Tag Archive | urban foraging

Free Urban Foraging Workshop at Farmers’ Market Saturday

 

0912151148Urban Foraging
Noon to 2 p.m. Sat. July 8
Southeast Area Farmers’ Market
MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller SE 49506

Did you know that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine? On Saturday July 8, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will lead an Urban Foraging Workshop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Ms. Casaletto will share how to identify the edible plants growing in your Grand Rapids neighborhoods. She has been using foraging as a means to supplement her family’s food budget for many years.

seafm-8-3-foraging-1

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks,WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT and debit cards. If you make a purchase with a Bridge Card, you get $1 for every $1 you spend to buy more Michigan produce (up to $20 each visit).

 

Free foraging workshop at Saturday’s market

0912151148

Urban forager, Laura Casaletto, always has interesting information edibles growing in your yard, park and  neighborhood.

Urban Foraging
12 – 2 p.m. July 9
MLK Jr. Park
900 Fuller Ave. SE 49506

Did you know that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine? On Saturday July 9, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will lead an Urban Foraging Workshop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Ms. Casaletto will share how to identify the edible plants growing in your Grand Rapids neighborhoods. She has been using foraging as a means to supplement her family’s food budget for many years.

SEAFM ad 2016The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks,WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT and debit cards. If you make a purchase with a Bridge Card, you get $1 for every $1 you spend to buy more Michigan produce (up to $20 each visit).

Free Urban Foraging Workshops July 10 & 11

seafm-8-3-foraging (1)Did you know that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine? On Friday and Saturday, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will lead Urban Foraging Workshops at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Ms. Casaletto will share how to identify the edible plants growing in your Grand Rapids neighborhoods. She has been using foraging as a means to supplement her family’s food budget for many years.

The Friday workshop at Garfield Park will start at 4 p.m.; the Saturday workshop at G R Ford will start at noon. The market is open for business:

  • Fridays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at Garfield Park, 334 Burton St. SE
  • Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gerald R Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison SE.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks,WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT and debit cards. If you make a purchase with a Bridge Card, you get $1 for every $1 you spend to buy more Michigan produce (up to $20 each visit).

Wednesday! OKT Earth Day Spring Tree Tour

Wednesday April 22,
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Garfield Park Pavilion,
334 Burton St. SE

This free tree tour is part of the food justice mission of OKT.

Tree tour guide, Laura Casaletto will lead us through Garfield Park where we will munch leaves and nibble flowers together for Earth Day. The menu includes spruce tips, the nectar inside tulip tree flowers, black locust flowers, Japanese knotweed shoots, redbud blossoms and perhaps entire linden trees!  IN addition, Laura is bringing bringing ramps for everyone to eat and plant in their own yards as well as a surprise flower everyone can eat.
We’ll certainly find something nice underfoot to add to your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed–and you’ll get a little booklet to help you recall what you learned.
If it rains, we’ll meet under the pavilion anyway!

OKT Events! Fun & Informative!

Today! Cook Eat & Talk! Make your own vitamin water with Jermale D Eddie of Malamiah Juice Bar, 6 to 8 p.m. at Sherman Street Church (downstairs),1000 Sherman St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507 and Dill-licious treats with OKT’s Kristin Blood.

Here is a slideshow from OKT’s July 6 Urban Foraging event.Free foraging handouts will be available at today’s event, as well.

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Urban foraging workshop at farmers’ market Saturday July 6

Urban Foraging Workshop

12 – 2 p.m. Saturday July 6 at Gerald R. Ford Middle School with Laura Casaletto, OKT Urban Forest Consultant

seafm- 7-6 -foragingThe Southeast Area Famers’ Market will host an Urban Foraging Workshop for the third year in a row, 12 – 2 p.m. Saturday July 6 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. Here is a list of some of the edible plants (weeds) growing 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.

Bicycle Tour of Fruit and Nut Trees a fun and informative ride

Though far from perfect in appearance, apples foraged from untended urban trees have a delightful flavor unmatched by most store-bought fruit.

Last Saturday, a dozen or so folks met in Eastown for OKT’s Bicycle Tour of Fruit and Nut Trees. Sunny skies, comfortable temperatures and a brisk breeze made for a lively, enjoyable ride.

Seasoned cyclist, Josh McBryde, planned the route and led the tour across Wealthy Street and over to Cherry Park. On the way there, tree expert, Laura Cassaletto, pointed out various trees and their edible uses, bringing the group to its first stop alongside an old apple tree, full of ripe fruit, outside of a two-flat apartment house.

After assuring us that she had gotten permission from the property’s owner, Laura invited everyone in the group to pick and enjoy an apple. She mentioned that the tree’s owner had told her that the apples were not good for eating as they had not been sprayed with pesticides. The group broke into laughter. And, with a close eye for worms,we took bites of the “imperfect” fruit. All were amazed at the incredible flavor these small, old fashioned, untended apples offered.

Laura recommended foraging such untended apple trees around the city. She likes to use them for applesauce. When the apples are put through the food mill, it’s easy to pick out any critters that might have eaten their way inside the fruit.

In Cherry Park, the group identified different varieties of nut trees, scavenged nuts from off the ground and even cracked and ate a few. Heading back across the neighborhood, a stop near Diamond and Cherry yielded a look at mulberry trees (already done fruiting) as well as locust trees. Seasoned urban forager, Richa, shared that the spring flowers from the locust tree are delicious. (At the conclusion of the tour, he shared a loaf of his homemade acorn bread).

Crab apples, yes.

Along the route, Laura pointed out that ornamental crab apple trees have edible fruit. She explained that crab apple trees are related to the rose, and like the rose, are edible. High in vitamin C, their edible fruit can be identified by the “crown” at the bottom of the fruit. While fruit with a crown is edible, she warned not to forage white fruit and berries, “White is the color of death.”

She also advised us to try new foraged fruits and nuts in small quantities to see how our own body reacts to it. Because trees, like people, are individuals, the fruits and berries eaten from them have differences in flavor and in how they align with each individual person’s digestive system.

Bittersweet, no.

In Wilcox Park, the group snacked on plump wild grapes and tried edible, though bitter, viburnum berries. We also learned that the colorful bittersweet nearby was just for decoration and not an edible.  The group ended its tour at Aquinas College, where Josh handed out tree identification maps the college provides to visitors. We stopped to gather, crack and snack on beech nuts beneath an elephantine beech tree.

A 16-year-old on the tour remarked, “It was so cool to learn that if I had to, I could get enough to eat from nature.” Cool indeed. Food is growing all around us. Let’s learn to appreciate it!