Morel (photo Angela Cardinali)
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass) – On weekends during the months of April and May, Berkshire Farm & Table, an organization cultivating economic development through the advancement of food culture in the Berkshires, will present Where the Wild Things Are – eight wild food walks in our local landscape lead by experienced and passionate instructors who will focus on responsible harvesting techniques, recipes and the history of foraging in the Berkshires.
This is the second year Berkshire Farm & Table is producing Where the Wild Things Are. One of the motivations for undertaking such a series is to present expert voices to the public to educate on ecosystem balance and sustainability. The walks are in alignment with sustainable wild harvesting practices led by expert foragers. Participants will learn about edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms, nature and ecology plus culinary and medicinal benefits of wild plants and cooking with wild foods.
This year’s expert foragers for Where the Wild Things Are include Russ Cohen, Blanche Derby, Aimee Gelinas, Evan Strusinski and John Wheeler. The walks are open to all community members and will take place on four weekends during the months of April and May.
Participants in last year's 'Where the Wild Things Are' foraging walks (photo Angela Cardinali)
Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 28 (11am – 1pm) — Aimee Gelinas at Stone Hill in Williamstown
Sunday, April 29 (1 – 3pm) — Blanche Derby at Field Farm in Williamstown
Saturday, May 5 (1 – 3pm) — Russ Cohen at Money Brook Trail in Williamstown
Sunday, May 6 (1 – 3pm) — Russ Cohen at Cole Field in Williamstown
Saturday, May 12 (10am – 12pm) — Evan Strusinski at Laura’s Tower/Ice Glen Trail in Stockbridge
Sunday, May 13 (10am – 12pm) — Evan Strusinski at Monument Mountain in Great Barrington
Saturday, May 19 (9 – 11am) — Aimee Gelinas at Tyringham Cobble in Tyringham
Sunday, May 20 (1:30 – 3:30pm) — John Wheeler at South Mountain DCR in Pittsfield
The walks will take place rain or shine. The cost to participate in each walk is $25 per person, free to Williams College students as thanks to Williams College’s ongoing support of this program. Registration is mandatory and reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to scheduled walk. Registered participants will receive a confirmation email a few days prior to the scheduled date with details on meeting place.
This year, Where the Wild Things Are is featuring special lodging offers on all walk weekends from sponsor partners, available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Briarcliff Motel in Great Barrington, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams and The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, are welcoming all foragers who will be traveling from outside the area. Lodging details are available on the Where the Wild Things Are website.
“By discovering the edible secrets of our natural environment, I expect participants in Where the Wild Things Are will learn new ways to treasure their natural surroundings and develop a strong respect for the environment,” said Brent Wasser, manager of the Williams College Sustainable Food & Agriculture Program. “It is a rewarding experience to realize the edible bounty that surrounds us in forests, woods, wetlands and fields and the Williams College Sustainable Food & Agriculture Program is excited to make this event available to Williams College students and community members.”
Yummy (photo Evan Strusinski)
Where the Wild Things Are walks are leading up to Berkshire Grown’s Farmed + Foraged culinary event, celebrating a weekend of spring flavors with more than two dozen restaurants offering spring dining specials and prix fixe menus from Friday, May 25 through Monday, May, 28, Memorial Day weekend.
Farmed + Foraged will feature Berkshire Grown restaurants that have made a commitment to sustainably sourced wild and local edibles from area forests, fields and farms at the start of the growing season. This year, as a tie-in to the educational walks and sustainable harvesting practices for the region, chefs participating in Farmed + Foraged will feature many invasive and delicious wild edible species as part of the culinary weekend. Participants will offer menu items featuring wild edibles, locally grown produce, Berkshire artisan cheeses, heritage breed meats, locally made bread and chocolate, and Berkshire-crafted beer and spirits. Visit www.berkshiregrown.org for additional details.
For reservations and ticket information, visit Where the Wild Things Are. For more info, visit Berkshire Farm & Table and select Where the Wild Things Are from the pull-down menu or email Berkshire Farm & Table at email@example.com. For details about the Williams College Sustainable Food & Agriculture Program, contact Brent Wasser at 413.597.4422.
Berkshire Farm & Table is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate regional economic development through the advancement of food culture in the Berkshires. Through building relationships, producing events and fostering dialogue, they bring the unique stories and expertise of Berkshires’ culinary artisans, farming values and agritourism experiences to the forefront of the national food movement.