Streams

Lessons from a Foraging Pro on How to Find Edible Plants in the Wild

Friday, September 05, 2014

Tama Matsuoka Wong preparing sumac, which she foraged from the wild. Tama Matsuoka Wong preparing sumac, which she foraged from the wild. (Yossy Arefi/Tama Matsuoka Wong)

Tama Matsuoka Wong, forager for Daniel Boulud and Mads Refslund and author of Foraged Flavor, explains how to forage for wild plant ingredients, like sumac and mushrooms, in the fall. In 2007 she was awarded the New Jersey Forest Service Steward of the Year award, and she has since worked with botanists and conservation groups to map wild plants and their ecological behavior throughout New Jersey, the mid-Atlantic and beyond. In addition to supplying local, organic and sustainable wild food products, she gives tours, lectures, and landscape stewardship advice to conservation and botanical organizations as well as private individuals.

 

 

Guests:

Tama Matsuoka Wong

Comments [5]

AL from Brooklyn

mck22mck is WRONG. PLEASE LOOK IT UP FOLKS! QAL is wild carrot. It is not hemlock! Don't mess around unless you KNOW how to distinguish one from the other. This goes triple for mushrooms.
There is no antidote for amanita poisoning. You die.

Sep. 05 2014 01:37 PM

The Boyscout Hand Book from my youth gave foraging suggestions and the stag horn sumac was on the list as the source of a pink lemonade. I've tried it several times and it has a complex, lemony taste. There are wild carrots but Queen Ann's lace is not wild carrots. Queen Ann's lace is a variety of hemlock. The flowers are similar but wild carrots florets grow from a central point at the top of the stem and the hemlock florets grow from separate points on the stem. They are close enough that a novice should not attempt to harvest them.

Sep. 05 2014 01:21 PM

The Boyscout Hand Book from my youth gave foraging suggestions and the stag horn sumac was on the list as the source of a pink lemonade. I've tried it several times and it has a complex, lemony taste. There are wild carrots but Queen Ann's lace is not wild carrots. Queen Ann's lace is a variety of hemlock. The flowers are similar but wild carrots florets grow from a central point at the top of the stem and the hemlock florets grow from separate points on the stem. They are close enough that a novice should not attempt to harvest them.

Sep. 05 2014 01:20 PM
Penny from Downtown

Foraging segments on WNYC are usually followed by a spike in vandalism in the community gardens. Please ask your listeners to respect the hard, unpaid work of the gardeners, and let our vegetables and/or "weeds" alone. We will not waste them. We are getting visitors now who treat us as "establishment" figures to be tricked. Even if we make compost from the edible weeds instead of eating them, the plant matter is never wasted. It may well be part of a carefully designed plot that is ruined when foraging visitors tear it up. I hope Gerard would agree.

Sep. 05 2014 01:20 PM
Andrea from NYC

Just tuned in--I know where to find sumac. What part of the plant is the edible part?
Flowers or berries?

Sep. 05 2014 01:13 PM

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