(photo courtesy Leda’s Urban Homestead)
Leda Meredith, of Leda’s Urban Homestead, goes local in Brooklyn! She has challenged herself to eat foods grown within 250 miles of her home for one year, similar to our Local Food Challenge on the White Earth Reservation 2 years ago.
Leda is including wild foods as part of her local food strategy, as they have been part of her life since childhood. Leda told me, “I grew up with a Greek great-grandmother who took me foraging for wild mustard and dandelion greens in San Francisco’s park each spring just as she had always done in Greece. So I had an early introduction to wild edible plants, and have remained fascinated by them.” Leda continues to explore her fascination with the wild plants as an Instructor in Continuing Education, at both the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden recently published a handbook titled Buried Treasures: Tasty Tubers of the World,
of which Leda wrote the section on wild edible tubers.
Want to find out more about wild food plants in the Brooklyn area? Leda will be offering two wild food classes this fall, so be sure to check out her calendar for those, and future events. Leda says one of the things she expects will be especially helpful with her Local Food Challenge is that wild foods, “…tend to start their season earlier and finish later here in the Northeast than garden and farm crops. For example, I am usually harvesting chickweed and field garlic in March, long before there are any greens at the farmers markets, and collecting Jerusalem artichokes and rose hips well after winter is underway.” Some wild foods already in her larder include: elderberries, cornelian cherry juice, sumac, Japanese knotweed, wild cherry juice, Northern bayberry leaves, spicebush berries, nettles, sassafras leaf, peppergrass seeds, highbush cranberries, and wild ginger root. Way to go Leda!