Tag: Forage (page 2 of 5)

Want to know how to keep spring flowers all year long?

Flower Power Preserving Workshop | Raleigh City Farm | Saturday, April 9, 9-11 AM


Reserve your spot here for our upcoming Flower Power Preserving Workshop!

Interested in learning to make and preserve syrups and jellies? Want to know which wild or home-grown flowers you can actually eat and what to do with them? Either way, we’ve got you covered!

Information will cover how to make syrups and jellies out of edible flowers. Techniques generalize easily to herbs or fruit! You will leave with a solid overview of how to preserve your jelly using the water-bath canning method. We’ll send you home with a jar of jelly or syrup of your choosing that you help make!

Reserve your spot here.

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What better way to spend the Spring Equinox?

UPDATE:  Our March walk is SOLD OUT but please check back for more information about our next walk on April 24!

Wild History Walk + Equinox Celebration – Spring Greens & Tiny Flowers | Anderson Point Park, Raleigh, NC | March 20, 2-4 PM


Piedmont Picnic Project will host a Wild History Foraging Walk + Wild Food Tasting to celebrate the Spring Equinox. We’ll forage edible wild plants together, learn more about the local history, and then taste dishes made from the same plants!  Reserve your spot here!

Our surprise location has been announced!  We’ll be meeting at Anderson Point Park (20 Anderson Point Drive) and walking to picnic at a lovely spot along the Neuse River.

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: Spring Greens + Tiny Flowers.

For the light picnic you can expect wild teas, local bread, local cheese, homemade wild jams and jellies, wild greens, and a wild treat for dessert!

Reserve your spot here!


+Park in the parking lot to the left off the roundabout at the entrance to Anderson Point Park.
+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.
+Your confirmation email serves as your ticket, but no need to bring it along – we’ll have a list of pre-sale ticket holders.
+Walks are rain or shine, but in the event of storms, our make-up date for this walk is Saturday, March 26, 2-4 PM. Please check your email the morning of the walk for notice if there is a chance of storms.

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Thank You! 2nd Annual Hot Nuts & Cider

This year marked our 2nd annual Hot Nuts & Cider gathering at Raleigh City Farm, and we were overwhelmed by the positive response from our partners, sponsors, and the local community.


Thank you too everyone who helped with the event and to all who came by, cracked nuts, drank cider, made an ornament, made or purchased a wreath, and huddled around the fire listening to some great bluegrass.  See full gallery here.

For those of you who were asking about our candied pecan recipe, here it is!DSC_0931-001

Candied Pecans (on the stovetop or open fire)

-2 tbsp butter

-2 c pecans

-1/4 cup brown sugar

->Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron if you are over an open flame).

Once butter is melted, add pecans and toss in butter to cover.  Add brown sugar and stir so that sugar evenly coats pecans.

Once sugar takes on a molten liquid appearance (and no sugar granules are visible), pour pan contents out onto wax paper to cool.  They will harden and candy as they cool.

Well, there it is!  The secret is out!  And if you want a great historical hot cider cocktail as recommended by the evening’s bartender, try this out…

The story goes that the Green Mountain Boys, who included Ethan Allen in their crew, were hanging out at a tavern in Vermont in 1775, drinking hard cider with shots of rum. The name of this not-so-fancy drink is a Stone Fence, and since it was the last thing these Green Mountain Boys did before crossing Lake Champlain to capture Fort Ticonderoga at dawn the next morning, it’s clearly what gave them the strength and American spirit to defeat the British. As we drank it at Hot Nuts & Cider, we used hot cider instead of hard, spiked it with NC-grown and distilled sorghum rum from Fair Game Beverage, and added a dash of Crude bitters to complement the flavors.


Stone Fence Cocktail

-2 oz. rum (we used Fair Game’s No’Lasses; can substitute whiskey, brandy, or applejack)

-dash of bitters (we used Crude Bitters’ Sycophant with fig & orange notes)

-5 oz. hot apple cider

Pour rum and add bitters in your glass, then top with hot apple cider, preferably heated over an open fire. Can garnish with a foraged bitter orange or rose hips, especially if you’re drinking with Piedmont Picnic Project. Attacks on the British optional.

Special thanks to our partners and sponsors below!  You each made this event more delicious, more fun, and/or more sustainable!


Thanks to our Sponsors & Partners:


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It’s almost time for Hot Nuts & Cider!

Hot Nuts & Cider | Raleigh City Farm, 800 N Blount St. | December 5, 2015, 4-8 PM


Join us for an evening of nut cracking and cider sipping around the fire at Raleigh City Farm!

Was there a time when the end of fall meant sitting around the fire with your family and friends… chatting, telling stories, or listening to someone play music… sipping a hot drink… while you cracked and picked the nuts you gathered all fall long…  looking forward to preparing decadent treats with them for the holiday season?  That time can be now!  

Order Online

Come sit around the fire with us and enjoy:

Raleigh City Farm will also have their Christmas Tree Lot open for tree sales from High Country Firs during this time, so you can purchase a sustainably-grown Christmas tree while you’re there!

