Forage and Plant Walks and Talks

Prunus serotina, black cherries

To join my walk mailing list, please email me. I send out 4 - 5 emails a year with walk updates.

About the Walks

On the wild foods walks I lead, the focus is on plants that are not just edible, but delicious and versatile in the kitchen or a cocktail shaker. I approach foraging not as means of survival, but as a cook and imbiber looking for new ingredients and flavors. With some notable native exceptions, my emphasis is on weedy or invasive plants (usually the target of mass-herbicide application), which could easily become commonly eaten and enjoyed vegetables, fruit or herbs.

Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese knotweed

Since 2010, through my writing here and in other publications (locally for Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan) and via my walks, I have advocated persistently for creative control of edible invasives by means of collection and consumption: I will be happy when we can routinely find Japanese knotweed on farmers market tables.

Already, in the last few years, the tide of perception has begun to turn: garlic mustard appears on some menus, field garlic is for sale at some farmers markets, and a Union Square farmer is stocking knotweed shoots. If more chefs knew the flavor-potential of many 'weeds,' their menus would be overflowing with them. Mine are.

Rhus glabra, smooth sumac 

In terms of indigenous edible plants there are several I turn to for flavor in the kitchen. I am a strong proponent of growing these plants in our private or community gardens as well as on farms in order to appreciate them more on our plates. In the Northeast these include beach plums, bayberry, common milkweed, sweetfern and the sumacs.

On wild food walks we discuss the do's and don't's of urban foraging - such as letting sensitive natives be - and we talk about culinary ideas and techniques for unfamiliar ingredients.

Not just edibles but all plants are part of our mobile discussion. My goal on each walk is to tune the eye to the green details beneath our feet, so that we see the place where we live with newly appreciative eyes and an expanded sense of context.

My walks are a little different because I keep groups small and low-impact. I prefer personal interaction and conversation over a stand and shout approach. I hate shouting. I often learn from the people who attend my walks - fresh eyes and different backgrounds bring new questions and insight to the table. It is not unusual for new friendships to be forged over the course of a walk and a shared, wild-inspired picnic. 

Spicebush bread, rose jams, quail eggs and mugwort salt, mugwort crackers and dip

Ways to Walk or Talk

Public Walks - Planned walks are listed on this page seasonally.
Pop Ups - Join my mailing list for walks or tastings at short notice.
Private Walks - (Give a walk as a gift?) Please email me via the Contact link.
Backyard Mission - Your garden is probably packed with edibles. I can help you identify them.
Talks - I am available for tutoring, lectures, tastings, and mixology or menu consultation

My Walk Booking Policy:

Refunds are given with 72 hours notice of cancellation.
After 72 hours you will receive credit towards a future walk.
No-show, no notice? No refund, no credit.
Bad weather means an on-the-day postponement and rescheduling. If you cannot make the rain date you will be refunded.

Mugwort Allée

Prospect Park Hill Walk (limited to 10 people)
29 June 2017
5.30pm - 7pm

Come and relax in the park after work. Park bathing is a New York thing. 

Warm evenings after the flush of spring has past show us what summer is bringing. We'll circle a hill, summit it, discovering the herb and fruit ingredients (native and invasive) for home made bitters, vermouths and cordials along the way. 

Flower Cordials

A wild vermouth and forage snack will be served. (And you will still have time to eat out in the neighborhood.)

Details will be emailed to you upon sign up.


Brooklyn Urban Shoreline Stroll
7 July 2017
5.30pm - 7pm

Come and discover the indigenous American herbs we should all be growing and using in our kitchens and cocktails fixings. Scratch, sniff, and then taste them in a picnic of wild inspired snacks and two forage cocktails, enjoyed with the sea breeze off the water.

Details will be emailed to you upon sign up. Or please email me if you have questions!


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