BRCA May Gathering: A Movable Feast
Blue Ridge Conservation Alliance partners attending the May 18 gathering at Cool Spring campus were treated to a foraging walk with Clay Morris.
Clay is interested in preserving traditional foods and foodways in order to build resiliency into our food production system. And he not only talks the talk, he eats it! Over a mile out-and-back walk, Clay pointed out about 20 common plants with culinary and medicinal uses dating back centuries. We also test tasted the tender lower stalk of a cattail — kind of like of cucumber — and learned recipes for pickling, decocting with simple sugar, and garlic mustard pesto. Clearly Clay is not only a forager, he delights in turning his gathered harvest into delicious meals.
Clay teaches and offers interpretive walks in Virginia and West Virginia. He is particularly interested in Indigenous and early Colonial approaches to acquiring food, particularly foraging, land management, and cropping systems. Professionally, Clay is a restoration ecologist in Prince William County, Va.
Before the walk, BRCA partners shared updates on their projects and new initiatives in a spirited conversation that might have gone on all day.
Many thanks to Karen Anderson and Friends of the Shenandoah River for hosting the event — and for the tasty treats.