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Fall 2012
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CALS Notes

Mann Library Exhibit Caters to Foragers

Erythronim Americanum Curtis

Throughout human history, wild foods have sustained the hungry and delighted the connoisseur. The Mann Library exhibit “Beyond the Garden Gate: Wild Foods from Page to Plate,” which opened reunion weekend, celebrated both the lore and natural history of foraged foods.

“The exhibit was a response to recent, renewed interest in wild food and the very active, web-based community of foragers across the country,” said Liz Brown, Mann Library outreach specialist and exhibit curator.

From historical illustrations and recent books from Mann’s collections, visitors learned about wild foods including fiddlehead ferns, May apples, and cattails.

“One intriguing lesson of the exhibit is that many of the plants in the exhibit are truly ‘feral’ rather than wild,” said Brown. “Many were deliberately introduced by European settlers as medicinal plants, and they persist as weeds waiting to be harvested.”

The exhibit was funded by the Bondareff Family Fund for Mann Library, the Elizabeth (Betty) L. Rowley Fund at Mann Library, and the Mann Library Excellence Fund.