Month: August 2015

Piedmont Picnic in the News!

Thanks to everyone who joined our August Wild History Foraging Tour + Light Picnic this past Saturday!  We had a great tour learning about three different approaches to urban foraging and then chowing down on delicious brunch fare made with all of the plants we had talked about that day.  See our full gallery here.

We also had a couple of special visitors with us this week – reporters from the Raleigh News and Observer!  You can find a great piece on our tour and on what we do here at Piedmont Picnic Project on the front page of the local section in this past Sunday’s paper or online here.

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Our tour started and ended at Raleigh City Farm – which gives us a great example of how to incorporate traditionally wild edible plants into our decorative or edible landscape – providing beauty to our gardens, shelter and food to wildlife and pollinators, and interesting new foods to us!

We’ll be having several more events and classes at Raleigh City Farm this fall – including our Family Reunion One-Year Anniversary Party and our Fall Veggies: It ain’t over till it’s over class series – so stay tuned to our Events page to learn more!

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Wild History August Walking Tour + Picnic

Wild History August Walking Tour + Picnic | Raleigh City Farm | August 29, 9-11 AM

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We’ll forage edible wild plants together from the area surrounding Raleigh City Farm and then taste dishes made from the same plants!  We will review foraging guidelines and safety as well as instruction on plant uses and identification. Along the way, we’ll share history about the local area and this month’s theme: Foraging Three Ways.  We’ll talk about three ways to forage in the urban environment: (1) finding edible wild plants in public spaces, (2) borrowing excess edible plants from your neighbors, or (3) planting wild foods at home.  For the light picnic you can expect wild drink teas, local bread, local cheese, homemade wild jams and jellies, wild greens, and a wild treat for dessert!

This month’s location – Raleigh City Farm – provides a great example of growing wild edibles in and amongst your other edible and decorative plants!  Stick around after the picnic to check out their farm stand if you want some more cultivated veggies (open till 12 PM).

Notes:

+Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing for walking outdoors.  [weather-specific advice].

+All participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver for the event.

+Any persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

 

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Piedmont Picnic travels north: Old and new wild food friends

Over the last couple of weeks, this half of Piedmont Picnic Project went on a great northern adventure – heading up to the Ottawa River on the Quebec-Ontario border in Canada, just like I have done every year as far back as I can remember.  This place holds some of the earliest foraging and wild food memories for me – fishing for walleye, chomping on teaberry leaves, and shoving as many little wild blueberries as I could in my mouth. This year, I couldn’t wait to see if all of the foraging we’ve been doing with Piedmont Picnic would have sharpened my eye to find more wild edibles that I may have never noticed before up there.  And, as always, it did not disappoint.

So what did I find?  Plenty of the old classics like blueberries and teaberry plants (aka wintergreen)…

 

But also edible plants I knew from foraging in North Carolina, that I hadn’t noticed before up north…  like milkweed and juneberries. My family was skeptical of a new berry at first, but those that were brave enough to taste the juneberries were sold!

#Milkweed in bloom along the #OttawaRiver. Piedmont Picnic goes north.
#wildfoodlove #foragecanada #foraging #eh?

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

I was also excited to find plants I had seen growing up but not known they were edible or other plants I had only read about and never seen in person – like fireweed and beaked hazelnuts!

Finally, the best part was sharing old traditions with the next generation – like finding “red light” moss (aka British soldier lichen) or how to bread walleye using the family recipe for a fish fry.

#tbt to #britishsoldier #lichen on the #ottawariver last week! Or as we called them growing up #redlights. Piedmont Picnic goes north!

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

Just like every year previous, I am glad to be home, but I already can’t wait to go back next year.

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Monthly Planting Guide: August in the Piedmont

If you’re not too buried in a pile of tomatoes or zucchini this time of year to think about planting more in your garden, August can be an exciting time to plant!  There are still a few “quick maturing” crops you can get in the ground for summer – like bush beans and cucumbers.  But I think the really exciting things are the fall crops!  Think of almost everything you might have put in your spring garden – peas, cabbage, broccoli, greens…  All of this has another chance to be planted now for a fall (and even into winter) harvest!

See our Monthly Planting Guide for August below for the details.  If you don’t have an empty bed, stick fall crops in around your summer ones – they’ll appreciate a little shade.  When it’s time to pull out the no-longer-productive summer crops, your fall crops can have all the space and all the light!

August Planting Guide

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