Friday, October 12, 2012
Fall Walk With Faye - Where She Defends the Autumn Olive
Returning families already know that we are great friends with Faye Stoner, "our" naturalist at County Farm Park. We have been going on thrice-yearly nature walks for quite a few years now. She is - in a word - amazing. Faye is patient, hugely knowledgable, and a true teacher. I've never heard her talk down to children, and I always learn something.
Today we looked for signs of Fall. It was easy, as it was a picture-perfect October morning. We also made a tasty discovery. Faye showed us the Autumn Olive bush, full of absolutely delicious fruit. The Autumn Olive is a non-native species, and most of the time we think of these as real "bullies". And, yes, this species can take over where it is found, but Faye argues that there is a place for this plant as long as it is kept pruned and under control. We had many of these delicious berries as part of our morning snack, and Faye says that you could make pies, jams, and jellies out of the tart-sweet berries.
This is what the plant looks like, in case you are interested: