On The Be-Eaten path

Organizing anti-nuke symposia in Amsterdam was, in many ways, rewarding for Ginger Webb. Yet she longed for a deeper, more personal connection to the ground under her feet.

“I wanted to run the spectrum,” Webb remembers, “to somehow simultaneously promote ecology, spirituality and physical health.”

Once back in the States, Webb moved closer to her desired path while attending the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine in Arizona. It was a move to Austin, though, that finally solidified her dream. Here she founded Texas Medicinals, a company specializing in natural teas, tinctures and herbal remedies—handcrafted products that encompass and reflect her intense dedication to botany, health and the bigger global picture.

Yet Webb’s path continues on, and now she has company for the journey.

On her new two-hour walking tours, Webb guides participants through various nearby swaths of nature, introducing the often mysterious, frequently delicious world that exists just underfoot. 

“I teach people how to identify plant families, and we spend a lot of time talking about wild food, medicinal properties and edible plant parts,” says Webb.

Previous walking tours have included the Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Zilker Botanical Garden, Boggy Creek Farm and state parks. Webb encourages walkers to linger and fully absorb each individual environment while learning about, and sampling, weeds, beans, berries and a multitude of wildflowers and native tree flowers.

“Many are surprised to learn that the beautiful flowers of the redbud tree are not only edible, but absolutely delicious,” Webb notes.

Webb also offers guidance on which wild plants to approach with abandon and those which require a little caution.

“Most plants are not poisonous to humans, so it’s key to know which ones are,” she says. “This is where teaching about plant families is helpful—identifying, for instance, the mallow family where there is no toxicity, and the carrot family where we have everything from edible plants like the wild carrot, to medicinal plants like gotu kola and deadly poisonous plants like poison hemlock.”

Webb also offers a more intimate walking tour for new home buyers and builders, pointing out the valuable plant growth already established on the property, and suggesting which trees or shrubs could be transplanted and preserved instead of cleared.

Every walking tour includes meditation and reflection along the way—a means to, as Webb puts it, “slow down to the speed of plants.”

“I want people to reconnect and rediscover ways to interact with plants and the earth,” she says. “What better way than to eat the weeds? How fun is that?”

Find Texas Medicinals products at Wheatsville Co-op, Whole Foods Market, Whip in, Green and White Grocery, Plum Blossom Wellness and at texasmedicinals.com . To book a guided tour, contact Ginger Webb at 512-476-8422.