4-hour foraging tour: (Outdoors) Thanks to its varied habitats and combination of native and introduced species, this world-famous park, Central Park ,overflows with wild food. mid-spring. Wild salad greens: Spicy mustard greens, such as garlicky garlic mustard, hot hedge mustard, and even hotter poor man's pepper, and lemony sheep sorrel thrives in sunny places. violet leaves, lamb's-quarters, Asiatic dayflower, and chickweed, 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 heavy rain beforehand. Burdock root is one of the few wild root vegetables that remains in season throughout the warm weather. 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 with ginger, add some nuts, then toss in some sweet, vanilla-flavored black locust blossoms? -------------- mid-summer. Spicy mustard greens, such as poor man's pepper and hedge mustard ,crunchy purslane, string bean-flavored Asiatic dayflower, spinach-flavored lamb's quarters, and sour wood- or sheep sorrel, and you'll have the best and most healthful salad you've ever eaten. Medicinal and culinary herbs such as epazote and ground ivy will be abundant as well. We'll be looking for wineberries, invasive Asian red raspberries, as well as cornelian cherries, blackberries and black cherries. Mushrooms will be around if there's been enough rain beforehand. On previous tours at this time of year, we found chicken mushrooms, black-staining polypores, green quilt russulas, chestnut boletes, and king boletes. -------------- Late Summer.. Wild fruit such sweet, apple-flavored hawthorn berries. American hackberry trees will be ripening throughout the park. Wild greens purslane, lamb's-quarters (a wild spinach), wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, poor man's pepper, lady's thumb, and Asiatic dayflower. There will be culinary and medicinal herbs such as epazote, wild bay leaves, field garlic, sassafras, and spicebush leaves. The group will also get to gather caffeine-free coffee, good for a beverage and to season chocolate, courtesy of the seeds from the Kentucky coffee-tree. Gourmet wild mushrooms pop up in Central Park after it rains. On this tour, we'll hunt for hordes of ringless honey mushrooms, gigantic chicken mushrooms, brittle russulas, and prized bolete mushrooms. ------------- Early autumn. If the weather has been rainy, the mushrooming should be excellent. In past years, we found hundreds of prized honey mushrooms on both the east and west sides of the park, and they may be back again under similar circumstances. Other great species we may find include purple-spore puffballs, chicken mushrooms, and hen-of-the-woods, a.k.a. maitakes. Many common wild greens will also abound. lamb's-quarters (a wild spinach), sour wood sorrel and sheep sorrel, spicy poor man's pepper, mild lady's thumb, sour curly dock , huge bitter dock, and string bean-flavored Asiatic dayflower. We'll also cover culinary and medicinal herbs such as burdock, sassafras, and common spicebush. The latter also bears oblong red berries that make a fantastic, allspice-like seasoning. Flowering quince, grows a huge Kentucky coffee-tree, black walnut tree. We'll also look for other fruit, such as hawthorn berries, related to apples, and with a similar flavor. The fruit of the hackberry tree, on the other hand, tastes like the candy coating of M&M's. Wild raisins, a.k.a. Northern black haws, with a flavor of prune butter and a texture of bananas, will also be ripe. --------------- Mid Autumn Burdock, sassafras, Ground ivy an excellent wild mint tea and a gentle diuretic. This is also the best time to gather wild nuts. You'll learn how to harvest and prepare rich-tasting black walnuts and savory gingko nuts. Fruits and berries such as red juneberries will be ripe now. They're very tasty even though they come from England! Hawthorn berries, Japanese quince, and wild raisins are also in season in the park right now. There will also be plenty of leafy herbs and greens. winter cress, epazote, sheep sorrel, chickweed, lamb’s-quarters, wood sorrel, epazote, curly dock, bitter dock, field garlic, garlic mustard, and poor-man’s-pepper. If rainy weather prevails beforehand, there may also be lots of gourmet mushrooms up and about. We’ll hunt for brick tops, pear-shaped puffballs, chicken mushrooms, hen-of-the-woods, and honey mushrooms, all exceptionally tasty. Fruits and berries such as red juneberries, will be ripe now. Even though they come from England, they're still very tasty! Hawthorn berries, Japanese quince, and wild raisins are also in season in the park .