Monday, May 26, 2008

Nettles in Central Park

I remember walking around Central Park in early February...
scrounging for whatever I could find. I just
wanted to get out there and find stuff.
Besides some garlic mustard, there was nothing
there. I would go back every so often, soon
finding dandelions, chives, and violets.

I took about 3 weeks off since the last time,
finally going back on Saturday the 24th of May.

An explosion of green was there waiting for me.
So much stuff was sprouting up.

Nature is so giving.
There are bums around, asking for money so they
can buy food, when the best possible food available for
them is waiting right there in the park. They are living off of canned meat
and bread, while the food that could possibly change their lives is being
ignored by them, and pretty much 99.99999% of society.

These guys COULD survive on food just from central park. They
would have to find some minor fat source, but otherwise with greens,
berries, apples, and tubers, they could really do it.

Anyways, I found a massive patch of nettles (both stinging nettles and then
later WOOD nettles....learn the difference, they are both edible)
on the south side of the sheep meadow in central park.

That patch alone could produce enough greens for possibly all summer
long if it was picked appropriately and then allowed to regenerate.

Here is the video:

There are no excuses not to find wild food. Look where I live! It would be the LAST place
you would expect to find good stuff, but I could likely live all summer on just
wild food from Central Park if I had to. Not like I would want to, but I could if I had to.
And remember, if you really cant find any, buy seeds and plant them around your yard.

Funny side story, when walking through the woods, make lots of noise if:
You dont want to come upon a sleeping animal that
might be dangerous like a bear or a moutain lion,
so young people having sex in the woods will hear you coming from a long ways away.
The second one happened to me while I was picking nettles. I kid you not.
They looked like they were 16 or something close to that.
I guess when you dont have a place of your own, you have to make due.
I can't blame them for wanting to get back to nature though,
however, I dont feel that it was their main intention for doing the deed in the park.

And remember, when you are out there foraging for wild food,
you never know what youre going to find. Get out there and explore!
Life is supposed to be an adventure, right? Lets give up watching others have
adventures in movies and on TV and start having real adventures of our own.
Be the main character of your own adventure story.

If someone were to write a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?
Create your life in such a way that they would. Simple as that.



Paul said...

I'm curious about foraging in Central Park or urban locations. I'd be worried that the plants had been sprayed. Or the pollution of the city would make for less than healthy eating. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Tony, just a quick one for ya. What are you wasting your time for out there? If you want to get back to nature, you should go to your plot and stay there! Think of the foraging you are missing out on! BTW - the morel hunt is on up here and there are specials about foraging on public tv. I guess it is a bumper season, albeit a late one, because of the good rain MN got. You should see what you could be foraging for in Hidden Oaks, it will blow central park out of the water. Also, are you going to plant raspberries and strawberries back home? Don't bother posting back on here, I don't read often...Time's a wasting on the growing season in MN, don't forget that!

Unknown said...

Choose Your Own Adventure

Unknown said...

Oh yeah I was out playing disc golf in Wilmington DE on Sunday and I ate my first wild dandelion. A bit bitter but pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Tboz, I agree with Zach, get back to MN. Your seeds are being taken over by weeds I would assume. My garden is a constant weed pick. I am wanting to rent a mulcher here soon but was going to wait for you on that too incase you wanted to get in on it. You can sit in NYC all are wasting MN's short summer......

Anthony said...

I know I know...Im due to be back around the 1st week of June. Still gives me 3 solid months.

Is the garden being taken over by weeds...? Funny, because most of what I planted WERE weeds! Haha...dandelion, chickweed, purslane...working with nature.

I think Im going to use the branches for fencing instead of chipping them. I need all the material I can get.

Be back soon guys!!!


Anthony said...

And about spraying in urban locations...ask around. Central Park usually doesnt spray because of children being around, and that they really dont have to.

Im not really worried about it there, but I dont pick stuff that is more on the sidewalks, even though it looks great.

The deeper you go, the better. If you saw how deep and dark Central Park can be, you would know that there is no way they could ever spray all over.

And if they do spray, they mark it for the public to see. Its rare though.

Good question of course.

Anna Alexopoulos said...

So true, I never really thought of it like that. I will definitely remind myself-about living my life as though people would want to read about it.

And making a difference in the lives of others makes our lives all the more worth living. I had gone to Africa and when I think about my time there I cannot help but appreciate how much more I received than what I thought I could offer the people living there.

Anonymous said...

You never fail to inspire, Anthony. Thanx!

I'm finally beginning my own adventure story.

Cheers to Life!,

Anonymous said...

so informative. You know, i think that will be my summer 'goal' to start foraging in my 'backyard' (15acres).
i have a couple questions: do you a simple and easy to understand online site that would let me know what i could forage?
and those lotus blossom thingies..are they pretty easy to find too? because, if they taste like popcorn...i'm on the hunt. ^___~

u RAWk.


Anonymous said...

Hey Anthony,
What book would you recommend for a foraging beginner?

Rachel said...

I know this was posted a while ago, but I thought I would still ask:

I thought that there were outrageous fines for picking anything in central park. I know Steve Brill goes there with groups but I was under the impression that he had an understanding with the parks department or a permit or something. Have you ever run into trouble with anyone working there? Or is this all not true and have my ecology professors been lying to me to keep us from pulling needles off the evergreens?