Marberry Arboretum, Carbondale
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8 (includes lunch)
The arrival of spring and early summer brings many long dormant dreams back to life. The season also breathes life into wild greens like dandelions, chickweed and purslane. Many such plants have garnered a bad reputation as weeds to be shunned, not savored. But these plants and many others have strong nutritional profiles and can be picked and tossed into a salad mix or stir fry just like their conventional green, leafy brethren. The trick is to know how to spot them and what to do with them in the kitchen.
With that in mind, Neighborhood Co-op Grocery will host an Edible Herb and Wildflower Walk that will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Marberry Arboretum in Carbondale.
The walk will be led by local permaculture expert Wayne Weiseman. Weiseman is a resident of Carbondale who travels the globe teaching about permaculture, which broadly defined is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Weiseman will demonstrate how to identify many of the plants some might think of as common weeds, wildflowers and herbs have other uses.
A special lunch will be included as part of the walk. The Co-op will serve a hearty, healthy garden salad featuring local and organic herbs with a colorful assortment of vegetables, handmade dressings and an assortment of other salad fixings. Bread from the Co-op bakery will also be served with herbed butter. A couple of different beverage options will be available as well, including an elderflower drink and lemon balm lemonade. An array of samples from the Co-op’s Wellness Department will be on hand along with other herb-related items such as bitters and more. So please join us for an enlightening class on how to identify wild edibles.
The four-hour class, which includes a robust lunch – as described above – is only $20 for Co-op owners and $25 for non-owners. Folks may sign up online here or may sign up with a cashier at the store.
Although there are many points of consciousness in wild harvesting plants, it is ultimately an incredibly simple, joyful, rewarding and tasty task.