FINAL REPORT of Plant Wild Grundtvig: Forests Plants Wild Harvesting Learning in Europe


During 2 years (from August 2011 to July 2013), four research and training organisations from Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Turkey had been developing the necessary methodologies for implementing an effective training on wild harvesting of non wood forests products (NWFP), focusing specially in medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs).

This was the objective of the project PLANT WILD: Forest Plants Wild Harvesting Learning in Europe, a Grundtvig Learning Partnership Association, with the aim of promoting employment opportunities in rural and mountainous areas and sustainable wild harvesting techniques, generating best training practices to obtain environmental and economical sustainability and determining tools to support trainers, learners and professionals. The project also allowed partners to know other realities that may be applied in their territories.

During meeting different topics were discussed:

  • Mission and working lines of partners related to the NWFPs, and specifically to MAPs
  • Research, technology transfer and training for adults in NWFPs in each partner’s country
  • Sustainable wild harvesting of MAPs in each partner’s country and challenges for implementing training
  • Businesses of wild harvesting of MAPs in each partner’s country and challenges for implementing training
  • Good practices on training MAPs wild harvesting

Some recommendations were advised:

  • More people is searching new business or labour opportunities in rural areas, so more people are interested in harvesting of wild MAPs. New collectors have low information in botanical identification and habitats knowledge, so training is needed on both subjects
  • The use of good practices for the wild harvesting of MAPs, with support in the laws and with control, is needed to ensure that these natural resources are long term sustainable. Mainly non professional harvesters, commissioned by buyers, should receive regular training in order to assure the sustainability of the activity.
  • It is necessary to create an effective management information system which is based on professional knowledge of plant reproductive biology and accounting methodology of plant harvesting for sustainable use of wild resources of MAPs.
  • To avoid overexploitation, a local or regional entity should be responsible for the MAPs wild harvesting activity control.
  • New entrepreneurial opportunities related to wild harvesting of MAPs need updated information or training on different uses of value chain (good collection practices, good manufacturing practices, market information) in order to obtain quality products.
  • Plant material quality is not differentiated when doing wild harvesting. Collectors and even enterprises that use high quality botanicals need to be trained on varieties and chemotypes, phenology of each species related to the major active compounds content.
  • Local population and professional harvesters should receive updated information about good collection and processing practices, in order to obtain good quality raw material.
  • Many harvesters use obsolete facilities for processing the collected plant obtaining a low quality product. They should be trained on good manufacturing practices.

So, the rising public interest in collecting and usage of MAPs leads to the need to develop the best training model that provides diverse knowledge on sustainable wild harvesting and usage of MAPs.

Knowledge of plant biology, ecology, botanical identification, bioactive compounds and storage patterns, theoretical and practical skills on plant harvesting and post-harvesting technologies, knowledge of market and business framework, as well as knowledge on legal acts and legislative measures regulating wild plant harvesting, are essential for professional harvesting and sustainable usage of MAPs resources.

According to that six training modules for training are proposed:

  1. Basics of plant science with emphasis on MAPs.
  2. Knowledge of MAP species.
  3. Harvesting of raw materials and use.
  4. Sustainable wild harvesting: methodology, legislation and control.
  5. Post-harvest processing of MAPs.
  6. Marketing and business.

More information in the Report conclusions GRUNDTVIG PLANT WILD

Catalonia, SPAIN: training on Medicinal and aromatic plants’ production

During 2013, the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Group from the Non Wood Forest Products Department of the Forest Sciences Center of Catalonia has organised and participated in several workshops in Catalonia (Spain) addressed to people interested in producing medicinal and aromatic plants. This training was financed by the Anual Program of  Technological Transfer (Pla Anual de Transferència Tecnològica) of the Department of Agriculture of the Government of Catalonia.

Technical workshops:

  • E.Moré. The medicinal and aromatic plants’ production for selling fresh and dry. Other alternatives to horticulture: Aromatic Plants. Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona), 27 th February 2013. More information
  • E.Moré. The harvest of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Good practices and machinery. The drying of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Controlling factors and types of dryers. Technical aspects of the harvest and drying of medicinal and aromatic plants.  Solsona (Lleida), 22nd March 2013. More information
  • E.Moré. Presentation of the essay of combined cultivation of salvia with trees for wood (Juglans x hybrida) and for energy (Platanus hispanica). Visit to an industrial farm of medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation. Sagàs (Barcelona), 12th Abril 2013. More information
  • E.Moré. The industrial sectors users of medicinal and aromatic plants: how to reach them?. From nursey to harvest: the cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Manufacturing (drying and distilling) of harvest: raw material obtaining. Production and trade of medicinal and aromatic plants. Marçà (Tarragona), 3rd May 2013. More information
  • Visit to a handicraft farm of organic production of medicinal and aromatic plants. Sant Pere de Torelló (Barcelona). 22nd May 2013. More information.
  • E.Moré. Cultivation, manufacturing and trading of lavender. Production options of lavender species. Viver i Serrateix (Barcelona), 18th July 2013.  More information.

