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Edible Plant Walk: Real Life, Real Learning

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
An interested group learns with facilitator Hannah Carpendale about fern species native to coastal British Columbia
An interested group learns with facilitator Hannah Carpendale about fern species native to coastal British Columbia
The sword fern is distinguished by its "thumbs up" shape
The sword fern is distinguished by its "thumbs up" shape
Pondering the camoflauge of the hemlock under a great cedar
Pondering the camoflauge of the hemlock under a great cedar
Salmonberry shrubs offer amazing fruit but also edible flowers and buds!
Salmonberry shrubs offer amazing fruit but also edible flowers and buds!

Dominion Stories

Under the dense forest canopy of the Burnaby mountain campus on Wednesday afternoon, a group of folks came together to learn about native plant species. 

Facilitator Hannah Carpendale shared her knowledge and gaveparticipants the opportunity to share their own wealth of experience and insights. Today, guided by our innate interest to understand the dynamic and facinating world of plants native to this area, we built our skills and capacities to identify several differnt plants, understand their medicinal qualities, and distinguish the role of these species within the larger ecosystem. 

There were no exams, no prerequisits, no laws enforcing attendance - in short nothing other than the joy of learning brought this group together.

And what did I learn, you ask?

I learned that deer fern leaves are used for healing skin sores - something that deer taught people by rubbing their antler stubs on this plant after their anters fell off. I learned that rhizome of licorice ferns taste like you guessed it - licorice!  And I learned that salmon berry bushes not to only be among the first berry plants to offer amazing fruit in the late spring season, but their flowers and buds -which are already making an appearance- are also tasty treats.  Well ok, I found them a little bitter, but sesame oil and ginger would make a fantastic accompaniment. 

Mostly I learned again today, that the best learning is living, engaging in our community, asking questions with others, and finding answers in land.

Special thanks to Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group for organizing and sponsoring this workshop, and to Hannah Carpendale for making it all possible.

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Comments

Nice

Nice read and photos - thanks!

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