6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
North Worcester County is home to over 75 species of edible wild plants. Many of these species are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. These include native species like Black Raspberry and Hazelnut; non-native weeds like Amaranth and Purslane; and exotic invasive species like Dame’s Rocket and Autumn Olive. The region is also home to dozens of species of edible wild mushrooms.
Join Russ Cohen, wild edibles enthusiast and author of the book Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, for a 60-minute slide show focusing on species that are ripe for harvesting during the summer and fall months. Keys to the identification of reach species will be provided, along with info on edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation methods, as well as guidelines for safe and environmentally-responsible foraging. Russ will also include a few details regarding some native edible plants he has grown successfully from seed.
Until his retirement in June of 2015, Russ Cohen’s “day job” was serving as the Rivers Advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, where one of his areas of expertise was in riparian vegetation. Now Russ has more time to pursue his passionate avocation, which is connecting to nature via his taste buds, and teaching others how to do the same. In addition to “in person” wild edibles walks and talks (when those were /will be possible) at a wide variety of venues throughout the Northeast, Russ’s main post-retirement pursuit is to perform the role of “Johnny Appleseed” for edible native species. He has set up a small nursery (in Weston, MA) where he grows/keeps hundreds of plants that he propagates from seed (many of which he collected himself). He is then partnering with land trusts, cities and towns, schools and colleges, state and federal agencies, organic farms, tribal groups and others to plant plants from his nursery in appropriate places on their properties. Russ has initiated over two dozen such projects in the past five years. For more information on Russ, please visit his website HERE.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Sterling cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.