CAN A CITY GIRL LIVE OFF WILD FOOD FOR A WEEK IN PORTLAND?
>From May 24 through May 30, local "Wild Girl" Becky Lerner will be eating
an entirely wild diet as she forages from sidewalks, parks, wilderness
areas and yards in Portland. There will be no dumpster diving or mooching
off gardens -- Lerner will be surviving on wild edibles only.
"I'm interested in foraging as a way to connect with the land and explore
a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human," Lerner said. "It's
also a valuable survival skill: Should the trappings of modernity become
unavailable to us one day, knowing how to find food without grocery stores
or even farms will surely come in handy."
Lerner readily admits that her pesco-vegetarianism is in question. She
will face the decision of whether to endure a vegetable fast -- or else
eat insects, go fishing or even consider dining on roadkill.
Lerner will be blogging for the nonprofit web magazine CultureChange.org
on a daily basis during the project, updating readers with photos, video
and writings about the foods she finds, how she prepares it, how she is
feeling (satisfied? starved? desperate for brownies?) and how it changes
http://CultureChange.org is a nonprofit web magazine published by Jan
Lundberg that explores issues of peak oil and sustainability. Lundberg is
a California native and former oil-industry analyst who founded the Sail
"Wild plants, especially weeds, present exciting possibilities for
sustainable post-oil living," Lundberg said, "and for those interested in
stretching their budget."
A few of the local wild plants Lerner intends to forage are stinging
nettles, dandelion, bull thistle, wapato ("duck potato"), cattail,
plantain, Japanese knotweed, dock, clover, chickweed, chicory, miner's
lettuce and morel mushrooms.
Lerner is a 26-year-old freelance journalist living in northeast Portland
who writes about primitive skills, wilderness survival and wild food on
her blog, http://www.FirstWays.com. She began her studies in Ithaca, NY,
in September 2007, where she lived in a tipi at the Turtle Dreams organic
farm and did a nine-month apprenticeship in wilderness survival with the
organization Primitive Pursuits (http://www.primitivepursuits.net). After
moving to Portland in fall 2008, she has been studying with herbalist
Emily Porter of TrackersNW and WildHeartsHealing. Lerner was born and
raised in New Jersey.
"Before I started foraging, I viewed wild spaces as valuable in terms of
beauty, but now I see them as nature's pantries," Lerner said. "It
completely changed the way I look at plants -- and especially the
Lerner is available for interviews immediately, as well as during or after
Photos of Becky Lerner are available for use by media outlets in low and
high resolution. CultureChange.org will have video footage available for
media use during the challenge week as well -- contact Jan or Becky for
"Wild Girl" Becky Lerner
Jan Lundberg of http://CultureChange.org
For a version of this press release with photos, visit: