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First Fridays: Wild Foods – How to Forage in the North

Join us Friday, May 7 for a virtual conversation on the wild foods in the north and how to forage for them. We look forward to welcoming Lorena Rangel, avid mushroom forager and research plant pathologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Melissa Smith, holistic nutritionist and herbalist from Simply Well with Melissa, and Maria Wesserle, founder of Four Season Foraging in Minneapolis.
While the idea of foraging may seem novel and trendy, it is actually a practice that sustained humanity for thousands of years. Foraging refers to food provided by nature through the gathering of wild plants, animals, birds, and insects. The word foraging is often used interchangeably with “hunting and gathering” and was the primary way humans sustained life until the advent of agriculture.
In today’s word, there are many benefits to foraging, including free access to healthy food and medicine, physical activity, connecting with nature, and building community. For our May edition of First Fridays, we look forward to welcoming three passionate foragers who will share knowledge on foraging in the Midwest, how to utilize what you find for food and medicine, and the benefits to the environment and our personal health.
Lorena Rangel is a research plant pathologist who studies fungal pathogens on sugar beets with the USDA ARS, and in her spare time, she’s an enthusiastic mushroom forager who teaches others about the wild mushrooms you can find in our region. Melissa Smith is a holistic nutritionist, herbalist, cooking instructor and doula. She is the owner of Simply Well with Melissa and passionate about educating and empowering people to healthfully nourish their bodies. Finally, Maria Wesserle is the founder of Four Season Foraging, a business she founded in 2017 to create a space where people can learn to interact with urban and rural wild places in meaningful and sustainable ways. Maria is based in Minneapolis and in addition to her work with Four Season Foraging, she also works with the Twin Cities non-profit, North Country Food Alliance.
The program starts at 8 AM via Facebook Live or Zoom: https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/97576788260
No pre-registration required. Zoom meeting will open at 7:50 AM CST.
(Note: We recommend joining a few minutes before 8 a.m. in case you have an install/download to run the program.)
Note: Like all First Fridays, each speaker will share a brief presentation (~5 minutes) and we will leave the bulk of the program for Q&A. The program is 1 hour. Please bring your questions! We will be taking questions on Facebook Live or Zoom. Join the conversation using #FoodoftheNorth