Wild food market planned for Carrboro

Jan. 29, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

Ever thought of eating a stinging nettle? How about a dandelion? Maybe some lamb’s quarters?
They’re not exactly in abundant supply at the local grocer, and heaven only knows, eating stinging nettles sounds like one crazy idea.
But Jenny Schnaack and Josh Lev are organizing a wild food market to be on the first Sunday of each month at the Carrboro Town Commons beginning in March and running through November. Their plan calls for participants to educate people about wild foods and offer edible wild plants, mushrooms and herbs for sale.
Schnaak, development director for The Abundance Foundation in Pittsboro, gave a presentation to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Tuesday asking for permission to hold the market at the Town Commons at 301 West Main Street.
“They’ve decided to support us in holding the market,” Schnaak said Friday. “The first one will be on March 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.”
Schnaak and Lev, founder of the Carrboro Herb Guild, got together to talk about a wild food market and learned about Alan Muskat and the wild food market he is starting in Asheville this spring.
“Josh and I were like, ‘Wow. This is going to be the first market in the United States,’” Schnaak said. “Why not get one going in the Piedmont?”
Carrboro seems like an ideal place because so many people are interested in wild foods and mushrooms, but not everyone has time to wander through woods and fields learning the identities of edible wild plants, medicinal herbs or mushrooms, Schnaak said.
They’ll be able to buy what they need at the market, and if they do want to learn the art of identifying and cooking wild plants and mushrooms, they can connect at the market with people willing to teach them.
Schnaak told the aldermen that only people experienced at identifying and cooking wild foods and mushrooms will be able to sell at the market.
“We’re not going to take people who took a weekend workshop and think they know what they’re doing,” she said.
“We hope to have 20 to 25 tables at the market,” she said.
“We hope that others will see this as a really exciting place to visit and not only buy the products but learn more about the ingredients and buy it from the person who found it and picked it,” Schnaak said.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or learning more about the market should contact wildfoodandherb@gmail.com. To learn more about the market and stay up to date on what’s happening, people should go to Facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/wildfoodandherb.