Where the Wild Things Are

2011 was our first year of Where the Wild Things Are: Foraging Walks in the Berkshires. It was a great success and we’re ready to do it again!

If you are looking for info about 2012 walks, visit THIS LINK.

In May of 2011, Berkshire Farm & Table produced Where the Wild Things Are in partnership with the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program at Williams College, The Porches Inn and Mezze Restaurant Group. The educational series presented eight wild edibles walks throughout the Berkshires, lead by experienced instructors focused on responsible harvesting techniques, recipes and the history of foraging. More than 150 people participated in the series throughout the month of May.

Media coverage included The New York Times Food Section, The Boston Globe, WAMC (Northeast Public Radio), The Berkshire Eagle, NPR Boston and Ruth Reichl’s Twitter feed, reaching more than 1.5 million viewers/listeners.

For photos of a few of the walks, visit our photo albums.

See last year’s full information here.

Foraging Experts in 2011 included:

Ansel Bubel

Ansel BubelAnsel Bubel was introduced to foraging and primitive living through a course at Tom Brown’s Tracker School. He continued taking wilderness survival courses for six years and ultimately spent a month living off the land in the Pine Barrens of NJ. His interest in the natural world led him to study geology and ecology at Williams College. After graduating from Williams in 2008, Ansel headed west to conduct geology research in Rocky Mountain National Park. He also taught ecology on an organic farm in southern Vermont. Most recently, he worked at The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. Ansel is currently interested in cooking by hand and exploring new wild foods. He enjoys making sausage, curing salumi, baking bread and brewing beer. He is attending graduate school next fall to continue his studies of geology and ecology.

Russ Cohen

Russ CohenRuss Cohen, professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast, grew up in Weston, Mass., where he spent much of his free time in the woods, thereby cultivating a strong spiritual connection to nature. He received his bachelor’s degree in land use planning from Vassar College in 1978, and received a masters in Natural Resources and a law degree from Ohio State University in 1982. He has been employed by the Riverways Program of the Mass. Department of Fish and Game since 1988 and has served as its Rivers Advocate since 1992. Other past employers have included the Nature Conservancy, the Land Trust Alliance, the Hillside Trust, a land trust in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Mass. Audubon Society.

Russ is in his 37th year of teaching courses about wild edibles. He has led dozens of classes/walks for organizations including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, The Trustees of Reservations and the Appalachian Mountain Club. During the “off-season”, Russ writes articles on foraging and gives presentations featuring many of his favorite edible wild plants and mushrooms found in New England. Russ is the author of a foraging book titled Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten. For more info about Russ, visit his website.

Blanche Derby

Blanche DerbyBlanche Cybele Derby is an artist, teacher, writer and wildfoods enthusiast who lives in Northampton, Mass. She has actively foraged for edibles for more than 40 years and makes these foods a part of her daily diet. She lectures/leads walks all over New England and is the author/illustrator of three books. Her latest project is the creation of a series of three films on edibles. To learn more, visit her website.

John Root

While a student at Oberlin College, where he was awarded a BA in Biology in 1972, John Root became familiar with edible wild plants on weekly field trips led by Dr. Jones, curator of the college’s herbarium. This education inspired four subsequent decades of foraging. John has presented programs about mushrooms, wildflowers, songbirds, butterflies and edible perennial gardening and landscaping at libraries, nature centers, garden clubs and other venues throughout New England for the past five years. John has also taken a course in permaculture with Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates, and currently helps out at Tripple Brook Farm in Southampton, where perennial native plants and other species that are hardy in New England are cultivated and offered to the public. For more information, visit his website.

Evan Strusinski

Evan StrusinskiFor Evan Strusinski, foraging became a natural extension of his interest in cooking, eating and the natural environment. Evan has 20 years experience foraging, both domestically and abroad and currently provides a wide range of foraged and gleaned ingredients for well-known restaurants in Maine and New York City. His clients include Rene Redzepi, chef of NOMA in Copenhagen, Denmark, David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, Gramercy Tavern, Hugo’s, Primo and Fore Street, and this year Evan will be foraging for Tom Colicchio’s Craft, and Mario Batali’s Del Posto. For more information about Evan, see articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine.

John Wheeler

John WheelerJohn Wheeler is a founding member and president of The Berkshire Mycological Society. An amateur wild mushroom enthusiast for more than 23 years, John has been sharing his passion and knowledge of fungi through presentations at The Berkshire Botanical Garden, various garden clubs and Bartholomew’s Cobble, a trustees of reservations property. John also assists Professor Don Roeder with his mycology courses at Simon’s Rock College. He and his wife Judy own and operate the Mycolodge B&B in Housatonic, Mass., offering mushroom classes and forays on weekends.

Thanks to Our 2011 Sponsors!

Williams College Sustainable Food and >Agriculture Program Berkshire Grown Mezze Restaurant Group Slow Food Western MassThe Porches Inn at MASS MoCA Berkshire Grown Farmed + ForagedBerkshire Farm & Table

About Berkshire Farm & Table

Berkshire Farm & Table is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to cultivate regional economic development through the advancement of food culture in the Berkshires. Through building relationships, producing events and fostering dialogue, they bring the unique stories and expertise of Berkshires’ culinary artisans, farming values and agrotourism experiences to the forefront of the national food movement. For more information, visit berkshirefarmandtable.org.