Foraging doesn’t have to mean living completely off the land. It can be as simple as nibbling on fresh hopniss flowers or smilax tips while on a hike, splashing a bit of elderflower vinegar into your next potato salad, or creating a sumptuous prickly pear key lime pie. Anytime we add a little touch of wild fruit or vegetable to a meal, we celebrate our botanical heritage and the natural history of our area, and open ourselves up to unique flavors that are tied specifically to our region. In this webinar, naturalist and forager Betsy Harris guides us through a year of seasonal eating, featuring edible native plants and wildflowers as inspiration for incorporating wild foods into our everyday diets.
The term “terroir” typically refers to winemaking, but its literal definition is “soil” or “land,” and is now being used to describe “the conditions in which a food is grown or produced that gives it its unique characteristics.” Betsy believes this term also covers food collected from the wild as it gives the collector a deeper sense of place and strengthens their connection to the local environment — a literal taste of the wild naturally occurring around them.
Betsy Harris is a native Floridian and naturalist who grew up along the waterways and woods of Northeast Florida. Her passion lies in promoting and preserving the remaining fragmented pieces of what she refers to as her “botanical heritage,” specifically the native flora and natural communities that provide Northeast Florida its distinct ecological character and make it unique from the rest of the state. She can often be found roaming around Cary State Forest admiring wildflowers or exploring the intersections of the environment and humanities through papermaking, printing, weaving and wildcrafting with local plants.