The calendar says summer is still almost a month away, but we’ve got beach weather today. However, my favorite NYC beach (Long Beach) doesn’t allow swimming until the season opens on Sunday. Meanwhile, I’m definitely procrastinating on computer work in favor of gardening and foraging.
Burdock “cardoons,” pokeweed and elderberry blossoms are in season now. The mushroom season is well underway. I found a good patch of winecap stropharia mushrooms just off the main grounds at a cooking demo/book signing I did for the UNCORKED! 2011 festival last weekend, as well as some inky caps in Prospect Park
Two quickie reviews:
Sam Thayer’s second foraging book, Nature’s Garden, is excellent. No surprise: his first one, The Forager’s Harvest, was terrific, too. He goes into great detail without ever getting dry or academic. That depth of detail makes his books super useful for novices, but I found new-to-me information as well, and I’ve been foraging since I was three. I also like it that Sam’s personality comes through as opposed to the “just the facts, ma’am” tone of so many field guides.
“Wildman” Steve Brill has released a phone app on wild edible plants that I highly recommend. The initial version didn’t work on first gen iPhones and a few other smart phones, but the latest Wild Edibles Full version on iTunes works with all. Especially useful is the option to filter searches by habitat and season, as well as the cross-referenced potential lookalikes sections.