Hudson River Park
I have a new schedule of cooler fall walks: Inwood Hill Park, Staten Island, Hudson River park and Green-Wood. It's an amazingly green city, if you know where to look.
These urban-green walks are as much about discovering new qualities in overlooked plants, as they are about recognizing the botanical city that hides in plain site, and finding nature under our noses. While we walk we talk about indigenous and invasive plants, what to forage when, how to adapt familiar recipes to new ingredients, and about the non-edible flora whose presence in the city makes this a bearable place to be for those who love the outdoors.
Inwood Hill Park
7 September 2014, 12pm - 3pm
Still one of my favourite spots in the city, with its suprisingly deserted and quiet woodland valley, with contrasting hilly aspects that give way to the Hudson River and Spuyten Duyvil.
Indigenous spicebush abounds here and if we have our eyes open we may spot some delectable edible mushrooms. I am not a mycologist, and I focus on a substantial handful of edibles that I know well. But it's always fun to find new fungi, to photograph, spore print and identify. Spot catbrier to revisit in the springtime for its tender shoots, and see wild blueberries growing in Manhattan's northernmost park.
Inwood Hill Park
We meet at the entrance to Inwood Hill Park at Seaman Avenue and Isham. The nearest subway is the A at 207th Street, two blocks away. Additional details mailed upon sign up.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Piers 1 - 6
20 September 2014, 2pm - 4pm
Over the last six years the former wharfs of the formerly shut-off East River waterway have been transformed into an accessible edible indigenous plant playground. Bayberry, sassafras, elderberry, bee balm, sumac, beach plums, pickerel weed, cattails...the list is long.
We don't collect plants in such a high profile and carefully designed setting, but I find this lovely series of waterside parks is an ideal outdoor classroom. Walking ten steps reveals a new plant whose edible qualities are under-explored or simply unknown to most cooks and eaters. We learn to ID, scratch and sniff, and talk about eating possibilities.
We meet at 2pm at Pier 1, at the entrance to the (hidden) wine bar and cafe near the pond (straight in line with Doughty Street), off Furman Street - see map link: look for red markers.
The closest subways are the 2/3 at Clark Street, from where it is a 10 minute walk downhill to the park, or the F to York Street.
The walk will end at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. There is plenty of good shopping upstream, and at Sahadi's you can purchase foraging-related items for the kitchen, such as powdered sumac, and mahlab (wild cherry kernels)...