Eat the Appalachian Trail
with naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill
At 1:30 PM, Saturday, Oct. 5, naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill, America's go-to guy for foraging, will lead one of his world-famous foraging tours of the Appalachian Trail, beginning at The Native Landscapes Nursery, 991 Route 22, Pawling, NY. America's most famous hiking trail which runs for hundreds of miles from Maine to Georgia. A little too long to cover in 1 day, the part we'll be exploring is loaded with wild foods.
As we head through disturbed habitats, we'll encounter the huge leaves of burdock, with an edible root that tastes like potatoes. Nearby we'll find wild parsnips. Descended from the commercial parsnip of Europe, this feral variety is larger, uglier, and way more tasty.
Other common herbs and greens we can expect that grow in adjacent wet and dry areas, include water mint, wild mint, lamb's-quarters, yarrow, purslane, sheep sorrel, wood sorrel, poor man's pepper. We'll also find lots of jewelweed, a major medicinal herb with juice that relieves a variety of skin irritations, from insect bites to preventing poison ivy rash.
Autumn olive berries will also be ripening in thickets. With the flavors of raspberries, currants, and pomegranates, this especially tasty fruit, unrelated to olives, is also loaded with vitamin C, plus lycopene, found to a lesser degree in tomatoes, that reduces the risk of cancer.
In woodland sections, we can expect edible trees such as sassafras and black birch, both excellent teas and culinary herbs. Nuts are in season too. We could find white oak acorns, black walnuts, or hickory nuts—all delicious.
If it has rained beforehand, the mushrooming should be excellent. We'll look for decomposers such as meadow mushrooms, chicken mushrooms, hen of the woods, and other relatives. We could also find honey mushrooms, wine caps, pear-shaped puffballs, and shaggy manes. Other unexpected species could easily surprise us.
The suggested donation is $20 for adults, $10 for kids under 12.
Please call (914)[masked] at least 24 hours ahead to reserve a place for the tour.