An illustrated lecture by naturalist and wild foods enthusiast Russ Cohen.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Museum, 2nd Floor.

On his previous visits over the last several years, wild edibles expert Russ Cohen has documented the presence of over sixty species of edible wild plants on Fishers Island. The focus of Russ’ illustrated talk and follow-up walk this year will be on edible native species suitable for planting in home landscapes, while also acknowledging the edible weeds and invasives that are already on Island and available for consumption.

Reception to follow.

(Please note also the related Nature Walk that Russ will lead on August 15, 2019.)



Russ Cohen

Until his retirement in June of 2015, Russ Cohen’s “day job” was serving as the Rivers Advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, where one of his areas of expertise was in riparian vegetation. Now Russ has more time to pursue his passionate avocation, which is connecting to nature via his taste buds. In addition to leading over three dozen foraging walks and talks each year at a wide variety of venues throughout the Northeast, Russ has now taken on a role as a “Johnny Appleseed” of sorts for edible native species. He has set up a small nursery (near his childhood home in Weston, MA) 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 seed Russ gathered himself. Russ has also formed partnerships with land trusts, municipalities, state and federal agencies, schools and colleges, tribal groups and others, to plant plants from his nursery on appropriate places on their properties. You can read more about this endeavor in the article Russ Cohen’s Wild Edible Adventures, by Cathy Walthers, which ran in the Summer 2018 issue of Edible Boston Magazine, or this article, Meet the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of Edible Native Plants, by Barbare A. Schmitz, which ran in the Spring 2019 issue of the Wild Ones Journal.