Last weekend I was on a mushroom foraging tour in Connecticut. This weekend I was on a similar wild edibles walk in Manhattan. Yes, Manhattan. It was held in Central Park. And believe it or not, there are all sorts of things you can eat in Central Park. Some of the things are more known, and you might be able to find them in stores or open markets. Other things are more rare, but only because they fell out of use in our modernized monoculture that corporations have established for us. This is why I am learning about wild foods, foraging and medicinal plants. I want to unplug and remove myself from the corporate monopoly. I’m not going to totally or abruptly unplug from society, but to slowly transition physically & mentally into a more independent, but ironically more ‘connected’ way of being. Instead of being connected & tethered to big business, I’ll be connected with people, animals & plants — nature.
This weekend’s wild edibles & medicinal plants tour was lead by ‘Wildman’ Steve Brill. He is famous in New York for his foraging tours, and for his vast knowledge of this subject (he has been teaching and leading in the northeast for 31 years). I have to say, the suggested donation for the tour was 20 dollars and it was the best 20 bucks I ever spent! I walked, I laughed, I had a great time. But in addition to that, I learned a lot of valuable information and I even got to take wild edibles home with me. Some of the goodies I got to take home were: Black Birch, Sassafras, Black Walnuts, Lamb’s Quarter, Kentucky Coffee Tree Seeds, Dandelion Greens, Poor Man’s Pepper, Wood Sorrel, Common Evening Primrose, Spice Bush Leaves, Ginko Berries, and Asiatic Dayflower. Some of the things I collected can be used to make tea, others can be eaten as is.
When I got home after the tour. I felt so good. I felt more connected to the earth and to people, and more importantly, more connected to myself on a deeper level. I also felt inspired to continue learning and felt like I was on the right track. And, I got to make myself a wild salad! I used my Lamb’s Quarter (tastes like spinach, but better), Asiatic Dayflower (tastes like string beans), Dandelion Greens (tastes bitter & yummy in moderation), and my Poor Man’s Pepper (tastes like lettuce with pepper). Along with other plant veggies (Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Green Lentils, etc.) and sea veggies (Wakame Seaweed) I already had in the fridge. It tasted great! I really enjoyed it. Tomorrow I plan on having Black Birch tea for breakfast from the leaves I collected. I’m excited to try it.
I’ve you want to meet me on one of Steve’s tours, I plan on going to the following tours: October 5 & 19th, November 3rd & 30th. You can also check his calender for other dates that might suit you better. These tours only happen as weather permits from March to December.
And if you know of any walking wild edible tours I should check out, just email me or leave a comment below.
[Wildman Steve Brill photo snagged from Kid Champ.]