Suddenly Summer

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.

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elderberry blossom

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

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In the garden, tomatoes are transplanted, all herbs, lettuces and radishes getting harvested and eaten every day. The first of the roses and the comfrey are blooming.may-flowers-sm

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.

I’ve got two foraging tours coming up next weekend. Please join me Sat. June 4 or Sun. June 5 if you’re in the NYC area (both tours are in Brooklyn). Hope to see you there!

On Twitter

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes

About Foraging & Food Security

oxalis-smFor me, foraging is more about adding delicious, free ingredients to the cultivated ones that I also eat than it is about wilderness survival (hey, I live in Brooklyn). But there’s no question that I also get a baseline feeling of security from knowing how to recognize and use wild edible and medicinal plants.

I just wrote a piece for Farm to Table sharing a recent tangent about foraging and food security. You can read it here.

Speaking of foraging, this past weekend yielded winecap mushrooms, pokeweed shoots, burdock “cardoons,” and more!

If you’d like to come foraging with me, my next tour is in Prospect Park on June 4th.
On Twitter

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Wild Foods Cooking Demo at UNCORKED! 2011

I’m doing a wild edibles cooking demo and book signing at the UNCORKED! 2011 festival on Saturday. Lots of foodies and oenophiles will be there with me. Plus, everyone who comes gets a free glass of wine! Hope to see you there.

Meanwhile, this locavore is still in very non-local (for me) Switzerland. I get back on Friday. Yeah, I know, bit tight with the festival the following day, but hey. Great foraging here in Switzerland right now, and I promise deets about my trip asap.

one of my neighbors in switzerland

Cheers, Leda

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes

On Twitter