Hunt for Wild Nuts, Roots, and Greens in Forest Park
Hunt for Sweet Cicely in Forest Park with naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill
At 11:45 AM on Saturday, November 9, at Union Turnpike and Park Lane, America's go-to guy for foraging, "Wildman" Steve Brill will lead one of his world-famous foraging tours of Forest Park in Kew Gardens, Queens.
This is one of the best places in the world for fall foraging, with a wide selection of wild herbs, greens, roots, and mushrooms, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Mushrooms.html) even in late fall. Habitats include miles of mature forest as well as the trail edges and the disturbed, overgrown, and cultivated habitats that provide homes for all the diverse species.
Behind a playground near our starting point, we'll find a large stand of burdock, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Burdock.html) delicious but hard to dig up. Here it's growing in loose, soft soil, so it's much more accessible than usual.
Another choice root vegetable is sweet cicely, which tastes like black licorice. This one's easy to unearth, and there's so much in Forest Park, you can't harm the habitat by collecting reasonable quantities.
Use this flavorful delicacy in any soup, stew, or casserole that call for root vegetables; in oatmeal, where it will transfer the porridge into something heavenly; and in dessert dishes.
Herbs and greens we'll be looking for include sassafras, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Garlic%20Mustard.html) the original source of root beer; garlic mustard, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Garlic%20Mustard.html) with garlicky leaves and horseradish-flavored roots; and onion/garlic-flavored field garlic.
The forest is one of the best for mushrooms. (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Mushrooms.html) We'll be looking for late-season species such as pear-shaped puffballs, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Pear%20Shaped%20Puffball.html) oyster mushrooms, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Oyster.html) enoki mushrooms, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Enoki.html) brick tops, (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Brick%20Top.html) and tree ears.
The 4-hour walking tour begins at 11:45 AM, on Saturday, November 9, at the stone wall at Union Turnpike and Park Lane (http://wildmanstevebrill.com/Public%20Tour%20Stuff/Travel.html#Anchor-FOREST-47857), near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook building. The suggested donation is $20/adult, $10/child under 12. Please call (914)[masked] at least 24 hours in advance to reserve a place. For "Wildman's" 2013 tour calendar and additional info, visit [masked] .