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Locals Hungry for Wild Foods

Mark Angelini discusses wild apple blossoms. (click for larger version)
May 09, 2012 - Clarkston resident Mark Angelini led the first of many monthly classes on edible plants in Oakland county parks. The two-hour course, Apri 14, was a blend of plant identification, discussion, and hiking for people of all ages.

While walking along the trails, Angelini pointed out edible plants such as trout lilly, juniper berries, blue spruce needles, and daisies.

Participants said, "mmmmmm," as Angenlini described the various ways he cooks vegetation you can find in your backyard. According to Angelini, wild plants have a higher nutritional value than produce you can buy at the grocery store.

"The soils wild foods grow in haven't been leeched like plants on many farms. They're higher in calcium, potassium, and iron," he explained.

Not only did he share favorite recipes for preparing wild foods, Angelini also described various medicinal qualities of vegetation. For example, willow bark can be used for aches and pains while a white mushroom, commonly called Artist's Conk, can be an immune booster.

During the class, students walked along trails jotting down notes on the various textures and coloring of plants. Angelini took time to answer questions about invasive species, poisonous plants like hemlock, and over-the-counter medications derived from plants.

Angelini hopes his class spreads awareness and encourages students to do more than walk in the park, but become active participants with nature.

For more information, check www.eatherenow.org.

Clarkston News reporter
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