Source: Courses and workshops 2013 – Group of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia

Good practices for training MAPs wild harvesting


During the 5th meeting of the Grundtvig project – Plant Wild, in Solsona (Spain), experts from Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Turkey discussed about good practices on how to do a good training on wild harvesting of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs), taking into account subjects, methodology, training materials and target learners.

The rising public interest in collecting and use of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) leads to the need to develop the best training model that provides diverse knowledge on sustainable wild harvesting and usage of MAPs. There is a lot of information about usage of medicinal and aromatic plants in variable books and websites, however, for proper identification of plant species the advice of a specialist and the contact with living plants are essential.

The aim of Good Practices for wild harvesting training on MAPs is to provide learners with knowledge and practical skills and to qualify them so that they will be able to perform sustainable wild harvesting of MAPs.

Six training modules were defined as follows::

  1. Basic plant science with emphasis on MAPs.
  2. Knowledge of MAPs species.
  3. Harvesting of raw materials and uses.
  4. Sustainable wild harvesting: methodology, legislation and control.
  5. Post-harvest processing of MAPs.
  6. Marketing and business.

5th report on Good practices for training MAPs wild harvesting_GRUNDTVIG PLANT WILD

LITHUANIA: workshop on herbs harvested in summer


Workshop on Medicinal and aromatic plants harvested in summer

Date: 30th of May and 03d of June

Organizer: Institute of Botany of Nature Research Centre

Trainers: Jolita Radusiene and Birute Karpaviciene

The 2-days workshop on medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) was held at the Institute of Botany of Nature Research Centre. The learners most of whom work in cosmetics area were interested in knowledge of MAPs and their application for beauty treatments.

The participants were introduced to MAPs that are harvested in summer during flowering period when herb, flowers or leaves accumulate the highest contents of active compounds. An understanding of compounds accumulation related to the phenological development, localization in the plant organs, climatic conditions and season together with the main indications for use in treatment of various ailments were presented.


The training provided information on quality requirements for raw materials, harvesting techniques and guidelines for handling plant materials during and after collection. The emphasis was made on sustainable wild harvesting of MAPs.

The samples of various dried and live flowering plants were used during workshop.

Catalonia, SPAIN: guide for collectors

A practical guide with more than 200 species (plants and mushrooms) which can be collected from the wild in Catalonia (Spain) has been published.

Several rules for sustainable wild harvesting are indicated and species are ordered by month, according to the season of harvesting.

There also include medicinal and cooking recipes and diffent tricks for obtaining the maximum yield of the plants.

Technical sheet:

Guia del recol·lector. Remeis i usos de les nostres plantes i bolets

(Guide of the collector. Remedies and uses for our plants and mushrooms)

Authors: Carme Bosch (botanic trainer and manager of the Flowers School of Fontanilles) and Cristina Bota (biologist and environment trainer).

Language: Catalan

Pages: 192

Price: 19,90 €

ISBN: 978-84-8330-725-0

Editorial: Viena Edicions

Catalonia, SPAIN: 5th Grundtvig Plant Wild meeting – MAPs production visits

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After meeting on 12th June 2013, the participants of the meeting were conducted to the little village of Tuixent, in the “comarca” of the Alt Urgell in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on the southern side of the Pyrenean range of Serra del Cadí, at 1,206 m of altitude. Nowadays, the valley of La Vansa-Tuixent have less than 300 inhabitants, but in 19th century raised until 3000 people.

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Tuixent was known for its natural herbs and remedies and for the extraordinary women who would head off (often on foot) to sell them, the so-called Trementinaires (after trementina, or turpentine, one of their more popular items). From the late 19th century, these wandering saleswomen would leave for as long as four months and as far as Barcelona, leaving their menfolk behind to tend fields and animals, and only returned home when they had sold all their wares. The women generally travelled in pairs. The last Trementinaire, Sofia d’Ossera, undertook her final trip in 1982.


