(Marlinton) The availability of resources in our own back yards is being celebrated this weekend at the West Virginia Wild Edibles Festival at Watoga State Park.
Ken Springs is the Vice President of the Watoga Park Foundation and the trail coordinator. He also has a depth of experience finding useful plants in the wild. He says he has been foraging for plants for 64 years. He said his first time was foraging for mushrooms with his mother when he was four or five. He was easily able to point out edibles in the forest like mustard greens and violets. He said morel mushrooms are also out this time of year.
Christopher Bartley the Watoga State Park activities coordinator and naturalist said that mushrooms are some of the most popular edibles. He cautioned that eating mushrooms found in the wild can be dangerous if you don’t know which mushrooms are edible. The Wild Edibles Festival aims to educate people about the process of collecting wild edibles while celebrating the useful pastime.
Demonstrations and vendors will be at the festival. Anne walker will be selling floral jellies made from wildflowers. She said she forages for wildflowers to create the jellies.
The West Virginia Wild Edibles Festival started Friday with a foraging hike and keynote speaker. The festival will continue tomorrow from 10 to 4 with vendors and live music at Watoga State Park.