"In wildness is the preservation of the world." -H.D. Thoreau

Why eat from the wild? The answer is obvious to anyone who has felt the emotional uplift from the weight of a basket brimming with morel mushrooms, the earthy-sweet scent of digging Sassafras roots, or the heavy pulsing of a fish testing the limits of your fly rod.
There are a million reasons to eat wild, to get dirty, to taste fresh food. It is here where we connect to the Earth, our Ancestral past, immediate present and hope for a healthy future...

"Nothing else can build such awareness as surely and powerfully as practicing the ancient ecological art of humankind - foraging. It is not observation of, but rather participation in the phenomena of Nature that brings us to our greatest understanding of our place in the mosaic of life."
-Samuel Thayer The Forager's Harvest

Foraging in the Tip of the Mitten!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumnal Abundance...

WEEDS Events scheduled for Fall 2010

Canoe for Cranberries!
Saturday, Oct. 9th 2pm

A Jordan River Float for Highbush Cranberry and Wild Ginger!

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) is a native shrub that grows wild in wetlands and is especially prolific along the Jordan River. Great in jams and juices, we will learn to identify this tasty berry as we float Michigan's first wild and scenic river. This float is not for those unwilling to get wet or those without waders; we will be hopping in and out of canoes once this conspicuous crimson culinary comestible is spotted. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) grows in certain hidden spots along the river. We will stop at one large patch to uproot this tasty treat and potent medicine. Recipes for candied ginger made with Wagbo syrup will be shared with those foragers with dirt under their nails. Bring your own canoe and baskets, or call Wagbo to see if any lenders are available. Put-in will be at Old State Road. Call 231-536-0333 for any questions.

Autumberry Harvest

Sunday, October 10th, 5 pm
At Raven's Roost Farm in Bellaire

Autumnberry (AKA autumn olive) is a prolific and conspicuous invasive shrub known to nearly every person concerned with habitat preservations. What is often overlooked is its edible and delicious berries, which ripen to a speckled-red in autumn. Excellent raw, dried, juiced, or made into jam, we will harvest loads of berries as well as share recipes. Come rain or shine!

(And rumor has it that there will be a post-pickin dinner and quaffing session at the local brewpub!)

Raven's Roost Farm is located at 2398 Vandermark Road in Bellaire. Call Wagbo at 231-536-0333 for directions.

Wild Parsnip Diggin'
Saturday, Nov. 13th 3pm
At the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center
5745 N. M66 East Jordan 3pm

Wild Parsip is notorious for being an invasive pest, but few realize this is the exact same plant as the parsnip you buy at groceries and farmers markets. This garden escapee is quickly displacing our native wildflowers in a small section of the Wagbo property. Come armed with shovels and enthusiasm to help our native Boneset, Joe Pye weed and Goldenrods and gather delicious table fare - all at the same time!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sweeten up the Winter Blues...

Its that time of year again, friends. The days are getting longer, the snow is melting and the sap is flowing in the Maple trees!
Yes, that long awaited 1st seasonal Wild Edible is here, coursing in the veins of trees just waiting for us to tap and work our you-know-whats off to get that sweet Michigan syrup. Here at the Wagbo Farm and Education Ctr. volunteers have been getting together to share in this time-honored tradition of this essential blending of our lives and the greater ecological community we commonly call Sugartime.

Edible Events are scheduled for March!

Saturday, March 20, 10:30am-3:30pm
Come out to the Wagbo Farm for a fun and educational tour of the world of maple syrup! Learn how to tap trees, boil syrup in your own backyard, and operate a large-scale commercial evaporator. There will be separate children’s activities, including a short hike, storytelling, and puppet shows. Please come dressed for the weather, as this event will be mostly outdoors!

10:30-12:30 (Adult)- Evaporator Training: Workshop and demonstration on how to run a large-scale commericial evaporator with Wagbo's 5'x16' wood-fired system.
10:30-12:30 (Children)- Maple Ecology Hike: A short hike to a stand of maple trees, with hands-on lessons on tapping maples. Maple sap and syrup will be available for tasting, and help boil down sap in our cauldron!
12:30-1:30- Lunch: Wagbo will provide hot soup, beverages, and maple-themed snacks.
1:30-3:30 (Adult)- Maple Ecology Hike: Hike out to Wagbo's sugarbush and gain knowledge of a vacuum sap collection system. Receive hands-on lessons on how to tap maples, and taste delicious maple sap and syrup.
1:30-3:30 (Children)- Turning the Seasons: Join Chris Evans of Wild Ginger Children's Arts as she presents puppet shows and tells stories about the coming of spring.
**Please Note- Of course children can attend the adult's programming, or vice versa, if they so wish! However, we do ask that adults don't leave the Wagbo premises while their children are here.

Cost $10 of adults, $5 for children, $28 for a family, 3 and under are free. Please register by Thursday, March 18. For more info, call 231-536-0333, or email wagbo@torchlake.com.

Saturday, March 27, 10 am-3 pm

Join us at the Wagbo Farm for our annual family event to celebrate Maple Syrup! Pancake breakfast served all day with real Wagbo Maple Syrup and locally-produced sausage and bacon. Music, sleigh rides out to the sugar bush, syrup tasting, “pancake” flipping contests an more – plus view maple syrup being made in our sugar shack! All food and activities are included for one price!

Cost $10 of adults, $5 for children, $28 for a family, 3 and under are free. No pre-registration required. For more info, call 231-536-0333, or email wagbo@torchlake.com.

You too can volunteer in exchange for syrup. We are an all volunteer-run Sugarbush and depend on the kindness of others to keep our operation going strong. www.wagbopeacecenter.blogspot.com 231.536.0333 for more info. Hope to see ya there!