Inwood Hill Park (Teens/Adults)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Inwood

(72)
Course Details
Price:
$20 32 seats left
Start Date:

Sun, Jun 16, 11:45am - 3:45pm

Next start dates (1)

Location:
Inwood, Manhattan
Broadway & Dyckman St At the playground
At Riverside Dr
New York, New York 10034
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Important:
$20 Ticket is for 1 person only. Accompanying Adult must purchase ticket separately.
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 13 and older
Average Class Size: 35

What you'll learn in this tour class:

March 17 2019

Inwood Hill Park is one of the best places for foragers in late winter. The city's hilliest park, with a large, mature forest, meadows, thickets, and cultivated areas, it's loaded with wild plants. Now is the time for roots. Burdock, an expensive detoxifying herb sold in health food stores, as well as an invasive foreign species, abounds in human-disturbed areas throughout the park. The cooked root tastes like a combination of potatoes and artichokes.

Sassafras, on the other hand, tastes like root beer, which you make from the taproots of the highly-abundant saplings. And the black birch tree, of birch beer fame, tastes like wintergreen. The twigs, which you can chew, make a delicious non-steroidal anti-inflammatory herb tea, as well as a flavoring ingredient for tapioca-thickened Stick Pudding.

Another root we'll look for along the park's paths is the tuber of the hog peanut, with a flavor akin to raw peanuts. Peppery-sweet common evening primrose roots grow along one of the pathways. You can purchase a prostaglandin-rich oil pressed from the seeds in health food stores, for PMS and other ailments. With a sweet-and-peppery flavor, the root is outstanding in soups and stews, which it also thickens.

There are going to be plenty of shoots and greens to enjoy, such as chickweed, which tastes like corn, hot-sweet daylily shoots, pungent-tasting pepper sedum, spicy garlic mustard leaves and root, lemony curly dock, and savory field garlic. Asian people collect the stems of this goutweed in this park, which they pickle. With the flavors of parsley, carrots, and celery, the leaves are excellent in soups, salads, and guacamole, and they provide a great seasoning as well if you use them like parsley.

June 16, 2019

Inwood Hill Park is one of the best places for foragers to search for wild foods in late spring. The city's hilliest park, with a large, mature forest, meadows, thickets, and cultivated areas, it's loaded with edible and medicinal wild plants.

Red, white, and pink mulberries will be at their peak now. Too perishable for commercial use in the US, we'll get a spectacular harvest simply by shaking the branches over a drop cloth. Related to figs, these sweet berries are especially tasty and nutritious.

Daylily flowers will also be at their peak. Used in traditional Chinese hot-and-sour soup, these "golden needles," from an invasive Asian plant, have taken over sections of the woodland's understory. Add them to salads or East Asian dishes, or stuff them.

Most roots are out of season now, but burdock, an expensive detoxifying herb sold in health food stores, is an exception, and it abounds in human-disturbed areas throughout the park. Instead of brewing it as a tea, it's so abundant, you cook the root like a potato, or marinate and bake slices to make "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky.

There are plenty of late spring herbs and greens in season. We'll find mugwort and motherwort, both tonics for the female reproductive system. Since I've learned these herbs, I've never suffered a single monthly cramp!

We'll also be finding Asiatic dayflower, greenbriar, lady's thumb, lamb's-quarters, and goutweed, all great for salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Common milkweed needs to be boiled to remove the bitter sap, but it has a flavor all its own, and we'll find it all over the fields near the park's summit. Sassafras root, the original source of root beer, stays in season all year. You use it for tea, for making root beer, and as a cinnamon-like seasoning.

Another tree we'll look for is the black birch. It grows in the woods, has twigs that taste like wintergreen, and provides the raw material for birch beer. You can steep the twigs in hot water to make a fabulous tea with anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of aspirin. Or thicken the tea with agar, season and sweeten it, and make black birch Jello!

We'll hunt for the flowers and tops of garlic mustard, which taste like garlic, and jewelweed, a panacea for skin irritations that cures mosquito bites and prevents poison ivy rash.

