foraging

Foraging Fun: Climacodon septentrionalis

One of the things that I love most about foraging is that one always comes across the unexpected, each and every time without fail. There is always something new, even for some who like myself have spent just shy of 10 years rummaging through wild spaces with one eye out for something new to taste, heal or in any sort of way experience. Although southern Ontario may not be one of the most relished of hot spots for fungi given our hot and often dry summers, for someone new to the world of fungi there are many mysterious and wonderful encounters awaiting. (more…)

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Wild Ethnobotany – March 29th

The first Wild Ethnobotany guided hike was, despite the -30 degree windchill, an absolute success with a dozen brave souls venturing out to join me as we walked the snowy, windswept trails of Princess Point along Cootes Paradise. We sampled highbush cranberries, European black alder catkins and staghorn sumac berries, learned about the life cycles and medicinal properties of burdock and motherwort as well as received a lecture on the significance of oak savannah (one of the most endangered culturally modified ecosystems in the world) and how the historical land use practices of North America’s first people provide examples in ecology and community planning and for building sustainable and human-friendly landscapes in the future. (more…)

Foraging Fun: Highbush Cranberries

Highbush cranberry is one of those plant names that, as an amateur botanist, fills me with a number of conflicting but equally reasonable emotions. It is one of those names that when taken in a literal context appears to be bewilderingly inaccurate and deliberately misleading but when observed under a different connotation is filled with a cultural charm that reveals much about the way we perceive and relate to the world, and perhaps even more importantly, how we communicate our understanding of that world to others. (more…)