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Explore the Edible Side of the Houston Arboretum This Month

If you've never picked blackberries or foraged for mushrooms, we've got a bushel of delicious reasons to visit the nature sanctuary.

By Katharine Shilcutt May 10, 2017

Edible wild plants  photo credit kelsey low ql5wvx

HANC offers hands-on classes that get Houstonians back in touch with their environment—and its edible delights.

There are plenty of compelling reasons to visit the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center this month—a nighttime, hands-on class about Texas snakes (that's on May 20) and a build-your-own container garden session (that's this weekend, on Sunday, May 14) among them. But if you're into food—or coffee, in the case of our first suggestion—the Arboretum has three classes coming up in May just for you.

Migratory Bird Day Workshop

Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. to noon

This weekend, learn about the migratory patterns and habitats of the hundreds of varieties of birds that pass over Houston, and how you can attract some of those migrant flocks to your own backyard. You'l leave the class with packets of native seeds to plant and a bag of locally-roasted Katz Early Bird coffee to enjoy during morning birdwatching sessions. Cost: $35 ($20 for members)

Blackberry Celebration

Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m. to noon

Picking ripe blackberries from the vine is a Texas tradition—but that doesn't mean everyone's lucky enough to have their own blackberry bushes on their own land. The Arboretum is inviting the public to come and harvest fresh berries from its thickets of blackberry canes and dewberry vines, but that's not all: This class will also teach you what to do with those berries, demonstrating how to make blackberry jam, blackberry tea, and blackberry balsamic salad with local honey. Cost: $35 ($20 for members)

The Hidden Kingdom of Mushrooms

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to noon

Curious to learn more about foraging after that farm-to-table pop-up dinner in some chef's garage? The Arboretum is home to a huge variety of mushrooms, from Agaricus and Amanitas to Cantharellus and Polyporus, which you'll learn to identify in this session. We're not saying you should necessarily eat these mushrooms; we're just saying this class will teach you a lot more about the fungus, where to find them, and the role they play in our Gulf Coast ecosystem. Cost: $25 ($10 for members)

Call the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center at 713-681-8433 or visit HANC's website for more information and/or to sign up for classes. 

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