With lots of rain beforehand and a bit of luck, gourmet spring mushrooms such as oyster mushrooms, chicken mushrooms, fairy ring mushrooms, and wine-cap stropharias may be emerging.

August 3, 2019

This is one of the best places for foragers in late summer. The city's hilliest park, with a large, mature forest, meadows, thickets, and cultivated areas, it's loaded with wild plants. This is a great time for berries. We'll be harvesting wineberries, blackberries, cornelian cherries, and elderberries, all different and all delicious.

Most roots are out of season, but burdock, an expensive detoxifying herb sold in health food stores, is an exception, and it abounds in human-disturbed areas throughout the park. Instead of brewing it as a tea, it's so abundant, you cook can it like potatoes or even marinate and slow-bake it, to make the "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky!

Sassafras root, the original source of root beer, stays in season all year. You use it the roots of this renewable tree to make tea and root beer, or as a cinnamon-like seasoning, and the young leaves are the classic flavoring and thickener of gumbo.

Another tree we'll find is the black birch. Its twigs taste like wintergreen when you chew them, and they provide the raw material for birch beer. You can steep the twigs in hot water to make a fabulous tea, with anti-inflammatory properties similar to aspirin. Thicken the tea with agar, season and sweeten it, and make Black Birch Jello, or cook the twigs in coconut milk with raisins, a sweetener, sweet herbs, and tapioca, then remove the twigs, to make "Wildman's" Stick Pudding!

There are plenty of summer herbs and greens in season. We'll find mugwort and motherwort, both tonics for the female reproductive system. Since I've learned these herbs, I've never suffered a monthly cramp! We'll also be finding Asiatic dayflower, lady's thumb, lamb's quarters, and goutweed, all great for salads, sandwiches, soups, and stews.

Wild seeds are in season too. We'll hunt for the spicy seeds of garlic mustard, walnut-flavored seeds of jewelweed (the juice in the stem is also a panacea for skin irritation—it cures mosquito bites, prevents poison ivy rash, and more), and the fiery seeds of field garlic.

With lots of rain beforehand and a bit of luck, gourmet oyster mushrooms, chicken mushrooms, chanterelles, boletes, and russulas may be emerging.

Please Note:
  • Participants should be dressed for the weather, and be aware of very bad subway service. Trains are often canceled due to track work.
  • No sandals (there are mosquitoes, thorns and poison ivy). Everyone should have plastic bags for veggies and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in
  • Plastic, containers for berries from late spring through fall, water and lunch, and extra layers when it's cold. Digging implements and pocket knives are optional.
  • Please bring plastic bags for vegetables and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, drinking water, and a pen (to sign in).
  • Dogs are permitted. Children are encouraged to attend.
  • There's no smoking whatsoever at any time.
School Notes:
If you can't attend the class you signed up for, please call or email "Wildman" Steve Brill a day before the start of the class. No-call/no-show creates an inconvenience to all participants since we can’t tell if absentees are having transportation issues, and this delays the start of the tour/class.

Kindly note that price posted is our suggested donation only.

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Refund Policy
Participants can cancel the night before an event and get a refund.

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Start Dates (2)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:45am - 3:45pm "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20

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Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (72)

(72 Reviews)
Inwood Hill Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 8/25/2016
The class was fun and interesting. The pace was comfortable. The only disappointment was that about half of the explanations were given by the instructor's young daughter, who was hard to hear because her voice didn't carry far. At the end of the class, I felt comfortable identifying most of the plants that we had learned about.
Inwood Hill Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Jenna D. on 8/21/2016
So much fun! We had a great time and learned a ton! And we were walking in the park today and spotted two different plants we had learned about :) excited to do more.
Inwood Hill Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 8/21/2016
Great course, informative and fun. Good for families.
Inwood Hill Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Karen S. on 11/29/2015
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School: "Wildman" Steve Brill

Foraging expert Steve Brill has shared his foraging wisdom at schools, museums, parks departments, environmental organizations, and with scout troops since 1982. He’s written three books and an app, stars in a DVD and maintains a website.

His History with Foraging 
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Read more about "Wildman" Steve Brill

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