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Everywhere, All at once

I remember gearing up for my first recon at the end of February, excited for my first scheduled tour of the season at Lemon Hill in March.

I'm always a bit nervous before a walk, as I have so many plant-y thoughts rolling around in my head at any given time. Facts, botanical tips, and folklore, volley for a slot at the top of the recall list, while I wonder what plants I'll find and what's changed since the last time I visited the area and now, as I'm about to lead a group of hearty souls on a search.

And suddenly, I'm back in the game without a free weekend in sight until late June. But I'm taking full advantage of the opportunities availing themselves, even if they're all pouring in at once. And for all of you, who had hoped I would give tours in your neck of the woods, I hope you'll join me as I venture into pastures new.

I've been working on a six tour series for Painted Bride and we've successfully finished two, the last one in quite a deluge. The remaining four tours will highlight not only the plants you can forage now, but some of our fabulous community gardens which I hope inspire you on many levels, from ideas you can transfer to your garden, to supporting the efforts of these necessary, urban green spaces.

April 15th Norris Square Neighborhood Project 2141 N Howard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 April 29th Philly Forests 6336 Ardleigh Street Guest speaker: Present! Bitter (Writing about lineage and connection to seeds) May 13th Urban Creators 2316-50 N 11th street, Philadelphia, PA 19133 May 20th Cesar Andreu Iglesias Garden 425 Arlington Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 Guest speaker: Future!! Meg Lemieur (Fracking talk)

I will also be doing a number of tours for branches of the Philadelphia Free Library.

June 2nd

Washington Square Park

10am- noon

Call 215-685-1633 for questions and to register.

June 3rd

The Pier @ Washington Avenue

9 am - 11am

Call 215-685-1758 for questions and to register.

June 9th

FDR Park

10 am - 12 noon

And finally, I'm so excited to be able to work with Bartram's Garden. I've been expanding my offerings and Bartram's has invited me to stage a series of workshops beginning in August, but before then, I'll be leading an open foraging walk for Juneteenth on Sunday June 18th somewhere around the noon area, so watch this space and keep an eye on Bartram's website for an exact start time coming soon.

And in between all of the touring, I'm trying to decide on the mayoral candidates.

Sadly I fear the folks that spend the most money will win. And I get it. It's easier to vote for a face you see on television, and a positive sound bite you hear in a commercial, but I would encourage you to get to know the candidates and where they stand on the issues.

One of the biggest threats to our city now is an agenda that places profit over health and housing concerns of our citizens. How this will all playout before the big day is anybody's guess, but when it comes to two issues I'm deeply concerned about, I've noticed a few things. Like when it comes to being more than a bit skeptical about the 76s Arena, most if not supporting it totally, are leaning to a "yes', Only Maria Quiñones Sánchez and Helen Gym, haven't drunk the KoolAid.

And it's very telling that neither of the two forums held to address ecological issues

, The Green Living Plan Forum on March 29th and The Climate Mayoral Forum on April 4th, were attended by Alan Domb, Jeff Brown or Cherelle Parker.

In the same way we now know that a healthy gut biome affects a number of the body's processes, the destruction of the tree canopy and the commercial development of green spaces affects both the mental and physical health of the body Philadelphia. If you really want to lower crime and address the mental health crisis in this city, we need a mayor who understands how entwined these issues are. Guns are just a symptom of the problem, and if your only focus is on gun crime, and not the wider picture of what causes that, neighborhoods that have been neglected and without resources or healthy outlets to channel the energy of youth, it's like trying to treat cancer with a switchblade instead of a treatment protocol.

So while some already know who they will vote for, having been swayed by their councilmen, neighborhood or ethnic loyalty or influence from the pulpit, I'm uncommitted.

I want someone who understands the interconnectedness of it all, and who's willing to stand up to developers and say "we don't want an arena in the center of town, we don't want a golf course in the middle of a residential neighborhood when it's destruction of sloping trees will impact flooding in areas like Eastwick, and we're not going to be bought off by your gracious offers, that are a mere 100th of a percent of the billions they intend to make off our backs, our land and our city.

Despite being jaded, I still have the heart of an idealist. I still hope there is someone running who truly cares about Philly and its citizens and will try to do their best. I'm tired of voting for the lesser of evils. We don't need perfect, but we should expect better.

I'm holding out for a hero, so will somebody please, put on a cape?


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