|Buffet table with prepared wild foods Credit: Curtest Photo|
Wild food foragers from across the country will return to North Bend State Park Sept. 16–18, 2016, for the 49th annual Nature Wonder Weekend. Reservations are open and available for this annual gathering held at the park located on the north fork of the Hughes River near Cairo, West Virginia.
Featured speakers include wild foods cooking author Leda Meredith and hearth cook and food historians Martha and Richard Hartley.
“This year’s program will highlight foraging as well as wild food preparation and preservation, past and present,” said Deputy Director Emily Fleming of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The event, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods event, begins Friday evening and concludes Sunday midmorning. It includes speakers, presentations, nature walks and collection and preparation of wild foods.
Activities include a park tour, wild food identification instruction, the Hazel Wood National Wild Food Cooking Contest and the Bill Faust Wild Cake Contest. The Wild Drink Contest winner is awarded the honorary Maxine Scarbro Friendship Cup.
The weekend offers overnight packages as well as day-only attendance options. The individual cost is $174 when two people share a room. This rate includes five traditional Appalachian-style buffet meals provided by North Bend Lodge Restaurant, as well as all activities and programs. Other rates are available for single occupancy rooms, cabins and fees for meals-only or single activities.
Overnight options include lodge rooms, cabins or camping sites. Please specify your preference during registration. Openings are available for campsites and cabins, but lodge rooms are filling fast, so early registration is important for those who want to stay in the lodge.To register, please contact Wendy Greene at the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources at 304-558-2754 or email Wendy.L.Greene@wv.gov. Reservation forms and additional information are available online at the Event Calendar listings at www.northbendsp.com.
Nature Wonder Weekend Schedule Registration begins at the North Bend State Park Lodge Friday, Sept. 16, from 2 to 8 p.m. A park tour is scheduled at 3 p.m. and a buffet dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The Wild Foods Cooking Contest will be held that evening, including prizes for best wild food cooks, best wild cake and best wild drink.
After Saturday breakfast, small groups will take guided hikes in search of edible wild foods. Following lunch, the groups will prepare wild foods for the social hour that afternoon. A buffet dinner is available in the lodge restaurant Saturday evening. Sunday will include a morning service and a wild foods workshop.