We could learn more about theses stories in the guided visit to the Trementinaires Museum (“Museu de les Trementinaires”) and could know some of the medicinal plants of the valley in the Botanic garden of the Trementinaires (“Jardí Botànic de les Trementinaires”) and the medicinal plant trail nearby the village (“Itinerari botànic Vall de la Mola).


Along the path, you can find over 100 different species of plants, although only around 60, the best known and used by the Trementinaires, are marked. Each panel has the name of the plant in several languages and brief description of their medicinal properties.


Evarist March, from the enterprise Naturalwalks, guided the group to discover the local flora with medicinal and edible uses like us the young leaves of Silene inflata.


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During the second day, on 13th June 2013, we visited different entreprises dealing with MAPs: L’Armengol SCP in Sagàs in the comarca of Berguedà, and Sambucus S.L. in Sant Pere de Torelló and L’Avenc de Tavertet in the comarca of Osona, all in Barcelona province.


L’Armengol SCP is a familiar enterprise cultivating aromatic and medicinal plants and processing them in a continuous belt dryer for obtaining dry botanicals for the bulk market. The main species produced are lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and sage (Salvia officinalis).

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During the visit, we could see different crop machinery for planting and harvesting, the fields (some of them irrigated) and the drying and processing facilities.


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Eva Moré from Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia, also showed the agroforestry essay they have in collaboration with Armengol SCP, testing the influence on yield of a combined cultivation of trees (Platanicus hispanica for bioenergy purposes and Juglans x hybrida for high quality wood) with aromatic plants (Salvia officinalis).

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Afterwards, the participants could visit the cooperative Sambucus, a social and entrepreneurial initiative to give employment opportunities to people with difficulties to access to work market.

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They are doing activities all around the field, the garden and the cooking: cultivating organically vegetables and aromatic and medicinal plants, selling fresh products to local markets, elaborating herbal teas and condiments and even cooking their products in the restaurant they are managing in the Municipality Market of Manlleu.

 sambucus 14

People could new crops with persil (Petroselinum sativum) and pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) planted with a mulching system of special dark paper, and fields with different species like us lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and others.


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Sambucus has a solar dryer designed by the entrepise Ecocentre Mas Lluerna ( with controlled system for temperature.


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After having lunch in Sambucus restaurant, the group went to the rural hotel “L’Avenc de Tavertet” located in the beautiful area of the Tavertet cliffs.

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L’Avenc de Tavertet is a business initiative concerned with the protection of and respect for the environment, aimed at being a working example of sustainable tourism. This hosting place is also engaged to the initiative flavours gardens “Parcs de les Olors” and has nearly finished a magnificent garden with medicinal, aromatic and edible plants from the surrounding area.


People could discover it guided by the sage herbalist Santi Jàvega, who is in charge of this garden and have more than 25 years of experience on plants uses, and they could also walk and enjoy the fantastic landscape of Les Guilleries.



Solsona, SPAIN: 5th Grundtvig Plant Wild meeting – MAPs wild harvesting training’s good practices

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On 12th and 13th june 2013, Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (Non-Wood Forests Products Department – Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Group), in Solsona, Catalonia (Spain), held the 5h meeting of the Grundtvig Plant Wild project.

During the first day, all the partners presented good practices on how to do a good training on wild harvesting of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs), taking into account subjects, methodology, training materials and target learners.

 Jolita Radušienė, from the Nature Research Centre (Institute of Botany) of Lithuania, presented the case of the Organic farm “Jadviga herbs”, being trained moret han 20 harvesters in courses adressed to general public motivated for self education, promoters of wild harvesting projects or local population employed by the farm. She explained the methodologies and training tools according to the modules and training subjects.

LITHUANIA: Good practice on wild harvesting. How to do?

Ana Maria Barata and Violeta Lopes, from the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, I.P. (Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal) of Portugal, elaborated a flashback review on the general considerations and recommendations issued from the 4th meeting in Kilis (Turkey) related to the needs of the main learners to be trained on wild harvesting (collectors and operators). They considered that the training on MAPs wild harvesting should have 4 main objectives: demonstrate the importance of MAPs, introduce general rules and principles, and provide guidelines and practical exercises to trainees. Furthermore, they considered that the training should be addressed mainly to collectors doing regular training (courses of several days, seminars, e-learning), by using both theoretical and practical sessions.

PORTUGAL: Good training on wild harvesting.


Joaquim Morgado, from the Portuguese enterprise ERVITAL., also presented a good practice of wild harvesting of carqueja (Chamaespartium tridentatum (L.) P.E.Gibbs).

