Medieval Herbs and Remedies: Foraging in the Shadow of the Cloisters
Discover the dozens of edible and medicinal herbs, greens, roots, fruits, berries, and mushrooms that grow unrecognized in Fort Tryon Park.
Join Atlas Obscura and America’s go-to guy for foraging, naturalist and author “Wildman” Steve Brill, for this guided through the park, where you’ll learn how to identify plants with certainty and use them to make delicious recipes and home remedies, all with no environmental impact. Plants you’re likely to find include garlic mustard, with pungent leaves and seeds, lamb’s quarters, which tastes like spinach, lemony wood sorrel, resinous epazote, root beer-flavored sassafras, and wintergreen-flavored black birch. Mushrooms could include chicken mushrooms, boletes, russulas, and black-staining polypores. And because summer is a great time for berries, you’ll also collect an especially tasty Asian species of raspberry, intensely-flavored elderberries, and blackberries so delicious you’ll wish you’d never bought an iPhone.
As part of this tour, created specifically for Atlas Obscura, you’ll also explore the history of the Met Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, as well as the history of Fort Tryon Park, the creation of John D. Rockefeller Jr.
- Plastic bags for collecting veggies and herbs.
- Paper bags, in case you find mushrooms, which spoil in plastic.
- Drinking water.
- Digging implements for roots are optional, and there’s no smoking at any time.
- The two-hour walking tour of Fort Tryon Park begins at 5 p.m. Please be punctual, as we cannot wait for latecomers.
- Meet at the chess tables at the Anne Loftus Playground, Dyckman Street (200th St) and Broadway.
- This event runs rain or shine.
- This event is all ages, but bear in mind that it requires two hours of walking.
- Wear appropriate clothing for going off-trail, including closed toed shoes. (Be aware: there can be poison ivy.)
- No smoking on this tour, please.
Fort Tryon Park, Anne Loftus Playground, New York City, New York, 10040