CAIRO, W.Va. – “Remembering Our Roots” is a wildly appropriate theme for wild food enthusiasts who will be meeting for the 46th Annual Nature Wonder Wild Foods Weekend at North Bend State Park Sept. 20-22, 2013. The event, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods event, begins Friday evening and concludes Sunday afternoon. It includes speakers, presentations, nature walks, and collection and preparation of wild foods.
“At this year’s event we will be continuing the high standards that were set 46 years ago, when participants enjoyed a wild food walk in the park with noted wild foods author Euell Gibbons,” said organizer Emily Fleming. “While looking ahead and promoting wild foods education and appreciation, we also will be ‘Remembering Our Roots’ by taking a look back at the history of the program.”
Two featured guests will be speaking this year. Deaonna Crowe
of Stonewood, W.Va., is a life-long enthusiast who is a National Wild Foods Hall of Fame member and author of one cookbook, It’s All Wild, with a second book in the works. Bill Beatty
, who made his first appearance as a speaker at the event in 1987, is a seasoned naturalist of 40 years and is the author of three books and numerous magazine articles. He will be speaking on the topics of medicinal and edible plants.
Many guests return year after year for Nature Wonder Weekend, but first-timers are always welcome. The weekend offers overnight packages as well as day-only attendance options. To register, please contact Wendy Greene at the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources at 304-558-2754 or email Wendy.L.Greene@wv.gov
. Reservation forms and additional information also are available online at http://wvdnr.gov/2013NWW.pdf
. Overnight options include lodge rooms, cabins, or camping sites. Please specify your preference during registration.
Although wild foods are featured throughout the weekend, five conventional meals will be provided by the North Bend Lodge Restaurant.
Nature Wonder Weekend Schedule
Registration begins at the North Bend State Park Lodge Friday, Sept. 20, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. A park tour is scheduled at 3 p.m. and a buffet dinner is at 6:30 p.m. A Wild Foods Cooking Contest will be held that evening, including prizes for best wild food cooks, best wild cake and best wild drink.
After Saturday breakfast, small groups will take guided hikes in search of edible wild foods. Following lunch, the groups will prepare wild foods for the social hour that evening.
Sunday will include a morning worship service and a wild foods workshop.
Wendy Greene, WVDNR