Apr 16, 2011: Founders Memorial Lecture – “Edible Wild Plants of Colorado”

**This event is FULL. No more reservations are being taken**

Presented by Meg VanNess, Regional Historic Preservation Officer / Archaeologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Free and open to the public.

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
The Penrose House
1661 Mesa Avenue (map)

Reservations are required. Please make yours by emailing hasgardens@gmail.com
**This event is FULL. No more reservations are being taken**

With a little bit of knowledge and a good digging stick a resourceful person can find plenty to eat among the wild plants of Colorado. Whereas this virtual cornucopia of seeds, berries, and roots would never be mistaken for a Big Mac, it did provide a year-around supply of nutrients and calories to sustain the native populations for thousands of years. Some of these plants, such as wild plums and pinion nuts, require only a slight stretch of the modern imagination to be considered for tonight’s dinner. Others, such as the slime covered cattail root, stinking gourds, nauseous rabbit brush, and the aptly named pincushion cactus, take a bit more thought.

Thankfully, the collection and preparation of these plants is often described in ethnographic accounts from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These accounts provide great reading and valuable analogies for the interpretation of plant remains from archaeological contexts.

This presentation will cover the excavation and extraction of botanical remains from archaeological sites, the interpretation of the remains, and a review of some of the plants and their uses. Many of the plants discussed are common in the yards and wilderness areas of Colorado, either as our treasured flowers or as one of those nasty weeds.

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