What b’fly is that?

The real secret to learning new species of animals and plants is study and repetition, but one thing that works especially well is to focus on the 10 commonest species within each group you are trying to learn. Another is to examine the species that closely resemble each other and figure out to tell them […]

Fruit Leather, round two!

The autumn olive crew (6 adults, 6 children) processed the berries picked a few days ago using the same techniques applied in the first round. We first simmered the berries for twenty minutes, then began mashing the softened fruit through fine screens. This step in the process becomes quite a bit of work with large […]

Play Group in the Woods (PGIW)

Here are some images from this week’s PGIW activity. As is usual with this group of kids and adults, free play, exploration, discovery and creative activity was on full display! This site at Kemper Park (more commonly known as Monticello Trail) is visited by this group most weeks, with a different variety of people showing […]

Second Autumn Olive Berry Harvest

On this trip 6 of us (4 children, 2 adults) managed to harvest a little over a gallon of fruit (18 cups!) in about an hour. We visited a spot along the trail at Riverview Park not to far from the persimmon tree that was harvested a few days ago. The site was just far […]

Fruit Leather

Autumn Olive, (Elaeagnus umbellata)While this species, a native of Korea, Japan and China introduced to North America in 1830, is not very popular because of its tendency to take over and crowd out Native Plants, it is a shame we don’t harvest the locally available and plentiful fall fruit. The berry is quite delicious when […]

Persimmon…round one was a little bitter!

We attempted to dry the persimmons we collected yesterday and it worked like a charm! I just placed them on a drying rack with a small mesh and put them in the oven for about 8 hours at 140 degrees. They shrink dramatically, becoming quite chewy with an enjoyable texture. We ran into one problem, […]

American Persimmon

We went on our first outing at Riverview Park! After a bit of playground play, and watching groups of kids pull canoes from the river, we set off in search of the persimmon tree. Along the way we kicked through the carpet of sycamore leaves adorning the path and stopped only for a brief autumn […]