Friday, October 5, 2012

Nature Experienceship - Wild Edibles with Tom Smith

“Think of it as a tuition rebate.” Dr. Smith told us, as we ate sweet yew berries straight off of the bushes outside the Jesse Knight Building on BYU campus. Students passing by stared as we plucked clover and munched on flower petals.  Last Saturday, Dr. Smith took us all over campus, showing us a dozen different varieties of edible plants that most people see every day, but would never think of eating. As part of the Wild Edibles Nature Experienceship we tasted plants like pansies, nasturtiums, wild sumac, Oregon grapes, yew berries (the flesh of the berry is not poisonous) and more. Some of the plants we tasted, like the wild sumac, were edible, but as Dr. Smith explained, not very tasty alone, so we learned how to turn them into tasty drinks and dishes.
After we’d collected all sorts of berries, leaves and flowers we made some of the tastiest things I have ever had. Acorn flour muffins, purslaine casserole and wild sumac lemonade were some of our favorites. By the end of the morning, we had learned a ton about wild plants that are not only edible, but really tasty, too! We were really lucky to have an enthusiastic expert on edible plants with us to show us things that we would normally never try. Thanks Dr. Smith!
Keep your eyes peeled for future wild edibles trips and join us Saturday, October 20th at 8 AM for a tour of aspen forests with Sam St. Clair!

Shanna, Museum Educator

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