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And while it isn't legal for participants to gather plants and take them off park premises, Feinstein will cut one down every now and then and offer everyone a taste. And although people are sometimes a bit reluctant to try these edibles, Feinstein says they're often surprised at how good the plants taste. He lists a few of the tastier examples: fiddlehead ferns, miner's lettuce, and — his own personal favorite — the thistle.
"People that never had thistles — well, that's most people — are blown away," Feinstein said. "There's just something about the texture of it and the nuttiness of it that kind of reminds you of asparagus when it's cooked. When it's raw, it's actually more like a cucumber or celery."
Feinstein's next two East Bay walks are scheduled for May 14 and June 12. All of the classes take place at undisclosed locations that will be revealed a week in advance only to those who register — a process designed to discourage interlopers looking for a freebie (or snoopers from Parks and Rec).
For more information, or to register for a class, visit Feinstein's web site: FeralKevin.com.