A Force of Nature

Muskat's presentation is top notch.

Bill Hubiak, Multinational Corporate Trainer


Let America's leading philosoforager dazzle your audience as he uncovers the Garden of Eden all around us. Wise guy, fun guy, epicure of the obscure, Alan Muskat has enchanted audiences for decades with his poetry, stories, wit and wisdom.

Join us off the eaten path. Enjoy an eye-opening lecture, a mouth-watering cooking demo, or an outré gourmet show & smell by one of the leading hunter-gatherers in the nation. Tastings can include building your own wild appetizer, cocktail, or dessert.

Wild zattar, chickweed pesto, violet leaf chiffonade, roasted burdock root, smoked squirrel, pickled ramps, sweet autumn olive tapenade, acorn crumble, chaga mushroom mousse, and honeysuckle ice cream are just some of the many possible ingredients. All told, it's a wildly different experience. Read what thousands of courageous consumers have to say.

Sample Topics

from fun ditties to profundities
see also fifty FAQs and meditations

Only in Asheville

One legged weirdos and other freaks of nature: meet the mushrooms, wild plants, and other delectable denizens of America's quirkiest town. The most biodiverse temperate region in the Western Hemisphere is home to one fun-guy and a cast of incredible edibles unlike any other place on earth. They don't call it Foodtopia for nothin'!

Find Dining

Wild food is the ultimate local, natural food. Ideal for people and the planet, it is fresher, healthier, and more flavorful than its garden-variety descendants. You can't beat the prices. Why pay more?

Discover how easy it is to take in the landscape. We'll meet a dozen denizens of your yarden and learn seven reasons to make friends in low places. It’s time to eat the neighbors!

Wild Mushrooms

Can some mushrooms really prevent and cure cancer? Aren’t most mushrooms only edible ONCE? Join us on a tour of the edible and incredible as the country's stand-up mycomedian separates fungal fact from fiction.

The Only Local, Natural, Sustainable Food

There is no such thing as sustainable agriculture. Farming that requires you to keep land clear is not sustainable. Even organic food is not sustainable — or local, for that matter — if what you are growing cannot survive there on its own.

Food that cannot survive on its own is not natural food. The only natural food is food that grows in nature. That's wild food. Wild food does not require a life support system. It does not require you to kill weeds.

You can grow wild food. When you grow food that is adapted to an area, you work with nature, not against it. That's permaculture.

Learn what foods grow naturally in your area, how public education in nature's bounty is the ultimate food security, and how you can market this 'produce from Providence' as a green industry.

The Cure for our Eden Disorder

At the root of nearly every “disease of civilization,” from inequality, food insecurity, violence, and environmental degradation to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and addiction, lies one fundamental illness, Nature Deficit Disorder: we don’t spend enough time in nature and we don’t get enough natural food into us.

As the poet Gary Snyder simply says, “nature is not a place to visit; it is home.” Fortunately, we may have left The Garden, but The Garden has never left us. The cure for our homesickness is right outside our door.

Eat Here Now

Foraging is just not about getting stuff; it can be a meditation, a lesson in non-attachment. Can you look without seeking? Foraging is not a way to get yourself or anything else “out of the woods.” It’s a way in...

Rewilding

Most of us live in “Scare City.” The matrix of our civilization is fear.

Is the universe friendly? Is life worth living? Hunter-gatherers knew the answers to these questions. They lived in the real world.

Foraging is an experience of abundance. When you live from land to mouth, you see that life need not be such a struggle. There is enough for everyone. When you go by the graze of God, you rediscover Providence. You find that life is good after all. When you eat outside the box, it's not just the food that's wild and free.

Coming Home

According to Buddhist psychotherapist Rick Hanson, one of our greatest challenges is simply “taking in the good.” Most of us know this as the practice of gratitude. But for real gratitude, you need real gratification.

Foraging can truly feed us, not just with food but with the knowledge that we are safe and provided for. Going back to nature, we go back to our true nature as loving, open beings. We can finally “let go and let God.” We welcome the world with open arms, and we find that it has been waiting all this time for us: for us to come home.

My Friends are Green

More and more people are going back to using herbs for medicine. But is that back far enough? What if, to really heal, we need to go further, back to when we didn't just “use” plants...


Past Engagements

samples

"Home-Land Security," U.S. Botanic Garden, 9/11/14
"America's Most Wanted," Organic Growers School, 9/6/14
"Eat Here Now, Asheville Wine & Food Festival, 8/24/13
"Becoming Native," Blind Pig Supper Club (transcript), 11/30/14

short list

United States Botanic Garden
California Academy of Sciences
Charleston Culinary Institute
Norfolk Botanical Garden
North Carolina Arboretum
Fairchild Tropical Garden
Institute for Ecosystem Studies
Pennypack Environmental Center
Humboldt Field Research Institute
Audubon Center of Greenwich
Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute
Rye Nature Center
The Organic Growers School
Chimney Rock State Park
Christopher Bird Research Center
Maryland University of Integrative Health
California School of Herbal Medicine
Warren Wilson College
University of North Carolina
Bruce Museum
Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Old Salem Museum and Gardens
Blind Pig Supper Club
The Conservation Trust of North Carolina
National Therapeutic Wilderness Camps Association
North Carolina Herb Association
Wake Forest University School of Divinity
Mother Earth News Fair
The Self Reliance Expo
Millersville University Native Plants Conference
Southeast Energy and Environment Expo
Asheville Wine & Food Festival
Lake Eden Arts Festival
John C. Campbell Folk School
Penland School of Crafts
Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust
The Biltmore Estate
Americore Project Conserve

complete list

Alan corners me after his presentation. "Why didn't people ask more questions?" I tell him the audience is too busy being spellbound, waiting for the next bit of wisdom — or wisecrack — about his green and fungal friends. When Alan speaks, people know they are in the presence of a master. They want everyone else to shut up!

Lee Warren, Executive Director, Organic Growers School