Urban foraging workshops at farmers’ markets this weekend

Where the Wild Things Grow Urban Foraging Workshops

  • 4 – 6 p.m. Friday August 10 at Gerald R Ford Middle School with Ms. Yvonne Woodard, market manager and Master Gardener
  •  12 – 2 p.m. Saturday August 11 at Gerald R. Ford Middle School with Kristin Tindall, Blandford Nature Center

The Southeast Area Famers’ Market will host Urban Foraging Workshops for the second year in a row, 4 – 6 p.m. Friday August 10 and 12 – 2 p.m. Saturday August 11 at Gerald R Ford Middle School.  Just like the grocery stores have helped us forget that food comes from farms, cultivation of domestic crops has helped us forget that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine.
Last year, people attending the workshop learned how to identify the following edible plants—all of which grow in Grand Rapids neighborhoods.

  • Purslane, dandelion and sorrel: delicious salad greens
  • Queen Anne’s lace: Deep fry the flowers.
  • Wild grape and mulberry leaves: wrap rice and meat mixtures, think Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Mulberries:  a great summer fruit snack and delicious made into jelly or jam.
  • Peppermint:  brew as tea to settle an upset stomach; chew a leaf instead of a breath mint.
  • Plantain: the leaves can relieve insect bites and bee stings. Roll and crush the leaf, apply it to the sting, use a whole leaf as a “band-aid” to hold the crushed mixture in place.

When foraging, make sure you pick plants from an area that has not been chemically contaminated. For example, utility companies usually spray a swath of herbicides under electricity towers.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open Fridays from 2 to 7 p.m. at Gerald R Ford Middle School, Madison Ave. and Franklin St. SE and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Garfield Park, Madison Ave. and Burton St. SE. Both market locations accept cash, debit cards, EBT/SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC Project Fresh and Kent County Health Department coupons.