool stuff for gifts and snagging something delicious (and even gluten free) from her Bakery.  Also, remember to park for Wild Blessings events in the Todd General Store parking lot so as not to clog up the Merc’s tiny parking area.

Helen is also a realtor at Mountain Peak Properties.  When my Mom passed, Helen helped us sell her home and she was amazing.  If you need a home in the High Country or are selling yours, Helen is your best bet.