Duck season! Wabbit season! Marine Park carrot season!
Environmental educator and free-wheeling forager “Wildman” Steve Brill will be touring Marine Park this Saturday — where he will be hunting for the elusive wild carrot.
“[The carrots] are scattered in Marine Park’s fields,” said Brill, who’s been introducing Broolynites to the not-so-elusive wild carrots with tours in Marine Park for decades. “Were going to go south of Avenue U and will find them all along the trail.”
Well, more like under it: carrots are a root vegetable that don’t grow above ground, so all anyone will see — with the exception of people with keen eyes, like Brill — are thatches of leafy weeds.
But Brill contends that underneath those weeds are gold — or at least nutritious and tasty wild carrots perfect for a soup served at a holiday celebration (see sidebar).
“The first year they’re planted, the roots are full of nutrients and if they get a little bit more sun they get larger,” Brill said, adding that by the second year the wild carrot plant dies. He planned the tour now — at the end of the first year — to reap the harvest before it wilts away.
“Picking the plants has zero impact on the environment,” he said, noting that the tour goes into Gateway National Recreation Area-protected wetlands.
Those who come on the 11:45 am tour are guaranteed to get a bushel full of carrots, plus a whole lot more. Brill says that wild parsnips, Winter crest and wild corn called Chickweed will most likely be uncovered throughout the area, which Brill calls one of the city’s “most vastly under appreciated parks.”
“They’re all over,” said Brill. “It’s equivalent to a supermarket.”
Wild Carrot Tour in Marine Park [Avenue U and Burnett Street in Marine Park] on Nov. 26 at 11:45 am. Tickets are $20. Call (914) 835-2153 at least 24 hours ahead to reserve a place. For more information, visit www.wildmanstevebrill.com.
Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.