Edible Native Plants in the Wild and at Home

Last year we developed an exciting series featuring Russ Cohen, author of Wild Plants I Have Known… and Eaten. Below are videos of Russ leading a virtual tour of Housatonic River Walk on July 29, 2020. In the videos he focuses on native plants with ecological value to birds and pollinators that people can nibble on too. The videos are an excellent resource as you begin to scan the forest this spring and think about how you can naturalize your yard.

A naturalist and wild foods enthusiast, Russ Cohen grew up in Weston, MA where he spent much of his free time in the woods. He received his bachelor's degree in land use planning from Vassar College in 1978 and received a masters in Natural Resources and a law degree from The Ohio State University in 1982. He has led walks and talks on foraging for wild edibles throughout Massachusetts and New England for the past 45 years.

Russ is now playing the role of Johnny Appleseed for native edible species. He has set up a nursery where he is growing over 1,000 plants, representing more than a third of the more than 170 species native to New England ecoregions that are edible by people. Many of these plants were propagated from seeds that he gathered himself. 

We think you'll find this series an exciting way to be a part of our local ecosystem!

-Christine Ward, Project Director


Part 1: Hazelnut, Linden Tree (Basswood) and Common Elderberry


Part 2: Spice Bush, Flowering Raspberry & Ostrich Fern



Russ Cohen leads virtual edible wild plant tours along River Walk in Great Barrington