TICKETS available here!  

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Family Reunion: A Cocktails & Mayonnaise Event!

Have you bought your tickets yet??  How about entered your favorite mayo dish (potato salad? chocolate-mayonnaise cake? deviled eggs?) into our Mayo Dish Cook-Off?  The prizes are from some great local businesses!  Don’t wait!  It’s time…  and we can’t wait!

Learn to make wild cocktails, listen to music from a 100-year-old Victrola, and eat mayo delights all while hanging out on a farm in the middle of downtown Raleigh.  What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon?

See details below.

Family Reunion | Raleigh City Farm, 800 S Blount St | September 19, 2-4 PM


GET TICKETS HERE.  In celebration of Piedmont Picnic’s first ever event and launch party one year ago – Cocktails & Mayonnaise – we’ll be hosting another cocktails and mayonnaise event as our one year anniversary party!  What can you expect?
  • Wild Cocktail Bar with DIY Mix-Ins
  • Mayo & Cocktail Demos (but not mayo cocktails)
  • Favorite Mayo Dish Cook-Off – Entry is $10, with all entry fees benefiting Raleigh City Farm!  Prizes from Wine Authorities, Brew Coffee Bar, and more!
    • Competition Categories:
      • Mayo-based salad
      • Mayo-based dessert
      • Deviled Eggs
  • Special musical guest Marshall Wyatt of Old Hat Records and his 100-year-old hand-cranked Victrola will provide the records and the old-time vibes perfect for any Family Reunion!

TICKETS are on sale now!

  • Pre-Sale – $10 (includes 1 cocktail ticket)
  • On-Site – $15 (includes 1 cocktail ticket)
  • Additional drink tickets available on-site for $5 each (cash and credit accepted).

Come enjoy a lovely afternoon on the farm, participate in creating your own unique foraged cocktails, and chow down on your neighbors’ best mayo recipes!

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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.


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


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).


+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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Blackberry Brigade: Full Report!

Around 20 teams of berry pickers went out on Raleigh greenways this past Saturday to see who could pick the most blackberries (using a map of berry hot spots we provided!).


Competitors then brought their berry haul to be weighed in to see who had the most berry poundage!


In the end, competitors weighed in 21 pounds of berries!  Teams could choose to keep their berries OR better yet, donate them and package them to be sold to local chefs (see list below), with all proceeds going to the garden at Neighbor to Neighbor Outreach Center in SE Raleigh!

InstagramCapture_2401e1c6-b238-48e3-837d-6f8983097686Various berry-themed activities for teams to enjoy also took place at the weigh-in site, including: blackberry-themed refreshments provided by local businesses, cooking and preserving demos by Common Roots Project, and blackberry juice juicy hand prints and photo portraits.


Click here to see the gallery from the event!

Where did the idea for the Blackberry Brigade come from?  11667535_737772309679046_6043680940676754633_nOur inspiration was twofold.  First, while walking our 100 miles of Raleigh greenways in 100 days of spring, we quickly noticed that one edible plant was ubiquitous along Raleigh greenways – blackberries!  All of these berries might go to waste if no one was around to pick them come July.  What could we do to put them to good use?  Second, we were inspired by the artwork of Linda Dallas – particularly her work that was about to be dedicated as a banner at the Art Along Blount Street  dedication.  Linda’s piece was inspired by the work of Home Demonstration agents working from the early to mid 1900s in Raleigh, and we were inspired by them as well!

Home Demonstrators of Wake County in the Early to Mid 1900s

Jane McKimmon was the first North Carolina State Home Demonstration agent in 1911. Her agents traveled the state and taught homemaking skills to rural women (what McKimmon called “housewifely arts”). Their programs focused on increasing efficiency and standardizing procedures in home food production and selling, efforts that became highlighted during the scarcities of World War I.

Dazelle Foster Lowe taught about emergency preparedness during World War I, and later after some resistance was hired full-time as an agent for Wake County’s African American residents. By 1925, she was the head of Home Demonstration for all of North Carolina’s black citizens, and she served in the field until 1955.

Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delaney worked with the Negro Rural School Fund, educating black children and their families in rural Raleigh with the help of Dr. Booker T. Washington. She taught about Home Demonstration subjects, like sanitation practices and canning techniques. When they were both over 100, Sadie and her sister published Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, an oral history told to Amy Hearth Hill and a New York Times’ bestseller.

The spirit of preserving food to keep it from going to waste spoke to our foraging this spring and our new theme of “Put it up!” this summer.

Piedmont Picnic Project is grateful to our partners: Community Food Lab and Second Saturday for co-hosting the day’s events as part of the City of Raleigh’s Art along Blount Street dedication and in conjunction with the Shaw Summer Sizzles concert series!

HUGE thanks to local restaurants that purchased our locally-foraged berries from us, with all proceeds going to the garden at Neighbor to Neighbor Outreach Center!


And to our partners…

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Blackberry Brigade! Get all details here!

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


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!


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.



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