To kick off the fall season on Hurricane we hosted the North Haven Middle School 5th and 6th graders for a two-day exploration of wild edible botany. Students started off by learning about the basic names of plant parts and how to identify plants with field guides. They also learned about how plants edibility changes with the seasons, about edible plant habitat and environment, and the differences between domestic edible plants and wild edible plants.
From there they focused on looking at the top ten edible plants that can be found on Hurricane. Each student was assigned one of those plants and spent time on a hike around the island identifying them and collecting specimens, which they brought back to the lab to do more research. The students then worked on creating their own field guide entry of their foraged edible plant, which included sketches and paintings as well as information. The North Haven Middle School students did a great job at being creative with their field guide entries and will continue to work on them back at school.
The edible plants that students focused on while they were at Hurricane include: bayberry, cattail, rose hips, sheep and wood sorrel, huckleberry, high-bush cranberry, red clover, orach, sea rocket, beach pea, mustard greens, and raspberries and blackberries.
We finished the first evening with a Hurricane-sourced rosehip applesauce (a great vanilla ice cream topper), and a sweet red clover, sorrel, apple, and rosehip drink. We hope students will be able to pick out tasty trail-side edibles when they are back on North Haven!