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In a quiet corner of Newcastle, something wild is brewing.
Twenty or so foodies, gardeners, and nature enthusiasts-- including members of NorCalForaging group and MeetUp Sacramento Foragers: Wild Edibles-- met at The Wild Raspberry, a soon-to-open tea house in Newcastle. Participants gathered for an informal horticultural class to see and taste some unusual herbs and locally foraged plants, learning how to use and prepare them in new ways.
Heather Pier, owner and teacher at The Wild Raspberry, has been cultivating a variety of medicinal herbs for years, as well as experimenting with foraged plants and herbs that can be found around the Sacramento valley. She hopes to provide Sacramentans a venue and supply of her delicious herbal tea combinations when the shop opens this summer.
The evening’s event was cozy; participants gathered among tables brimming with potted plants and vases of foraged herbs, a tableful of homemade cherry scones, gourmet baked goods and fresh churned butter wafting enticing aromas from the back.
Plants were passed around for smelling, tasting, and discussion, then eagerly harvested for participants to try new brews, including yerba santa, lemon verbana, and tulsi, which are found widely around California. Fruit teas, root teas, mushroom teas, and spice flavorings also made their way into the class’ demonstration, as well as Heather’s signature recipe for her sweet and creamy foraged chai mix.
Future classes will be held at The Wild Rasberry, located at 661-B Newcastle Rd, Newcastle, CA 95658.