With our Green Ossining’s 8th Annual Earth Day Festival celebrating and showing sustainability, we thought it would be great to invite our friend, Naturalist Wildman Steve Brill back to show folks how to forage. Food foraging is not just about searching for wild food resources., its also about being outside and cultivating an intimate appreciation of nature, as well as re-connecting with nature.
Steve is a sought-after and re-known environmental educator with a lengthy resume of impressive accolades and positions. He regularly performs foraging tours throughout NYC ,Westchester County and Connecticut, and when available, he brings his 10-year old foraging expert daughter, Violet, as a co-lead.
Steve’s Mission: He teaches adults and kids about the many common, overlooked, renewable wild edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms that people often destroy as “weeds.” By studying foraging and participating in nature in this non-destructive manner, we can increase our enjoyment of nature, grow healthier, and reaffirm our commitment to preserving and rebuilding our ecological riches.
WHERE/WHEN/WHAT WE’LL FORAGE
We’ll meet at Crawbuckie Nature Preserve where varied habitats provides more than enough common, renewable wild foods to keep everyone busy for an hour. Grassy areas will provide a plethora of delicious, edible lawn “weeds.” We should find chickweed, which tastes like corn, lemony-flavored sheep sorrel and wood sorrel, sweet violets, savory dandelions, field garlic (a superior member of the onion/garlic family), and related day-lilies, which also have a bite. Other spicy greens in the grass or in the woods include poor man’s pepper, hairy bittercress, and garlic mustard, all members of the mustard family.
Overgrown areas could harbor a variety of root vegetables. We’ll almost certainly find the huge leaves of burdock, with an edible root that tastes like artichokes and potatoes. We could also find sweet wild parsnips, garden escapees that taste even better than their commercial forerunners, plus flavorful wild carrots, a.k.a. Queen Anne’s Lace. The feral version of this European vegetable is more flavorful and chewy than the commercial strain, making it especially suitable for carrot cakes, soups, and cookies.
In the woods, we’ll find jewelweed, a major medicinal herb with juice that relieves a variety of skin irritations, from curing insect bites to preventing poison ivy rash. We’ll find black birch, which contains oil of wintergreen, a low-dose aspirin precursor that makes outstanding tea and an exotic flavoring for pudding and homemade ice cream. There will probably be plenty of sassafras, a renewable tree you can use to make tea, root beer, gumbo, and use an exotic sweet seasoning.
If it’s rained beforehand, we could find the season’s first gourmet wild mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms, enokis, and tree ear mushrooms all may appear early in the season.
Learn more about “Wildman,” Violet, and foraging at http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com
WHEN: Saturday, April 21st. Two tours: 9a-10a and 2p-3p. Plan to arrive at Crawbuckie by 9a/915a.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
– Bags for vegetables and herbs
– Paper bags for mushrooms
– plastic containers for berries
– Drinking water
– Pen (to sign in)
– Proper footwear (NO SANDALS, as there may be poison ivy, bugs, and thorns)
– Work gloves
– Whistle (so you don’t get lost)
– Insect repellent
– Sun hat or warm hat
– Extra sweater
– Rain gear/boots if necessary
– Absolutely NO SMOKING AT ANY TIME!
– Listen to the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Bring one more layer of clothing than you think you’ll need in cold weather.
– Children of all ages are encouraged to attend and learn to understand and love their planet.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact “Wildman” at (914) 835-2153
Children Under 12: $10
Participation is limited. Please register by filling out the form below.
Any issues with the form, please contact:email@example.com