Central Park (Teens/Adults)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Central Park

(71)
Course Details
Price:
$20
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Location:
Central Park, Manhattan
Central Park W & W 72nd St
At Central Park W
New York, New York 10023
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Important:
$20 Ticket is for 1 person only. Accompanying Adult must purchase ticket separately.
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 13 and older
Average Class Size: 35

What you'll learn in this nature class:

Central Park provides a great window into the world of wild foods of mid-spring. It's the peak of the season for wild salad greens, and we'll be finding great quantities of ingredients: Spicy mustard greens, such as garlicky garlic mustard, hot hedge mustard, and even hotter poor man's pepper, will abound on lawns or under trees anywhere, and lemony sheep sorrel grows in sunny places. Offset their flavors with milder-tasting greens such as violet leaves, greenbrier, amb's-quarters, Asiatic dayflower, and chickweed, also quite abundant. With the inclusion of tender, cucumber-flavored cattail shoots, you'll have the best salad you've ever eaten. Wild mushrooms, if present, will provide a gourmet side dish. We could find fairy ring mushrooms, wine-cap stropharias, or chicken mushrooms on this tour, especially if there have been days of torrential rain beforehand.

Burdock root is one of the few wild root vegetables that remains in season throughout the warm weather. Add razor-thin slices to soups or rice, or marinate and slowly bake them, to make vegan jerky. And at this time of the year only, you can also cook the immature flower stalks, which taste like artichoke hearts, before peeling them. Pokeweed, another seasonal potherb, is superb, properly prepared (otherwise it can kill you!) Flavor it with tamari soy sauce and garlic lightly browned in olive oil, as in Basic Pokeweed.

If you'd like to make an exotic Central Park dessert, why not stew apples or pears with some of Central Park's wild sassafras and wild ginger, add some nuts, then toss in some sweet, vanilla-flavored black locust blossoms?

Notes:
  • Participants should be dressed for the weather, and be aware of very bad subway service.
  • Trains are often cancelled due to track work. No sandals (there are mosquitoes, thorns and poison ivy).
  • Everyone should have plastic bags for veggies and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in plastic, containers for berries from late spring through fall, water and lunch, and extra layers when it's cold.
  • Digging implements and pocket knives are optional. Dogs are permitted.
  • Children are encouraged to attend.
  • There's no smoking whatsoever at any time.
The four-hour walking tour begins at 11:45 AM, just inside the park.

School Notes:
If you can't attend the class you signed up for, please call or email "Wildman" Steve Brill a day before the start of the class. No-call/no-show creates an inconvenience to all participants since we can’t tell if absentees are having transportation issues, and this delays the start of the tour/class.

Kindly note that price posted is our suggested donation only.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Participants can cancel the night before an event and get a refund.

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Questions & Answers (2)

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Question from Wendy
Do I need to purchase a ticket for 7 year old?
Answer from Brenda L. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi Wendy! Steve loves having kids on his tours. It’s half-price for them (you'll pay it at the location) and he would like to know in advance if you're coming with a kid. By the way, the books which Steve brings on all tours where he can park near the meeting place, are free for kids. Hope this helps!
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Question from Wendy
Is it okay to bring a child? And when is the best time to go?
Answer from Kristle C. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi there! Yes, you can bring a child and as its the peak of the season, so it's a good time to go.
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Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (71)

(71 Reviews)
Central Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Molly H. on 10/8/2018
Fabulous! He’s great with kids and super knowledgeable. Would do it again
Central Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 9/25/2017
Class was great! Instructor was extremely knowledgable and had a sense of humor (sometimes a little "yuck yuck" but hey he was trying). Appreciated that he went through the plants on nutritional properties, as well as medicinal. With recipes and sometimes snacks to boot. I would love to do it again in another season to see what else is up there in Central Park.
Central Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Gideon G. on 8/29/2017
My wife and I are glad that we took this tour and recommend it highly. Around 25 people participated in our tour, which meant we were sometimes standing in the back row, but Mr. Brill and his daughter spoke loudly and clearly, and showed photos and sketches on an iPad and notebook in addition to passing around samples of each plant, so everyone was able to hear the explanations of the various flora we encountered. Mr. Brill is an entertaining and informative guide with a knack for story-telling and he was popular with the kids on our tour, of which there were a half-dozen. The kids also enjoyed running around with Mr. Brill's daughter looking for berries or tossing a ball while their elders plodded along the trails. The walking itself was not strenuous - several participants even brought baby strollers - but there were a few staircases to navigate. After the tour, Mr. Brill offered some of his books for sale, and we purchased two of them: one about foraging with kids, and one about edible plants of the New York area.
Central Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Carol J. on 7/17/2017
"Wildman" Steve Brill was a wonderful guide. He has a lot of patience and wealth of knowledge to share about native plants. Take his class if you are curious about your native world and be prepared to bring home and cook a lot of fascinating plants.
Central Park (Teens/Adults)
Reviewed by Niyant D. on 7/4/2016
Genuinely insightful. I'll never stroll in the park the same way. Wildman Steve has loads of knowledge and one tour hardly enough. Who knew our city parks were such a great source of edible plants, herbs and roots.
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School: "Wildman" Steve Brill

Foraging expert Steve Brill has shared his foraging wisdom at schools, museums, parks departments, environmental organizations, and with scout troops since 1982. He’s written three books and an app, stars in a DVD and maintains a website.

His History with Foraging 
As part of his exercise regime,...

Read more about "Wildman" Steve Brill

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