Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wild Edibles for People and Animals

Exploring Wild Edibles …Can you really eat that?

 Pat Banker, Cornell Cooperative Extension  Program Educator

Humans have much longer history of foraging and gathering food than their relatively new relationship with agriculture. Until the early 20th century, gathering and utilizing a multitude of wild plants, roots, nuts and berries was as common for rural Americans as going to the grocery store is for 21st century shoppers. Many of the plants we now call weeds in our gardens were known as potherbs by our grandmothers and are still enjoyed by those who know how to identify and prepare them.  The history of many wild plants also included their uses as medicines.

Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Franklin County 4H Program will again be hosting a series of four workshops entitled “Truly Wild” with instructor, Pat Banker, 4H Program Educator, exploring the process of identifying wild edibles available in the northern New York area.  Workshops will be held at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid and on the Uhlein Maple Plantation on Bear Cub Road in Lake Placid. Each hands-on workshop will follow seasonal wild edibles from spring to late summer. The 4H “Truly Wild” program is open to youth age 5-19 and their families.  Participants will be exploring the outdoors, plant history, science and the fun of foraging.  Participants will also prepare some wild plant dishes to sample in the kitchen at Heaven Hill Farm. 

Dates for the workshops will be Saturdays, May 11, June 22, July 27, and August 24 starting at 1:00 pm. The “Truly Wild” workshop cost will be a one-time $10 per participant fee with a special rate for families not to exceed $30 for the entire 4-part series.  Pre-registration is required. Register by calling the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office, 518-483-7403 or by calling Pat Banker, 518-327-3457.

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