Learn Foraging in the Heart of the Urban Jungle-Bedford Inn
Bedford Post Inn is not just a fabulous place to stay, dine, or take yoga classes, it's also an excellent place for foraging, with extensive ground and lots of varied habitats. We'll begin with common edibles of cultivated places growing near the parking lot. Wild foods such as violets, garlic mustard, poor man's pepper, and bitter dock will be everywhere. After a break for lunch, we'll head into the woods, where we'll collect indigenous species such as sassafras and black birch, as well as the bulbs of ramps or wild leeks, which are rampant in some spots. The best-tasting member of the onion family on Earth, top chefs prize the intense flavor of the leaves and the bulbs for all dishes that normally call for onions. If enough rain falls beforehand, spring mushrooms will be up. We'll be on the lookout for scrumptious chicken mushrooms, wine-cap stropharias, fairy ring mushrooms, and morels. Heading back to The Inn, we'll pass a swamp loaded with cattails. The peeled shoots, quite large at this time of the year, taste like a combination of cucumbers and zucchini.
Naturalist-author "Wildman" Steve Brill is America's go-to guy for foraging. He's been leading foraging tours and providing demos for the public, for schools, day camps, birthday parties, museums, nature centers, parks departments, restaurants and chefs, garden clubs, hiking clubs, teaching farms, nurseries, and other organizations, in parks and natural areas throughout the Greater NY area, since 1982. He created his own website, Foraging with the "Wildman." His Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Places (William Morrow Publishers, 1994) is considered a classic on the subject. His innovative Wild Vegan Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, April, 2002) is changing the way people think of preparing gourmet food. His Shoots and Greens of Early Spring in Northeastern North America (self-published, 1986 and 2008) teaches people how the foraging season begins, and his Foraging with Kids introduces children to the natural world. His Foraging With the "Wildman" DVD is showing people how it's all done, and his iOS/Android app, Wild Edibles, is the best foraging app in America. But the world-famous environmental educator is still best known for having been handcuffed and arrested by undercover park rangers who infiltrated a tour, for eating a dandelion in Central Park!
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