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Fall 2023 Wild Edibles Nature Experienceship Report

Crap apple crisp, chocolate and more!

The Wild Edibles Nature Experienceship taught by Dr. Tom Smith has become a fast growing favorite among the programs offered by the Bean Life Science Museum. This year's class held on Saturday, October 14th began with a brief overview of the joys of cooking with native ingredients along with a demonstration on how to create homemade chocolate from scratch. This was just the beginning of both an exciting and delicious morning spent exploring the BYU grounds and discovering the plentiful sources of food found here. One of the first and most surprising edibles found here as shown by Dr. Smith are that the flowers of the Day Lily, located all around campus, are not only edible but also rather sweet to the taste. The red berries found on Yew bushes are also quite tasty even if a bit slimy. Remember to spit out the seeds if eaten raw, or cook them into a jam.

After wandering around the gardens by the Life Science Building and learning about the wide variety of edible plant life found there we returned to the classroom. We were then treated to an array of sweets and treats all created from the plant life we had just observed. We proceeded to taste not only acorn flour muffins and cookies but also crab apple crisp, fresh chocolate, sumac tea, a variety of jams and syrups along with Juniper berry seasoned salmon. All in all the wild edibles class was an overwhelming success.

Joseph Riggs, museum educator