This story is part of Fix’s Outdoors Issue, which explores the ways we build connections to nature, why those connections matter, and how equitable access to outside spaces is a vital climate solution.
Journei Bimwala is quick to spot the yellow, trumpetlike blooms in a meadow of mostly blue vervain, goldenrod, and mugwort along the western bank of the Bronx River. As she forages, she often scans her environment for unusual colors or breaks in familiar patterns, and she recognizes the newcomers as daffodils. She’d never seen them on this seven-acre corridor of land called Concrete Plant Park, one of just two city parks where foraging is allowed. Yet she isn’t surprised. “Wild plants move around, like people,” she says. “They’re very nomadic.”
These quiet changes in the landscape delight Bimwala, who gathers much of what she eats from green spaces like this one in New York City, tucked between a subway line and a highway. Foraging awakens a “childlike curiosity” to understand the overlooked wild foods and medicines there for the taking by anyone with a discerning eye. Of course, developing the expertise to see them takes patience, ski... Read more