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EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI video series

Since Covid-19 changed our plans to offer periodic field trips to explore wild forest edibles in 2020, we created this series of videos with herbalist Ali Zimmer to offer virtual forays into the forest and learn how to respectfully harvest its wild bounty. Such a delight and privilege to tap into Ali’s wealth of plant wisdom.

Important Note: When heading into the forest with the intention to harvest wild plants for food, it’s extremely important to be both safe and respectful. Our videos below serve as introduction to some of the spring ephemerals of Vermont, some of which are edible and/or medicinal. Proper identification of plants is essential to your safety. Get the guidebooks and guidance you need in order to know for sure what you are harvesting and how to prepare it safely. Be sure to harvest in healthy forest habitats, far from roads, railways, and other sites that could be contaminated.

Know the ownership of the lands you’re exploring and whether or not foraging is permitted there. When foraging, always do so with the utmost respect for the natural community of life you’re in. Harvest very lightly, always with an eye for leaving the plant population as robust as you found it.


In Part 1 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer introduces four edible/medicinal spring ephemerals: wild ginger, hepatica, dandelion, and coltsfoot.

In Part 2 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer introduces six edible/medicinal spring ephemerals: yarrow, stinging nettle, wintercress, ground ivy, daylily, and wood sorrel.

In Part 3 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer explores VFF’s Abraham’s Knees property in Lincoln. She explores the language of relationship with our plant allies, explains how to distinguish wild leeks from poisonous false hellebore, describes how to use Newcomb’s Wildflower guide to accurately identify the plants you come across in your foraging outings, and introduces the art of fiddle heading.

In Part 4 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer shares how she identifies and respectfully harvests common mullein, red clover, bloodroot, Japanese knotweed, and marsh marigold.

In Part 5 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer shares how she identifies and respectfully harvests great burdock, blue elderberry, hobblebush, violets, winter cress, sedum, and Canada Mayflower.

In Part 6 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer introduces and explains how to respectfully harvest amelanchier, horsetail, white pine, goldthread, and Indian cucumber root, and shows us a few other beautiful wildflowers along the way.

In episode 7 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer explores the wild summer bounty around her home in Lincoln, and introduces the harvest and use of common garden wild inhabitants– heal-all, comfrey, purslane, and Saint Johnswort. Ali also explains how to dry herbs, particularly in a humid climate like Vermont.

In Part 8 of EATING THE FOREST WITH ALI, herbalist Ali Zimmer explains how to respectfully harvest milkweed buds and plantain, and how to make milkweed capers and herbal oils.

Carbon-friendly Forests. Video-taped lecture by Dr. Bill Keeton, forest ecologist and University of Vermont professor, at Ilsley Library on February 27, 2020.

Infinite Economic Growth and other Fairytales that Destroy Ecologies and Communities. Video-taped lecture by Dr. Jon Erickson, ecological economist from the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont. February 15, 2020, Salisbury, VT.

On November 2, 2019, Elnu Abenaki citizen Melody Brook joined our Commons Conservation Congress remotely from Virginia.

Photos

Caring For Our Home Grounds: A Commons Conservation Congress for Vermont’s Center-West Ecoregion, November 2019

2019 VFF Landowner Gathering