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Wild food foraging class to be taught at Farmers Market

Kyle Cifaldo and Anna Timmerman pose behind their booth at the Johnson County Farmers Market. Photo by Jana Jones.

By Jana Jones

The first class in a series of “How to” classes will be held at the Johnson County Farmers Market (JCFM) this Saturday, May 12 at the tent of Kyle Cifaldo and Anna Timmerman. Cifaldo and Timmerman are new vendors to the market specializing in wild food foraging products. They will highlight the medicinal benefits, traditional uses, and location of certain herbs and mushrooms. Cifaldo is knowledgeable on wild edible mushrooms and will feature the chaga mushroom. Timmerman loves to forage for herbs and edible wild plants in our Appalachian mountains known for being rich in over 100 medicinal plants and herbs. Timmerman will highlight yarrow during the Saturday class beginning at 11:30.Each month from May through October, the JCFM will host a class at various vendors’ tents to educate and empower individuals who have always wanted to know “how to make it your self”. Watch for the announcement of these classes on our Facebook page.

And since we are talking about edible foods found in our very own backyards, I will leave you with a recipe for Greek Horta Vrasta Radikia. Translation: cooked dandelion greens. That’s right! Looking to get rid of those pesky “weeds”? Choose the lushest dandelion greens that are growing in an area away from the road or any herbicides. According to Mother Earth News, fresh dandelion greens have four times the vitamin C, seven times the vitamin A, and two times the potassium of romaine lettuce. The German government has approved the leaves for use as a diuretic and digestive tonic to treat bloating, indigestion, and poor appetite.

Gather about 3 lbs of greens. This seems like a lot but they will cook down to a fraction of the fresh volume.

Simply cut the root off the plant and wash very well. Fill a large pot about halfway full of water and bring to a boil. Place the washed greens into the boiling water and boil for about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and place in a bowl. Dress with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt or more to taste. Serve warm. Enjoy knowing you are eating Mother Nature’s tonic for liver support and cleansing, eye health, lowering triglycerides, and aiding in weight loss (source: