Introduction to Urban Foraging

What does urban foraging look like in Chicago? Come join loveren collections in this fun interactive plant ID walk around the Back of the Yards neighborhood to find out! Participants will meet at Plant Chicago for some foraged refreshments and a brief 20-30min presentation on the three main areas and types of urban foraging, specifically to Chicago. (Please note that every city and suburb have their own unique relationship to the land; some holding more restrictions than others. These categories are based on forager, Nina’s Lawrin’s, personal experiences and pattern observation throughout the years foraging within Chicago). We will then spend about 1 hour-1.5 hours (gentle stroll about 1 mile) taking our knowledge out in the field with plant ID, discussion of harvesting techniques, and conversation on how to best enjoy common perennials throughout the city. Bring your own basket, bag, or container for a light forage of plants covered.

***Please be prepared to be outside for about 1-1.5 hours. Wear appropriate clothing, shoes, hats, sunglasses/sunscreen, raincoats etc…we’ll go out rain or shine!**

This class is best for beginner foragers looking to better understand the ins and outs of what is possible to forage within Chicago’s urban neighborhoods. If you are looking for a forest hike and forage, please contact Nina at

After this workshop, participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of the three main types of urban foraging specific to Chicago (this is coming from Nina’s personal experiences navigating the ins and outs of foraging within Chicago). This will answer questions like: where do I begin? How do I know what and where to look for plants? When is it safe to harvest?
  • Feel empowered to forage safely and responsibly (questions to ask yourself when foraging) along with tools and resources to explore and discover further
  • Be able to identify 10 common plants that can be found throughout the city.

Participants will go home with:

  • Handouts for guidance to help jumpstart their foraging fun in Chicago
  • Additional resources and references for support
  • Understanding of 10 plants/ID
  • Hopefully some juneberries, and if not an understanding of where to find them
  • Small samples of plants covered and found when appropriate


Nina Lawrin is an urban forager, permaculture designer, visual artist, and folk herbalist. She is the owner of loveren collections; an experience dedicated to education and re-connection to nature through everyday wild perennial foods in the Midwest. Her brand Everyday Forage provides wild perennial foods to Chicagoans through seasonal subscription boxes. Nina is also the Co-Founder of the Permaculture Chicago Teaching Institute and a Fulbright alumna to Namibia. She has worked alongside numerous permaculture sites including Eloolo Permaculture Initiative and Damaraland Farming Cooperative, cultivating their “waste streams” to share and create nontoxic, research-driven, site-specific artwork. She started her foraging journey learning from the San community in Namibia and Botswana in 2016. Nina is a proud certified tree keeper with Openlands #1248, a certified permaculture designer and just general foodie at heart . Instagram @loveren_collections.

*Tickets are $25 for residents of Back of the Yards. Please email if you live in Back of the Yards and would like to purchase tickets at the $25 price.*

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