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  • Paul Tappenden

Inspiring Others to Appreciate the Gifts of Nature

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

For those folks who registered on my blog and found yourself receiving a notification every time somebody farted, I think we’ve fixed it. The last thing I want to do is annoy anyone. I want to sort out the problems early, BEFORE they drive people nuts. So please let me know if there is anything irritating about the site or any suggestions you might have to improve the way things run.

I realize it will take time for us to really establish the community at this new location, but I know it has great potential as a place that gives us a concerted voice as champions of nature and an educational presence. I know from my experiences with posting on Facebook, that it will be a slow grow at first, but all I need to do is to keep posting and hopefully you’ll all help me by sharing.

By convincing others how important and powerful nature is, and how they can share in these powers, we are providing badly needed education and inspiration. If you have been inspired by me, then think of how many people that you too can inspire, by sharing some of Mother Nature’s magic with them.

To captivate my audience, I often use “magic” tricks my on nature walks, like using grapevine to start a fire, using Dandelion latex to make a rubber band or turning a Burdock leaf into a sun hat or a handy container. That’s why I love to work with kids. I have lots of these neat tricks to spark their imaginations. One of the neatest tricks I ever performed was when a boy scout decided to chew on a Skunk Cabbage leaf, despite my warnings. While he was screaming in pain, with hot needles burning his mouth, I reached for a nearby Jewelweed leaf and told him to chew it,. As if by magic, the pain stopped. The rest of the troop were duly impressed, but not as much as I was!

I’ve found young folk to be very receptive, and to have amazing memories. After taking a group of campers out on a plant ID walk a few times, they are all telling me what the plants are called and how to use them. I’d send them out with a list of plants to find, and they’d inevitably find them all.

I have run foraging workshops with children from about 5 years old on up, in which we gathered wild ingredients, prepared and cooked a meal together. I carried a portable kitchen around in my car, that I could set up in 5 minutes. So I would turn up at a location where the kids were camping and they’d wind up with a foraged meal that they had prepared themselves. They almost always thought it was delicious and wanted more, and had a great sense of pride that they’d gathered and cooked a meal from the wild.

The abundance of wild foods and medicines in nature, ensures that folks do not need to be unnecessarily sick or hungry with a basic knowledge of plants and their purpose.


Now you can pick up a copy of my book “The Edible Plants of Nyack and Beyond” on this site.

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