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Meet a Forager: Avia Hawksworth, Farmstead Restaurant in Napa Valley

Carson Poole 4 comments

This week we bring you something a little bit different from our typical Meet Your Farmers profiles. Avia Hawksworth isn't a farmer. She's the forager for the newly-opened Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, California. That means she sources local ingredients for the always-rotating menu and educates diners on where they're food is coming. Chez Panisse was first to start a "forager" position back in the 1970s. More

Would You Eat Stinging Nettle?

Carey Jones 32 comments

Nettle soup. ©iStockphoto.com/adel66 Wild lettuces, forest mushrooms, gathered berries—there are plenty of foraged foods we’re used to seeing at the market or on the menu. But stinging nettle? The plant ranks right up there with poison ivy for its effect on the unsuspecting hiker—a single touch can bring on an immediate, painful sting. But according to Seattle foraging expert Langdon Cook, author of Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, properly-prepared nettles make a perfect stand-in for spinach—whether in soups or pastas, as a cooked green, or as a base for pesto. Of course, nettle-eaters should handle the raw plant with care—using gloves when holding the uncooked green, and blanching the leaves in order to get... More

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