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Continued: For Twin Cities foragers, the park is one big picnic

  • Article by: BEENA RAGHAVENDRAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 2, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Foraging goes official

The national foraging landscape is difficult to quantify, but the number and frequency of pickers became such a problem in New York’s Central Park that its staff asked visitors not to “make a picnic out of the Park.”

It’s official enough in Minnesota to have Maria Wesserle, foraging coordinator with North Country Food Alliance. She said the organization works with other groups to spread awareness of foraging, and holds monthly foraging workshops around the Twin Cities area.

She said foraging is more visible than it was a few years ago. She knows about 10 people who forage in the Twin Cities area, and about 25 in the rest of the state.

“There’s like a huge diversity of things you can eat — much more diverse than things you can get at the grocery store,” Wesserle said.

Underwood said he knows about 30 Twin Cities area foragers and about 150 across the state, gauging from foraging conferences.

Even with that growth, foragers are still a small group, he said. “I see more people in Cub than I do foraging.”

Beena Raghavendran • 612-673-4649

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  • Veteran forager Charley Underwood, a retired teacher, foraged for cherries from a tree on an Uptown lot. Underwood, who has been foraging for nearly 20 years, said when it’s warm he goes out around two or three times a week to pick berries, flowers and anything else that looks edible.

  • With their foraged cherries, Mary Ann Crolley and her husband,Charley Underwood, make kirsch, a liquid made with the fermented fruit.

  • Keeping with their twice- or thrice-weekly routine, Mary Ann Crolley and husband Charley Underwood foraged cherries from a tree on a lot in the Uptown area of Minneapolis.

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