We pride ourselves on eating local when we gather produce from the garden or purchase fresh food from the farmer’s market.
But how often do we actually eat something that grows naturally right outside? How often do we eat wild edibles?
Dickinson County Conservation environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman will take people on an ethnobotany tour through Kenue Park during the Thanksgiving hike 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, to talk about uses for a variety of plants, including acorns.
“As we walk through, we can talk about why we’re thankful for different plants in the prairie, wetland, and woodland,” Kuhlman said.
She will discuss how flour can be made from ground acorns that have been processed to take out the bitter tannins, and medicinal uses of a variety of plants will also be addressed.
“Ethnobotany is a cool way to see how people have utilized plants in the past and present,” Kuhlman said. “They were utilized to help people and were a big a part of people’s diets.”
The Thanksgiving hike will take the place of the usual Tuesday Hike the Wild event in November and is open to people of all ages but may be best for those ages 10 and older. The hike will last approximately 45 minutes and will go through the Kenue Park prairie, around the wetland, and through the oak savanna.
The hike will end with treats inside the Dickinson County Nature Center, including an opportunity to try fresh, homemade cookies made with acorn flour.
“This is a change from our typical Hike the Wild programs, but the Thanksgiving hike will be a fun time to get outside with the family before the holiday to learn a little bit about local plants’ overlooked uses,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator. “Time in the fresh air, interesting information, yummy treats --- what could be a better way to start the long holiday weekend?”
The final Hike the Wild of the year will be a winter survival-themed hike held 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, in Kenue Park.