Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

September 19, 2013

N. Michigan offers wild bites

TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan’s woods, fields and streams are notoriously stunning in the fall. But they also harbor vast stores of wild edible foods, making for a field day for foragers like Clay Bowers and John Sheets.

The pair like to forage for food and fun, and their fall bounty — from fruits, nuts and rice to leaves, roots and fungi — provides the ultimate in free, organic health food.

“The American diet is based on 10 vegetables, and I started reading about how our ancestors ate 200 to 300 plant species,” said Bowers, of Traverse City. “That amount of variety has a lot of protective properties.”

Now the two are hoping that foraging catches on with the next generation, 50 or so years after Euell Gibbons popularized the idea.

“I think the most fun of it is just to learn a little more about what there is out there,” said Sheets, of Charlevoix. “And it gives you a good excuse to get out.”

For the complete story, see Food on page 1C.

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