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Jamie Heap
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Greg Osowski leads Edible Plant Walk of Amherst Bird Sanctuary

Greg Osowski indentifies a Wild Raspberry, a medicinal plant whose leaves can be used in tea to strengthen the uterus of women during pregnancy. Today's  free Edible Plant Walk at the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which was enjoyed by a dozen nature lovers, was sponsored by the River Hebert Garden Club.

WEST AMHERST-A dozen nature lovers received more than they bargained for on Saturday during the Edible Plant Walk at the Amherst Point Bird Sanctuary.

Vermont native Greg Osowski, a transplanted Maritimer who lives north of Moncton, has been working with edible plants for the past quarter of a century.

“While the plants here in the Maritimes are very similar to the ones in Vermont, I have not yet seen the exact same plants here in the Maritimes,” claimed Osowski.

Osowski is a wealth of information when it comes to identifying which plants are edible and which plants are not edible. “There are many different kinds of edible plants,” stated Oswoski. “Today, we’ll be seeing some Goldenrod, Red Clover, Daisies and Cattails (edibles) and some Glossy Buckthorn” said Osowski.

According to Osowski, Glossy Buckthorn is an invasive species that takes over wherever it grows. As for weeds, they are often more nutritious than one’s crops.

“Weeds are more nutritious than the plants grown in gardens,” claimed Osowski.

There are three of rules of thumb when it comes to wild crafting. “Don’t gather all of the plants because the next year you want them to be able to propagate (grow). “Only pick every third plant,” stated Osowski. “And never pick closer than fifty feet from a road like this; never pick closer than 200 feet from a highway.”

Thirdly, stressed the importance of clearly identifying plants, especially deadly ones. “We hope to see the most deadly plant-the water hemlock,” he said. Osowski warned against mistaking False Hellebore for Skunk Cabagge, an edible plant.

An example of an edible plant that is as versatile as it is common is the Dandelion.

Once the bitter-tasting stalk of the Dandelion has been removed, it has many uses.

“You can eat Dandelion raw; you can mix it with pancake batter; you can also add it to lemonade; as a coffee substitute; you can even make dandelion wine with it.”

As for which edible plants one should eat, Osowski recommends experimentation. “Play with the ones that taste good and harvest them. Avoid those you don’t like.”

Organizations: Amherst Point Bird Sanctuary

Geographic location: Vermont, AMHERST, Moncton

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