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Skunk Cabbage and Signs of Spring in Upstate NY!

Skunk Cabbage photo by Michelle DuRivage

Magnolia Blossoms on Todd Road, photo by Klaus Selmayr

Organic herbs from Gossett's Nursery ready to plant already!

Thanks to Katonah photographer Michelle DuRivage, farrier Klaus Selmayr and Bobby Viet, manager of Gossett’s Nursery for the signs of spring photos! Send me your photos at editor [@] if you’d like to see them here.

Here’s a little more about skunk cabbage: it’s native to our area of northeastern NY and one of the early plants of spring found in wetland and swampy areas. It’s called skunk cabbage because it stinks! If you’ve never examined it

up close, go grab some this week while the other plants surrounding it are still small, and show it to everyone you know, especially kids. They LOVE it…stinky is cool,  you know. There are rumors that it was considered edible by Native Americans, but I think that was a joke they played on the whites! I harvested young leaves with my grandmother once, we boiled them, changed the water, boiled again, salted and sat down to eat some. I ate it first, and suddenly my tongue started burning, deep down, and it got worse and worse and worse. The pain was so intense I couldn’t speak, and went and ran water into mouth from the tap. My gram laughed and said it can’t be that bad and ate hers. Half an hour later, with tears running down our faces, we finally were able to laugh as we continued trying different cooling remedies! I suggest touching and smelling the skunk cabbage for it’s amazingly bizarre biology, but avoid eating it!

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About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is and my professional website is I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.


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Heather Flournoy is the main author, social media wiz, and community organizer behind KatonahGreen. Hover over the image for more information.

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