There’s an increasing interest among homeowners, property managers and others to utilize more native species in their landscaping, thanks to recent books like Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home, which extol the virtues of native plants over exotic ornamentals for attracting and sustaining beneficial insects. Yet, for some people, this alone may insufficient motivation to “go native”. Edible wild plants offer opportunities for people to connect to nature via their taste buds, thereby building their enthusiasm and public support for conserving lands that offer foraging opportunities. Adding native edible plants to a landscape can boost biodiversity as well as “spice it up” (literally as well as figuratively – we can have our acorn cake and eat it too). Juneberries (Amelanchier spp.), for example, are equally edible by animals (songbirds, e.g.) and people alike. The taste of the ripe fruit is like a cross between cherries and almonds (they’re all related species in the Rose family). Join Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, for a 30-minute slide show featuring at least one dozen species of native edible wild plants, and how your land trust, town, or conservation organization can enhance your land holdings with native edible plants. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation method(s), along with guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. Russ will supply helpful handouts as well as bring along samples of foraged goodies made from edible native species for people to taste.
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