Monday, June 22, 2009

Hunt for Gigantic Chicken Mushrooms
in Forest Park
with naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill
[photos available from "Wildman"]

At 11:45 AM Saturday, Independence Day, July 4, naturalist/author "Wildman" Steve Brill will lead one of his world-famous Wild Food and Ecology Tours of Forest Park. Forest Park's woodlands, cultivated areas, and thickets make it a great place for early summer foraging, and a great place to celebrate Independence Day.

The early summer berries are spectacular here. People can't get enough red, white, or pink mulberries, no matter how many branches we shake over a drop cloth.

The black raspberries that grace the thickets provide another special treat. And if the weather conditions have been favorable, a sweet cherry tree will provide fruit much tastier than any cherries you can buy.

We'll also be finding daylily flowers in bloom. This Asian delicacy, sold in Chinatown as "golden needles," has a sweet, pungent flavor, wonderful in salads and soups, or stuffed.

Wild herbs and vegetables abound in partially sunny areas in the woods and in thickets. We'll be hunting for burdock root, greenbrier, sweet cicely, wood sorrel, field garlic, jewelweed, Asiatic dayflower, lady's thumb, mullein, black birch, and sassafras.

If it has rained beforehand, we may also find gigantic chicken mushrooms, brittle russulas, prized chanterelles, and misshapen Berkeley's polypores, as well as prized bolete mushrooms.

The 4-hour walking tour of Forest Park begins at 11:45 AM, on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4, at the stone wall at Union Turnpike and Park Lane, near the Parks Dept.'s Overlook building. The suggested donation is $15 for adults, $10 for children under 12. (Bring exact change). Nobody is ever turned away due to lack of funds.

To attend, call (914) 835-2153 at least 24 hours beforehand and reserve a place. For the 2008 tour calendar and additional info, visit,


Contact: "Wildman" Steve Brill, (914) 835-2153, wildman@wildmanstevebrill.com

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