A sparkling sumac toast to everyone who joined us for one of our 3 programs at the Jay Estate yesterday to celebrate Earth Day! Special thanks to our 5 outstanding speakers, New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Academy author and children’s educator Anne Mottola, forager and author Meadows and More founder Tama Matsuoka Wong, Cafe Boulud New York/ Bar Pleiades mixologist Darryl Chan (with additional appreciation to his wife Isabella), New York Botanical Garden’s Thain Family Forest Director Jessica Arcate Schuler and Westchester Land Trust Stewardship Director Tate Bushell.
It was a day of glorious sunshine, savory natural tastes and spirited enlightenment! In the morning, visitors purchased Anne Mottola’s delightful children’s books about “What Grows in the Garden” and spoke with her about her ideas for the vegetable beds planned for the Jay Gardens. Afterwards, attendees learned about the health benefits of wild edible plants from Tama and Darryl. Guests sampled garlic mustard pesto and warm mugwort soup as they picnicked out on the Jay veranda and meadow. Tama led a walking tour in the field to help the group identify wild alternatives including chickweed. Along with tasting the magic of earth foraged greens, all tried a welcome mocktail garnished with thyme crafted by Darryl using sumac foraged by Tama. Darryl’s wife Isabel graciously assisted him. Adults also sipped “Spruce Springsteens” made with woodsy evergreen buds, tonic and cucumber.
Afternoon sessions continued with free talks by Jessica and Tate about the robust work their organizations conduct related to invasive species data collection and management. Like the Jay Heritage Center, The New York Botanical Garden and Westchester Land Trust are active partners of the LHPRISM (Lower Hudson Valley Partnership for Invasive Species Management). Each shared their own personal observations about the challenge of educating people about the threat of non-native species as well as positive goals and solutions to preserving our American landscape and native species. See more photos in NY Social Diary and on our Facebook page
Photos by Cutty McGill