Central Park (Kids 12 & Under)

at "Wildman" Steve Brill - Central Park

(92)
Course Details
Price:
$10 32 seats left
Start Date:

Sat, May 01, 11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time

Next start dates (13)

Location:
Central Park, Manhattan
5th Ave & E 106th St
At E 106th St
New York, New York 10029
(Map)
Important:
Ticket Price is for Kids only. Accompanying Adult tickets are Sold separately.
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 7 - 12 years old
Average Class Size: 35

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this other kids camp class:

Saturday, March 6

The 2021 foraging season, the 39th, opens with Central Park, a perennial popular venue for foragers, beginning at 11:45 AM, Saturday, March 6, just inside the park at West 72nd St. This tour will be co-led by "Wildman," and his daughter, Violet Brill, who will be leading some solo tours throughout the Greater NY area again as well.

Most foragers associate nuts with autumn, but ginkgoes remain in season through early spring, and the trees, relics from the days of the dinosaurs, have been planted throughout the park. Even better, the foul-smelling fruits have long decomposed, leaving the thin-shelled nuts, which you can roast and serve as an appetizer, add to Chinese dishes, or use them to flavor vegan cheese dishes.

Cold-weather greens abound in Central Park in late winter. In The Ramble, we'll be finding large stands of field garlic, with mild-flavored onion-like bulbs, plus the tender young leaves, which you use like chives. Parsley-flavored honewort leaves will be up to cure the bad resultant breath, and the season's first sweet-and-sharp daylily shoots will be arising along the embankment of The Reservoir—a treat for all.

Chickweed, which tastes like corn-on-the-cob, grows in sunny spots throughout the park, and we'll find new, pungent, young garlic mustard greens, with their horseradish-flavored taproots, just south of Belvedere Castle. 

Star Chickweed

This cold-weather plant will be the star of any soup, dip, salad, or vegetable recipe you create with it!

A cultivated area near the lake is always overgrown with lemony flavored sheep sorrel, one of the tastiest edible "weeds." Wet lawn areas could feature spicy hairy bittercress and intensely flavored winter cress, while other sunny, grassy spots with poor soil may produce shepherd's purse, the most mild-flavored of the mustard greens. 

Dandelions will be abundant too, with the savory leaves at their best now. "Wildman" hasn't been arrested and handcuffed for eating one of these since undercover park rangers stalked him in 1986, but there's always hope that this could happen again.

Edge habitats will feature bitter dock, so bad-tasting raw, it took "Wildman" 29 years to try it cooked, only to discover that this super-abundant member of the buckwheat family is one of the best-tasting and versatile wild potherbs, used sparingly so as not to overpower the other ingredients. It's also excellent coated with herbs and roasted into chips.

Ground ivy, a.k.a. gill-over-the-ground, is an attractive member of the mint family quite tolerant of the cold. This resident of wet lawns makes a delightful tea that's used in herbal medicine for water retention. 

Sassafras, the original source of root beer, is in season all year, growing in thickets throughout the park. We'll also find Kentucky coffee trees, with seeds you can roast for making the world's best caffeine-free coffee, or to season chocolate recipes.

Burdock leaves may also be appearing by now. If so, we'll be able to collect the roots of this invasive Asian biennial. Well-known in Japan as gobo, you can cook them in any savory recipe, pickle them, or turn them into "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky.

Sunday, March 28

Central Park provides a great window into the world of wild foods of early spring. It's the start of the season for wild salad greens, and we'll be finding great quantities of these weedy delicacies. Pungent field garlic is everywhere. You use the leaves like scallions or chives, and the bulbs like onions. Spicy mustard greens, such as poor man's pepper, hedge mustard, hairy bittercress, and garlic mustard, pops up on lawns left and right. 

Poor Man's Pepper

This common, prolific plant imparts a flavor of arugula and radish to salads, soups, stews, and vegetable dishes.

Milder-tasting greens we'll be finding include sweet violet leaves and corn-flavored chickweed — both quite abundant. With the inclusion of sour sheep sorrel leaves and a few slices of tart Japanese knotweed shoots, you'll have the best-tasting and most nutritious salad you've ever eaten.

You can also cook up some whole-grain pasta and add steamed bitter dock greens, along with the sauce of your choice. The lemony flavor of this invasive "weed" will shine through.

The addition of wild mushrooms will provide a gourmet side dish. We could find gourmet enoki mushrooms, tree ears, or oyster mushrooms. There might even be an abundance of mica caps, which you can bake them down with herbs, spices, and olive oil, to make a scrumptious mushroom dip.

Burdock root is great from early spring through fall, and the new leaves will show you where to dig up this Eurasian invasive relative of the artichoke. Add razor-thin slices to soups or rice, or use them to prepare traditional Japanese Kimpiri Gobo. You can even marinate and bake them to make "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky.

Those are just a few of the new common edibles popping up in Central Park in early spring, so this is a tour not to be missed.

Saturday, May 1

Central Park provides a great window into the world of wild foods in mid-spring. Making a meal with these plants is simple at this time of the year.

For an appetizer, try simmering field garlic bulbs in diluted vinegar with Italian seasonings, to make an outstanding pickle. It's the peak of the season for wild salad greens, and we'll be finding large quantities of leafy, green ingredients. Spicy mustard greens, such as garlicky garlic mustard, hot hedge mustard, even hotter poor man's pepper, and still more pungent field pennycress, abound alongside the paths throughout the park.

