Edible Plant Walk in Purgatory Creek Natural Area
Holding Pattern by Randy Lenz
Spring has sprung and with it many lovely and, in some cases, edible wild plants. On Saturday the 28th at 2:30 in the afternoon, twenty-five members of Edible San Marcos explored those wild edibles in Prospect Park. The plant walk, lasted three and a half hours, covered around twenty plants, and had a casual but academically rigorous tone. The demographic was decidedly diverse: a midwife, an aquatic biologist, many gardeners and a few children.
Goers were particularly entertained to learn that our native Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) was used in the Revolutionary War as a substitute for hops in the making of beer; to hear the nefarious account of how Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) came upon its scientific name; that rabbits fed a steady diet of Turk’s Cap foliage (Malvaviscus arboreus) grow fat and happy; and concerned, but ultimately amused, to observe that after cautioning the group about the dangers of collecting Pencil Cactus fruit (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis), I emerged from the bushes covered in pernicious pokeys.
|Adam Salcedo, a seasoned forager, leads plant walks about once a week.|
At the close of the walk chatter abounded as phone numbers were exchanged, and desires for further expeditions expressed. Food has a funny way of bringing people together. And wild edible plants you’ve seen but overlooked a thousand times before do this exceptionally well.
-Guest Post by Adam Salcedo