The first weekend of the month during foraging season (usually from April through October)

Your guide
Dave Odd
Expert forager

$150 per person; $250 per couple

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You’ll get a crash course in foraging on the Saturday of your weekend trip to the Land of Odd, your host’s compound in Beaverville, Illinois, about 80 miles south of Chicago. Dave Odd will teach you what to look for while you gather ingredients for that evening’s communal dinner, prepared by him and accented with locally sourced proteins. Don’t worry about going to bed hungry: “It’s surprising how much food we get,” he says. Sunday’s itinerary is looser, and might include activities like fishing or exploring a waterfall. Guests sleep in tents, which Odd can provide (along with air mattresses) at no extra charge; bathroom facilities are indoors.

About the guide: When the pandemic put a halt on Odd’s trade — supplying locally foraged ingredients to top Chicago kitchens like the Publican and Boka — the lifelong nature enthusiast found a new outlet for his skills: leading foraging retreats.

Bring: An adventurous palate. Meals can include dishes like burgers made from beaver supplied by a local hunter, topped with a sauce Odd has cooked up from peaches and foraged milkweed.

Watch for: Therapeutic finds. The prairie around Odd’s land is packed with plants he taps as medicine, and he’s happy to share his know-how with guests. “Mullein leaves are a really powerful expectorant that help with any kind of lung issues. Yarrow can be used as a tea to quell swelling.”

How to Forage in Your Own Backyard

Who needs the grocery store when dinner’s right under your nose? Dave Odd offers these tips.

There’s an App for That
“ID’ing things isn’t terribly hard to do these days, especially if the plant is distinctive-looking. You’ve got so many apps, like PictureThis, PlantSnap, and Seek.”

Family Matters
“There are entire families of plants that have no toxic members. Like with something that looks like a blackberry or a raspberry — all compound berries are edible. It doesn’t mean everything is gonna taste delicious, but it’s not gonna kill you.”

Think Outside the Yard
“I did a tour downtown the other day, right off Michigan Avenue, and we found 54 things just on the block, right in the concrete jungle of Chicago. Get out into empty lots, or the little margins between everything. Sometimes you can even find things in the landscaping.”