Month: June 2015

Blackberry Brigade! Get all details here!

Blackberry Brigade with Second Saturday | Shaw University, Raleigh | July 11, 8:30 AM – 1 PM

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REGISTER HERE NOW to enter your team in the Blackberry Brigade blackberry picking competition!  Teams pick blackberries along Raleigh greenways and then bring their berry haul to be weighed in to see who has the most berry poundage!  The winning team and runner up will receive some fantastic prizes!  You can choose to keep your berries OR better yet, donate them and package them to be sold to local chefs, with all proceeds going to an area non-profit!  Various berry-themed activities for teams to enjoy will also take place at the weigh-in site, including: blackberry-themed refreshments provided by local businesses, cooking and preserving demos by Common Roots Project, andblackberry juice art demos.

Piedmont Picnic Project will be partnering with Community Food Lab andSecond Saturday to host the day’s events as part of the City of Raleigh’s Art along Blount Street dedication and in conjunction with the Shaw Summer Sizzlesconcert series!

Schedule:

8:30 9:00 AM – Teams can pre-register or register on site during this time.  

12:00 – 1:00 PM – Berry weigh-in – all berries must be weighed by 1:00 PM to count for the competition.

1:00 PM – Winners announced and prizes awarded!

Stick around during and after weigh-in to help package berries, taste blackberry-based refreshments and snacks, participate in some blackberry juice art, and enjoy our partners’ events (full schedule here)!

The event will be held at Shaw University (corners of E. South and S. Wilmington Streets) in downtown Raleigh.

REGISTER YOUR TEAM HERE NOW TO ENTER!

 

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Summer, 100 Miles, and Wild Berry Ice Cream!

This past Sunday, Piedmont Picnic Project had a lot to celebrate – and a dedicated group of picnickers braved the heat to come out and help us do it up right!  We held our third Wild History Walking Tour + Picnic of the year – a Wild Berry Ice Cream Social.  See full gallery here.

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The first day of summer for us meant the end of our 100 Miles in 100 Days series – we had officially walked 100 miles of Raleigh’s greenways in the 100 days from the first day of spring to the first day of summer, cataloging over 70 edible plants growing along the way!  You can see all of our finds on our instagram account.

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For our location, we chose Dorothea Dix [future] Park in downtown Raleigh.  We thought this spot was ideal for this celebration for a number of reasons…  This was the first spot I ever foraged berries in Raleigh, so it had special meaning to me.  The history of Dorothea Dix the person as well as the place is a rich one, and the place is in transition yet again with its purchase by the City of Raleigh for a park.

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It also is a place from where you can connect to several of Raleigh’s greenways…  Continue east to connect to the Walnut Creek Trail all the way to the Neuse River.  Continue west on the Rocky Branch Trail to connect to the Reedy Creek Trail to the NC Museum of Art all the way to Umstead Park.  Continue south to take the Centennial Bikeway Connector to the NC State Farmers Market and on to Lake Johnson.  Continue north connect to the House Creek Trail, Shelley Lake, and beyond all the way to the Raleigh city limits!  How connected we are!

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Another thing that made Dorothea Dix ideal for this day and this walk was that the entire Dix campus is rimmed with the perfect foraging environment – the intersection of grassy field with forest – resulting in a tangled mass of wild things brimming with edibles.  The edges of Dorothea Dix campus look like many of the Raleigh greenway edges we have seen in our 100 Miles in 100 Days walks.

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For the foraging walk, we focused on berries – mulberries finishing their season, blackberries beginning their season, and berries to come later this summer – muscadines and elderberries.

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Surprisingly, the plant that may have out shown all of these berry jewels was the easily-missed sassafras tree!

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We put our picnickers to work making their own ice cream for the first course!

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But at the end, we laid out a full spread for them – brandy-vanilla ice cream, “sassy snaps” sassafras cookies to make ice cream sandwiches…

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and a full wild soda bar for mix-and-match ice cream floats.

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We can’t think of a better way for us to have celebrated the first day of summer and the culmination of our 100 Miles in 100 Days journey, and we are grateful to those who chose to spend their Father’s Day with us!

So what will we do now that our 100 Miles in 100 Days challenge is over, and summer has begun?  Stay tuned for our upcoming events, especially coming up in July – the Blackberry Brigade – blackberry picking competition for a cause!

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Also, our theme for summer will be “Put it up!” – where we’ll focus on how to put up and preserve the summer’s bounty so that you can continue to taste summer all year long out of your pantry and freezer.

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Location announced! Wild History Wild Berry Ice Cream Social

Wild History Wild Berry Ice Cream Social | Dorothea Dix Campus, Raleigh | June 21, 2-4 PM

Wild History June

Piedmont Picnic Project will host a Wild History Ice Cream Social + Berry Foraging event where we’ll forage wild berries along the Rocky Branch trail that runs along Dorothea Dix campus in downtown Raleigh.  Then we’ll make those berries into ice cream on site!  We’ll show you what edible berries (and more!) are growing in the area and guide you step by step into how to turn them into a delicious frozen concoction.  Then…  we’ll chow down!  Ice cream will be accompanied by sodas, cookies, and syrups! GET YOUR TICKET HERE.

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Don’t miss out! Wild History Ice Cream Social + Wild Berry Forage

Wild History Wild Berry Ice Cream Social | Raleigh | June 21, 2-4 PM

Wild History June

Piedmont Picnic Project will host a Wild History Ice Cream Social + Berry Foraging event where we’ll forage wild berries along part of Raleigh’s greenways, and then make them into ice cream on site!  We’ll show you what edible berries are growing in the area and guide you step by step into how to turn them into a delicious frozen concoction.  Then…  we’ll chow down!  GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

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Sea Salt, Rocket, & Roses… Piedmont Picnic goes to the beach

That’s right!  We just got back from the beach, but don’t worry, we didn’t take the week off.  To keep you entertained, while we were on vacation, we looked into things to forage on the beaches of NC…  What did we find?  We foraged seaweed for extra nutrients in the compost pile, picked sea rocket and wild roses, and made our own sea salt!  All things you can try out next time you pop over to the beach.  Check it out below.

Wild sea rocket…  like arugula, but the leaves are more like a succulent…

Wild beach roses were turned into an infusion and then into a yummy beachy cocktail (of course!).  

The #wildfoodlove #harvest continues even on #beach #vacation. #TopsailIsland #beachrose A photo posted by Piedmont Picnic Project (@piedmontpicnicproject) on

“The #Wild #Rosy #Pear” – wild #beachrose #infusion+ pear syrup courtesy of #grandma’s #homecanned pears + #gin + lemon

A photo posted by Piedmont Picnic Project (@piedmontpicnicproject) on

Finally, our grand finale…  If you are trying to eat more locally, how do you localize your salt intake?  Well, if you live in the NC Piedmont, in less than 150 miles, you can make your own local sea salt!  We just strained the seawater and then dehydrated it until nothing was left but the salt!  

Why yes! This is the start of our #homemade #seasalt evaporated from #foraged #seawater! #TopsailIsland

A photo posted by Piedmont Picnic Project (@piedmontpicnicproject) on

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Monthly Planting Guide: June in the Piedmont

 

 

Wondering what you can still plant this month in the Piedmont, Zone 7B?  We’ve got you covered!  There’s still time to put out a few key summer transplants like tomatoes and peppers…  but it’s also time to think about starting those fall transplants from seed indoors!

June Planting Guide

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