Harvest and preparation of Carqueja _Chamaespartium tridentatum


Filomena Rocha from the INIAV presented an example of wild harvesting training with elder (Sambucus nigra L.) in Portugal.

Sambucus nigra L. Wild Harvesting training.

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Next one was Eva Moré from the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (Non Wood Forest Products Department) of Spain, that explained which subjects should be taught according to different key points for training MAPs wild harvesting: economic sustainability, product quality, consumer safety, economic viability, and social development. She also pointed the importance of practical classes apart from theoretical sessions and ITC facilities.

SPAIN: Good practices for training medicinal and aromatic wild harvesting.


And finally, Nazim Sekeroglu, from Kilis 7 Aralık University (Plant and Animal Sciences Department) discussed how should be the MAPs wild harvesting training anwering different important questions: where people harvest wild plants? What aret he purposes of wild harvesting? Which methods are used for wild harvesting? Who aret he stakeholders of plants wild harvesting? Who should be other learners for plant wild harvesting apart from main stakeholders? What should be training materials?

TURKEY: Good practices for wild harvesting learning in Turkey

At the end of presentations, there was agreed the dissemination of final results of Plant Wild Project “Forest Plants Wild Harvesting Learning in Europe” and there were presented different ideas for future projects related to wild useful plants’ training.

Evarist March, from Naturalwalks, specialist of wild edible plants, was invited to the meeting and also presented his experience in that field.

State of the art of wild MAPs Businesses and needs of training


During the 4th meeting of the Grundtvig project – Plant Wild, in Kilis (Turkey), experts from Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Turkey discussed about the current situation of the businesses of wild medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in their countries and the challenges for implementing training.

Information of MAPs businesses in each partner country was gathered, for detecting trends of use and identifying needs on future training.

Some topics were analyzed:

  1. Resource description and distribution.
  2. Production and use estimation.
  3. Value chain.
  4. Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT analyses)
  5. Training needs, according to stakeholders involved (harvesters and buyers).

In each country, there are many different MAPs species and varieties, with high richness diversity, present in wild habitats. Then wild MAPs are used in different sectors from cosmetic, pharmaceuticals to food industries.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to know who is working in wild harvesting, as this is a dark sector. And nowadays the number of professional harvesters is decreasing as they are getting older, so traditional knowledge is disappearing with them.

Unfortunately, there is stated few knowledge on botanic and chemistry and lack of information on the habitats of new harvesters commissioned by buyers.

Misidentification of species, by not very well taught people, could involve real health danger to consumers. Incorrect knowledge could affect health security. Sometimes self-educated people teach other people, who are going to do wild harvesting, in plant uses, and they will also transfer incompleted information to consumers.

But even professional harvesters have incorrect information on sustainable harvesting and use of MAPs, and on proper transformation and good manufacturing practices, linked to obsolete technologies and ancient harvesting techniques. Furthermore, legal framework and procedures are insufficient and not well known.

Opportunities for wild harvesting activity are stated in the report and some recommendations on training are provided.

4th report on MAPs businesses state of the art and needs of training _ GRUNDTVIG PLANT WILD

RESOURCE: wild harvesting in a board game

Grandma needs huckleberries to bake a pie. You and your cousins embark on an adventure up the mountain to collect berries as well as herbs she uses.

Will you all harvest the right plants to help with the trouble you run into along the way?

Will you make it back before nightfall?

The only way to win is by helping each other out

Wildcraft is a board game created in the USA to teach on 25 important edible and medicinal plants and their uses in mostly first aid situations. (Wildcrafting is the harvesting of wild plants)

It also teaches team work, for you will rely on each other’s knowledge of plants and good fortune to make it to the Huckleberry Patch and safely back to Grandma’s.

Wildcraft! is a great introduction to the world of edible and medicinal herbs for children of ALL ages.

It’s a beautifully illustrated, nature based, cooperative game created in the tradition of the classic board games.

More information

Solsona, SPAIN: 5th Grundtvig Plant Wild meeting

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Between 12th to 13th June 2013, the Group of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Non Wood Forest Products Department of Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) in Solsona (Spain)  will organise the 5th and final meeting of the Grundtvig Learnership Association – PLANT WILD.

During these days, the project partners will discuss about good practices on wild harvesting training,  plan the project results dissemination and prepare some proposals for further projects related to medicinals and aromatic plants.

They also will have the opportunity to visit the Museum of the Trementinaires (devoted to women that collected herbs in the mountains), some MAPs producers and to experience botanical trials  about medicinal and aromatic plants.