EP02: Beyond botany & other ways of knowing plants

In Episode 2 of the Eatweeds Podcast Robin Harford interviews his Russian friend, plantwalker and herbalist Olya Maiboroda about how we can know plants beyond the usual botanical methods.

Something that pretty much all indigenous cultures have in common, is that we where foragers before botany was even dreamt up, and as a result how did humans discover the medicinal and edible uses for plants?

Trial and error is usually what people give as the answer, yet 50,000 heck even 5000 years ago there just were not enough people on the planet to make trial and error a viable option, so might there have been “other ways of knowing” that we have forgotten?

This podcast challenges the usual assumptions, and the rigid grip that the botanical elite still lay claim that their science is the only true way to know plants. Post your thoughts and comments on the podcast page.

For me personally and having just returned from Burma after spending some interesting time with members of the Karen Hill Tribe, I learnt the way they teach plant identification to future generations.

Time to step outside our cultural boxes, and blend the ancient ways of knowing with the new ways, because both compliment each other. No longer is it an either/or scenario but more a both/and.


  1. What a lovely interview. The connection Olya described simultaneously challenges my conventional way of thinking and touches something deeper. I would love to hear more interviews like this.

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