Go foraging with the "Wildman" along The Croton Aqueduct

Hunt for Wild Blewit Mushrooms Along the Croton Aqueduct
with naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill

On Columbus Day, Monday, October 14, naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill, America's go-to guy for foraging, will lead one of his world-famous

This long trail used to be where water was brought to Manhattan from Westchester. Now it's a beautiful walking and biking path lined with all manner of edible weeds and mushroom. Here are some of the autumn plants we can expect on this tour:

We'll certainly find plenty of field garlic, a member of the onion/garlic family that comes up in the spring and re-emerges in the fall. Delicate chickweed, with a flavor like corn on the cob, is a likely find in sunny areas. Stinging nettles are less delicate. They'll sting you unless you're wearing gloves, but cooked, they're one of the most tasty wild greens you'll ever find.

Spicy poor man's pepper, spinach-flavored lamb's-quarters, and sour-flavored sheep sorrel and wood sorrel should be around too. Garlic mustard is another strong-flavored plant that will add zing to any salad or cooked grain or vegetable dish. The horseradish-flavored roots are in season at this time of the year.

Burdock, with a hearty, potato-flavored taproot, grows everywhere, and we're certain to find one location with soft soil where we'll be able to be able to dig it out easily. Other roots we're likely to find in overgrown areas include peppery-flavored common evening primrose, and white, chewy wild carrots, the same plant that produces the familiar Queen Anne's Lace flower in the summer. We'll also get to compare it with deadly poison hemlock, the plant that killed Socrates.

Black walnuts are among the tastiest and most nutritious of nuts, and they should be littering the ground under the huge trees. Everyone will learn how to remove the green husks, and crack the nuts open with rocks.

"Wildman" cracks open black walnuts on the pavement with a rock.

Because of all the rain we've been having, spectacular wild mushrooms may abound. Last year we found immense giant puffballs right where the tour began, and it's likely that they'll be back again. Huge hen-of-the woods (sold in health food stores as maitake), gigantic chicken mushrooms (which really taste like chicken), golden-brown honey mushrooms, the prized blewit mushroom, and savory meadow mushrooms may pop up anywhere along the trails.

To attend, please call (914)[masked] at least 24 hours beforehand and reserve a place.

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