Lemony sheep sorrel grows in sunny places. Offset its flavor, and those of the mustards, with milder-tasting greens such as violet leaves, lamb's-quarters, Asiatic dayflower, lady's thumb, and chickweed, also quite abundant.

With the inclusion of tender, cucumber-flavored cattail shoots, you'll have the best salad you've ever eaten. And wild mushrooms, if present, will provide a gourmet side dish. We could find dryad's saddle, wine-cap Stropharia, or chicken mushrooms on this tour, given enough rain beforehand, sharp-eyed participants, and some luck.

Burdock root is one of the few wild root vegetables that remain in season throughout the warm weather. Add razor-thin slices to soups or rice, or marinate and slow-bake them to make "Wildman's" Vegan Beef Jerky. And at this time of the year only, you can also cook and peel the immature flower stalks, which taste like artichoke hearts. Try using them to make "Wildman's" Cardunes in Wine, an Italian delicacy.

Pokeweed, another seasonal potherb, poisonous raw, is superb boiled in 2 changes of water. Flavor it with tamari soy sauce and garlic lightly browned in olive oil, as in Basic Pokeweed. It may still kill you, only you'll die of happiness!

And for an exotic dessert, why not stew apples or pears with sassafras, ginger, wild allspice from the common spicebush, and nuts, then add the sweet, perfumed blossoms of the black locust tree?

Black Locust Tree

These fragrant, vanilla-flavored blossoms are great in salads, vanilla ice cream, and pancake batter.

Saturday, May 15

Central Park provides a great window into the world of wild foods of mid-spring. It's the peak of the season for wild salad greens, and we'll be finding great quantities of ingredients: Spicy mustard greens, such as garlicky garlic mustard, hot hedge mustard, and even hotter poor man's pepper, will abound on lawns or under trees anywhere, and lemony sheep sorrel thrives in sunny places. 

Offset their flavors in a salad with milder-tasting greens such as violet leaves, lamb's-quarters, Asiatic dayflower, and chickweed, also quite abundant. With the inclusion of tender, cucumber-flavored cattail shoots, you'll have the best salad you've ever eaten.

Wild mushrooms, if present, will provide a gourmet side dish. We could find fairy ring mushrooms, wine-cap Stropharia, or chicken mushrooms on this tour, especially if there have been days of heavy rain beforehand.

You can make any chicken recipe with this mushroom, and it will taste much better than the avian form!

Burdock root is one of the few wild root vegetables that remain in season throughout the warm weather. Add razor-thin slices to soups or rice, or marinate and slowly bake them, to make vegan jerky. And at this time of the year only, you can also cook the immature flower stalks, which taste like artichoke hearts.

Pokeweed, another seasonal potherb, is superb, properly prepared (otherwise it can kill you!) Flavor it with tamari soy sauce and garlic lightly browned in olive oil, as in "Wildman's" Basic Pokeweed recipe.

If you'd like to make an exotic Central Park dessert, why not stew apples or pears with some of Central Park's wild sassafras, ginger, and some nuts? Then toss in some sweet, vanilla-flavored black locust blossoms.

Please Note:

  • Participants should be dressed for the weather, and be aware of very bad subway service. Trains are often canceled due to track work.
  • No sandals (there are mosquitoes, thorns and poison ivy). Everyone should have plastic bags for veggies and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, which spoil in
  • Plastic, containers for berries from late spring through fall, water and lunch, and extra layers when it's cold. Digging implements and pocket knives are optional.
  • Please bring plastic bags for vegetables and herbs, paper bags for mushrooms, drinking water, and a pen (to sign in).
  • Dogs are permitted. Children are encouraged to attend.
  • There's no smoking whatsoever at any time.


School Notes:
If you can't attend the class you signed up for, please call or email "Wildman" Steve Brill a day before the start of the class. No-call/no-show creates an inconvenience to all participants since we can’t tell if absentees are having transportation issues, and this delays the start of the tour/class.

Kindly note that price posted is our suggested donation only.

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Participants can cancel the night before an event and get a refund.

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"Wildman" Steve Brill

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Start Dates (14)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $10
11:45am - 3:45pm Eastern Time "Wildman" Steve Brill 1 $20

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Questions & Answers (2)

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Question from Larry
Hi, do you accept 4 years old kids?
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Question from Anonymous
My son is 13 years old. Is it possible for him to attend this class?
Answer from Brenda L. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi there! Steve has the same class for 13 years old and up. Please check the class schedule here: https://coursehorse.com/nyc/classes/life-skills/tour/nature/central-park-november-7 Hope this helps!
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Reviews of Classes at "Wildman" Steve Brill (92)

(92 Reviews)
Central Park (Kids 12 & Under)
Reviewed by Anonymous on 9/25/2017
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School: "Wildman" Steve Brill

Foraging expert Steve Brill has shared his foraging wisdom at schools, museums, parks departments, environmental organizations, and with scout troops since 1982. He’s written three books and an app, stars in a DVD and maintains a website.

His History with Foraging 
As part of his exercise regime,...

Read more about "Wildman" Steve Brill

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