Wild food tour

The Brooklyn Paper

Naturalist and author “Wildman” Steve Brill will lead one of his world-famous “Wild Food and Ecology Tours” of Prospect Park, July 6. Prospect Park is a great place for wild foods, and the summer is an especially rich season.

Herbs and greens abound throughout the park. We’ll be finding goutweed, poor man’s pepper, hedge mustard, purslane, lamb’s-quarters, lady’s thumb, Asiatic dayflower, wood sorrel, and sheep sorrel, in locations throughout the park.

Moist areas contain jewelweed, a cure for mosquito bites and a preventative for poison ivy. The edges of trails and overgrown areas abound in burdock, the only root vegetable in season from early spring to late fall. Sassafras grows in open woods, and this is the only park with prickly ash trees, used for the lungs in Chinese traditional medicine.

And if it has rained beforehand, we may also come across gigantic chicken mushrooms, brittle russulas, and prized bolete mushrooms.

The four-hour walking tour begins at 11:45 a.m. at Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza entrance. The suggested donation is $15; $10 for children under 12 (bring exact change). Note that nobody is ever turned away due to lack of funds.

To attend, call 914- 835-2153 at least 24 hours beforehand and reserve a place. For the 2008 tour calendar and additional information, visit www.wildmanstevebrill.com.


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