Have you ever heard of a food forest?

Personally, I did not have any idea of what a food forest was until this week. I had the opportunity to meet a local resident of Wise County who recently started a food forest. Simply, a food forest is when you plant edible plants that do well in a certain area and this helps balance out the ecosystem. A lot of people plant a food forest to maximize the potential amount of food that can be grown. This not only provides people with more food, but also allows animals and other organisms a place for shelter. Remember if you ever want to plant a food forest it is great for people, animals, and the ecosystem!

Edible Plants

This week has been super busy with activities and events. The Wise County Extension Office and the Letcher County Extension Office worked together to do an edible plant walk in both Pound, VA and Jenkins, KY. This was very educational and provided knowledgeable information about edible plants that are common in this area. For example, sassafras, hemlock trees, lactuca, greenbrier, chicory, and violets are all edible plants that are commonly found. Sassafras, for instance, is most commonly used to make tea. Additionally, the young leaves of lactuca are edible and this plant is used for pain relief and to induce sleep. A fun fact about lactuca is that someone in Pound refers to it as “poor man’s morphine.”

National Moth Week

This week is National Moth Week, which is designed to encourage people to celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of all moth species. This is a worldwide event that motivates people to contribute scientific data that is related to moths. Moths serve as pollinators that help grow our gardens. Therefore, it is very important to know as much as possible about them. With this being said, we hosted a moth week event that included a butterfly walk and a moth identification activity. Furthermore, we actually had the opportunity to catch moths and identify which ones are the most common in this area. Also, I made an educational poster as well as brought a gallery of moths from a local entomologist.