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 [@] katonahgreen.com 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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