Full Circle Adventures
Full Circle Adventures | Calgary and Area
There are three parts to Full Circle Adventures, each touching on the bounty that can be found in Alberta.
Through Julie Walker’s foraging walks and hikes, locals and tourists can learn about the natural eco-regions and native plants in city parks and public lands outside of the city. She also performs personalized walks with area ranchers to give them a better understanding of what’s on their land. For Calgary restaurants, such as Rouge and The Coup, she takes the staff out to learn to forage and gain an understanding of the potential for “real” local foods and what is needed to build the potential for adding these ingredients to augment their dishes.
But a key focus of her work is to educate people on the threats to the native plants of Alberta. One of these threats is the non-native grasses that reduce the bio-diversity of our native, edible plants and flowers. Smooth brome grass chokes out the native species that have been here for generations, such as calypso orchids, bedstraw and wild onion. Through her work, Walker demonstrates the differences between an intact landscape and one that has been broken up through human impact and taken over by non-native plants, after the disturbance.
She tries to take clients to areas that are former logging clear cuts or grazing leases one part of the day, showing them how the non-native timothy hay and smooth brome grasses have dominated the landscape, then take them to an intact meadow to see the dozens of native species of plants blooming, later in the day. Walker feels it is important to understand the history of a landscape.
Most of her tours are for the public – anyone can book a tour – but Walker also likes to tour hikers or outdoor enthusiasts who may not realize the bounty of the woods.
At her home, Walker grows numerous local plants: potatoes, garlic, squash, wild onion, fireweed and different berries. Down the road, she plans to set up an offshoot of her tours by helping people “re-wild” their gardens and create food landscapes populated by native species.