Harvesting Wild Plants at the TC3 Farm

TC3 Farm Update and Harvesting Wild Plants at the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Jacob – Week of June 12th, 2017

Tomato and Pepper Transplants
Tomato and Pepper Transplants on the TC3 Farm

Howdy folks. My name is Jacob and I am giving you all a quick update on what has recently been happening on the TC3 Farm. We have been hustling to get a lot of transplanting done and over the past week we got a lot of our nightshades planted including, field peppers, field tomatoes, and field eggplants.

We also had the owners of Thalli Foods, a food business based on harvesting wild plants as well as invasive species visit us during lecture. The owners: Edward and Avery, gave us a tour of their farm website which has a ton of different plants that are available to harvest in this region for all seasons. They are foragers and have many years of experience harvesting wild edible plants in Kent, England, Their mission is to bring the ancient knowledge of harvesting wild edibles to the public and to encourage biodiversity and nutritional diversity. As the human population continues to grow, our need for food will increase. Being able to harvest or potentially incorporate these wild plants into our diets will vastly increase humanity’s food supply. These wild foods are very flavorful and add a unique option to any chef’s menu.

Oxeye Daisy Wild Foods
Edible Oxeye Daisy Flower

Now, Edward and Avery make the harvesting of wild edibles look easy.  However, keep in mind that Edward studied for five years and Avery studied for two years, both under the instruction of professionals for the company Forager in Kent, England. They also keep extremely detailed records of what they harvest, when, where, and they take a photograph of the plant. Their produce is organic because they only harvest on organically farmed land. I asked them what kind of licensing was needed to harvest wild edibles and they said the only licensing they needed was a permit to harvest and sell invasive species. This form can easily be found on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) website (I will leave a link below).

Taylor Reid, my lecture instructor, really wants my class to understand that just because a plant is a weed, does not make it completely and utterly useless! A weed is simply something growing out of place. And there are many things that we consider weeds that are actually edible and nutritious. One wild edible my class learned about was oxeye daisy which is a prevalent weed on our farm. It tastes delicious and is easy to identify and harvest. So the next time you see a dandelion on your lawn, instead of grabbing your round up, pick it up, and put it in your salad. Stay sustainable!

Link to Thalli Foods Website :http://thallifoods.weebly.com/

Link to DEC Permit Application: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/100696.html

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