When: Tuesday July 22, 2014 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: Mansfield Great Woods
Oak Street Entrance
Excepts from Russ’ website (http://users.rcn.com/eatwild/toc.htm)
Russ Cohen is a professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast. Russ' first formal exposure to edible wild plants occurred while a sophomore at Weston High School, where he enrolled in an "Edible Botany" mini-course offered by the high school biology department. He learned about two dozen edible species that grew around the high school grounds, and the class had a big "feed" at the end of the course. Russ taught himself over fifty more species, and, in his senior year of high school, he taught the Edible Botany class he had taken as a sophomore. Russ added edible wild mushrooms to his teaching repertoire in 1989 after returning home from a trip to the Soviet Union, where he caught the mushroom hunting bug from the Russians.
Russ 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 (now part of the Division of Ecological Restoration) of the Mass. Department of Fish and Game since 1988, and has served as its Rivers Advocate since 1992.
Russ led over three dozen classes/walks, mostly from May to October, for over two dozen different organizations, including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the New England Wild Flower Society, The Trustees of Reservations and the Ecological Landscaping Association.
“We usually encounter 25-40 different species of edible wild plants (and, in season, pending favorable weather conditions, mushrooms). Keys to the identification of each species are provided, as well as information about its edible portion(s), season(s) of availability, flavor and nutritive value, and some tips on preparation, if necessary. Guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging are also provided. Participants often find a jackknife and several bags for collecting samples useful as well as a notebook and pen. Those who have already been on one or more of these walks often find a refresher course of great value. In addition, there is a constantly changing variety of edible wild plants throughout the year, even at the same location, so that different plants are typically encountered on each visit,” he said.