Forager Fête: An Evening of Words, Plants, and Edible Discoveries

Added on by Jessie Aufiery.

FORAGER: A Subjective Guide to Miami's Edible Plants (Jai-Alai Books, 2014). All photos courtesy of Gesi Schilling.

FORAGER: A Subjective Guide to Miami's Edible Plants (Jai-Alai Books, 2014). All photos courtesy of Gesi Schilling.

Walking into the world of The Kampong in Coral Gables, where the Forager / Edible South Florida soirée took place this Tuesday, is like stepping through time to enter the perfumed Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Into the woods we go.

Into the woods we go.

The sensation of near-mystical well being inspired by the setting was augmented by the fact that the evening also included gourmet fare from Oishi Thai and the soon-to-open NaiYaRaTaperia RacaRock Garden HerbsSeasons Farm Fresh (who provided locally found strawberry guava, mamey, and soursop), and the divine Cao Chocolates

Director emeritus of The Kampong, Larry Schokman, leads the tour. 

Director emeritus of The Kampong, Larry Schokman, leads the tour. 

Guests were invited to explore the grounds of The Kampong on a "fast-foraging" tour with Kampong director emeritus Larry Schokman and plantmatter's Tiffany Noé. Among the many plants observed, smelled, and discussed were wild spinach, wild cinnamon, and fragrant pandan.

Schokman urged homeowners to compost their garbage instead of tossing it, explaining that in Miami it takes nature 500 years to build a single inch of precious topsoil. 

Is it edible?

Is it edible?

At 8 pm, Seth Labenz and P. Scott Cunningham provided a brief visual introduction to Jai-Alai Books, and then presented the publishing house’s first tome, Forager: A Subjective Guide to Miami's Edible Plants

Nick Vagnoni, who wrote text for Forager, ended the official part of the evening with a reading of his own food poetry. The new issue of Edible South Florida was available throughout the event, as were copies of Forager, which authors Tiffany Noé and George Echevarria happily signed. 

Forager authors Tiffany Noé and George Echevarria

Forager authors Tiffany Noé and George Echevarria