Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prospect Park - there are meals in them thar hills...

I rambled through Prospect Park the other day, after an appointment at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Above, not pictured, but just to my left, a grandfather coached a very small boy in baseball. In Hindi-inflected English he said to the tiny little man, who was not much longer than his baseball bat: You really need to organize your game!

I smiled, and wondered whether the grandfather would prefer to be teaching his grandson cricket.

I love that copse of trees, up there.

There were violets, everywhere. 

In the woods where we cleaned for that year, there were may apples amongst the trash and condoms, and a familiar patch of ostrich fern.

And everywhere, Norway maples in bloom. 

I was heading for a hill, but on the way I was side tracked by garlic mustard, and picked a bunch. Yes, far from the trash and condoms. And from dogs. 

Prospect Park allows foraging walks and tours on the condition that no plant material is removed from the park. I have asked to lead expeditions where we 'harvest' weeds openly and have been turned down.. It is very frustrating. So one forages furtively, which is ridiculous:

This noxious weed is so well evolved that  it prevents other plants from growing nearby by sending out chemicals which are a botanical equivalent of Keep Out signs, followed by Uzzi fire. No magazine limit, either. And garlic mustard is all over the park. The park hasn't the resources to control it.

It is also delicious. And pretty nutritious, too.

A big bunch joined some field garlic in my bag, and was recently turned into very good pesto. The recipe is next door, at 66 Square Feet (the Food). It will be fed to my late-morning foraging class on the 19th, at the BBG.

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