Terroir … a sense of place: a taste of the earth
Where the Wild Things Are: Foraging in the Berkshires
Russ Cohen, professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast, led a group of Berkshire locals through the woods in Stockbridge in May to see what edible plants could be found. Burdock, Stinging Nettles and Creeping Thyme were a few of the plants found on the walk organized by Berkshire Farm & Table.
Throughout the month of May, eight wild food walks led by experienced and passionate instructors focused on responsible harvesting techniques, recipes and the history of foraging in the Berkshires. The month-long celebration of wild spring edibles was presented in partnership with Berkshire Grown’s Farmed + Foraged culinary event May 20 – 22. The Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program sponsored this first-time event as its educational value and access to students is in line with its mission.
Russ Cohen is with the MA Department of Fish and Game and has led dozens of classes/walks for organizations including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, The Trustees of Reservations and the Appalachian Mountain Club. He is the author of a foraging book titled Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten. For more info about Russ, visit: http://users.rcn.com/eatwild/bio.htm.
Bartholomew's Cobble, a property of the Trustees of Reservations, is recognized for its biological diversity, with a spectrum of plant and animal species and diverse habitats. Conservation ranger Rene Wendell walks us through some of the paths in the Cobble, providing a rich history of the formation of the site.
Audubon is an excellent resource for the region, mapping a network of wildlife sanctuaries. In Berkshire County, the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary's 1300 acre site has 700 species of flora and 167 species of birds. Beaver ponds can be seen along the trails, and the quiet of the Sanctuary is broken only by the sound of birds. In the show below, birds provide the audio – there is no narrative.
Several lakes and ponds in the area are fished in the winter. Taft's Tackle & Charter Services provides valuable information about local fishing conditions, and Massachusetts Fish and Game tracks fish populations and provides topographical maps of the water depth of lakes and ponds. The images below are from Greenwater Pond in West Becket, MA.
These images are from Stockbridge Bowl in Lenox, MA – the fish is a pickerel.
Winter in the Berkshires is nearing its end, and as we transition into spring, the weather changes dramatically day to day. When a snow shower covered the area, this image was taken on Baldwin Hill in North Egremont, MA.