Lewisboro Land Trust Presents Program On Foraging In Your Own Backyard

LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- For residents who like to pull over when they see a field of greens and pull some to eat, the upcoming annual Leon Levy Environmental Lecture sponsored by the Lewisboro Land Trust on April 10, featuring author Ellen Zachos, will not only help keep them safe, if just might offer some new ideas of things to pick and eat.

Author Ellen Zachos will present a program on foraging for great things to eat on April 10 at the Katonah Library.
Author Ellen Zachos will present a program on foraging for great things to eat on April 10 at the Katonah Library. Photo Credit: Lewisboro Land Trust

Zachos, the author of "Foraging in Your Own Backyard: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat," will present the program from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Katonah Village Library’s Garden Room.

"Years ago, before I was a forager, I visited Crete with my parents in early spring. There we saw the fields were full of people picking something. We asked what they were harvesting. The gentleman slapped his generous belly enthusiastically with both hands and answered, 'Greens! For the health.' We’ve all heard about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but foraged greens and other wild edibles are an integral part of that diet not just because they’re abundant, free, and healthy," said Zachos.

Zachos, a Harvard graduate and long-time instructor at the New York Botanic Garden, who writes regularly for the National Gardening Association and Edible magazine, says foraging for wild edibles is part of every day life, as common as buying fresh vegetables at the open air market. 

"Wherever you are, spring greens offer a tonic, a rush of vitamins and minerals, and the fresh flavors you’ve been craving for months," said Zachos.

But knowing what greens to use, and what are safe, which ones are bitter, which ones are good served raw, is a science. That's where Zachos' program comes in and can offer some help. 

"Remember, never eat anything you haven’t positively identified. If you’re interested in foraging, take a class and buy a few books that focus on wild edibles in your area," she said. "Accurate plant identification is essential for safe and delicious foraging."

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