Spring Is Coming. Schedule a Foraging Walk.

Knotweed will be up before you know it. Photo by Marie Viljoen

We’re digging out from the snow — and braced for more — but while you’re thawing out your fingers over the stove, consider this: February 2nd was the precise halfway point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. I can almost feel the planet tilting back toward the sun.

Don’t go looking for asparagus or rhubarb anytime soon, but now is the perfect time to do something else: book a spring weed walk, lead by the lovely forager Marie Viljoen.

We are lucky enough to have published many pieces by Marie about eating wild foods found in city parks and sidewalks — from knotweed to pigweed — and her work has left me incapable of walking past day lilies without snacking on a few spent buds. Perhaps the best most beautiful writing I read last year was her new book about life on her tiny terrace, 66 Square Feet.

I’ve learned that some writers are more of a pleasure on the page than in person. Not Marie. I once had the good fortune to go foraging with her, and it was one of the most delightful afternoons I can remember. That night, as we feasted on pokeweed and adorned our lamb burgers with watercress, I vowed to learn more from her about the edible world all around us.

Now you can do so, too. Marie is offering four spring foraging walks in city parks, looking for edibles among the waking, warming earth. March in Inwood Hill Park, April in the Bronx and in Central Park, and May in Dead Horse Bay. See you there.

Betsy Bradley

Elizabeth L. Bradley writes about New York City history and culture. She hopes to find Tiffany blue dragees in her Christmas stocking this year.

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