Friday, January 24, 2014

NYC Foraging and Botanical Walks

Spring woods - Inwood Hill Park

Come and explore the botanical underbelly of the city, hiding in plain site in our forests and on our shorelines.

I could call them foraging walks, because there will definitely be good looking edibles, but these walks are really about old-fashioned botanizing, plant identification and exploring the lesser-known wilds of the largest city in the United States. This is a perspective of the megalopolis that is quite unexpected, for visitors and locals alike.

Here's the rundown, and to book a spot, please visit the Paypal buttons for each walk. Walks are limited to 15 people. Check the links in the directions for a Google Map with pinpoint at our meeting spots.

Dutchman's breeches - Inwood

Inwood Field Garlic Walk
29 March, 11am - 3pm

Late March and the forest floor in Inwood is still crackly with brown winter leaves. But the spicebush may have woken into bloom,  violets might have opened, and there may be an owl... There are edible and invasive daylilies here, as well as the notorious yet delicious garlic mustard. Field garlic, one of the earliest spring edibles to appear, is one of the most versatile of all wild plants and "weeds." Cook it, pickle it, make oil from its leaves.

On one side, the Spuyten Duyvil, separating Manhattan island from the mainland, and on the other, the mighty Hudson, separating us from Governor Christie.

It's one of my favourite spring walks.

Pack a lunch for a forest picnic. Bathroom at start and end of walk.

We meet at 11am sharp at the entrance at Seaman Avenue and Isham, returning there by 3pm or a little earlier. The closest subway is the A to 207th. More details for confirmed walkers closer to the time.


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Trout lilies - Central Park

Central Park Spring Ramble
26 April, 11am - 1pm

The Ramble is Central Park's wooded heart. In April the forest floor should be sprinkled with white violets and shooting stars, trout lilies and the far less welcome but rampantly yummy Japanese knotweed. Will there be pokeweed? Come for a two hour stroll and learn to spot and identify various wild edibles and native plants.

And you still have time for Sunday brunch.

We meet at 11am on the SE corner of West 81st and the park, opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History. Closest subway is the A/B/C at 81st.

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Dead Horse Bay Shoreline
10 May, 12pm - 4pm

Come and explore Dead Horse Bay, the landfill that was used as a garbage dump for late 19th and early 20th century New York City. On our way to the old bottle-littered beach we'll find pokeweed and milkweed, wild lettuce and black cherry trees (come back in August for the fruit!). On the shoreline are indigenous bayberry and sea rocket.

Pack a lunch, bring a camera, notepad and hat. Bathroom at start and finish of walk, at Floyd Bennett Field.

We meet 12pm at street level on the triangle between Flatbush and Nostrand. The subway stop is Flatbush/Brooklyn College - the end of the line for the 2/5. Then it's a 10 minute bus ride to the wilds of Jamaica Bay.

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Jewelweed, nature's antidote to poison ivy

Inwood Mid-Spring Walk
17 May, 12.30pm - 2.30pm

Back to Inwood, which will have changed  a lot since early April. Expect to see pokeweed, burdock, the elusive nettle and many other wild edibles. Our walk will take us up the hill, along the top, and down over the Hudson River. Learn to ID poison ivy and where to find its country-remedy antidote, jewelweed.

Bring water and a snack (although one will be provided). There is a bathroom at the start and end of the walk.

We meet at 12.30pm sharp at the entrance at Seaman Avenue and Isham, returning there by 2.30pm or a little earlier. The closest subway is the A to 207th. More details for confirmed walkers closer to the time.


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Pokeweed, Central Park


Central Park Memorial Day Ramble
26 May, 11am - 1pm
The Ramble is Central Park's wooded heart. In late May the forest will be fully leafed out and filled with birdsong and late spring blooms. Come for a two hour stroll and learn to spot and identify wild edibles such as invasive Japanese knotweed, indigenous but weedy pokeweed, and Northeastern natives like May apples and wild ginger.

And you can wear white!

We meet at 11am on the SE corner of West 81st and the park, opposite the American Museum of Natural History. Closest subway is the A/B/C at 81st.

3 comments:

  1. Love your blog! I also have a small terrace, but mine is often a disaster, although I've successfully grown lettuces and herbs, and other... I also keep a blog, when I manage that is, and I have an entry on Inwood Park—an amazing locale in NYC!—but a different take than yours. I'm looking forward to taking one of your guided walks. See:http://hotcoffeebestintown.blogspot.com/2011/10/sunday-coffee.html

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  2. Is the Inwood Hill Park date correct—March 24? That's a Monday, unfortunately. : (

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    Replies
    1. 23rd, 23rd! Buckets of apologies and thanks.

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