Edible Botany

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Taught by Kristen Jasionowski

Kristen Jasionowski has been a farmhand atop the golden hills of California and an urban gardener battling the squirrels in Philadelphia. She currently spends her time as an edible landscaping designer, homesteader, & locavore, deep in the woods of Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. She is also an artist & vocalist.





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When is it a pumpkin and when is it a squash? How does a fig tree get fruit if you never see any flowers? And what the heck are pawpaws, maypops, and jostaberries??

In this class we'll be introducing the basics of binomial nomenclature & Linnean taxonomy, studying the difference between fruits & vegetables from a plant's point of view, and presenting some interesting ethnobotanical factoids.

Then we'll spend the bulk of the class investigating the major vegetable, herb, and fruit families that humans have evolved to consume, as well as their growing requirements. You'll learn that the Solanacea family includes not only the familiar tomatoes & eggplants, but also the goji berry, a supposed superfood, and jimson weed, a deadly hallucinogen. With an audience of urban gardeners in mind, we'll touch on a couple of awesome nut & cereal crops, like quinoa (which is actually not really cereal at all).

By the time you leave, you'll have received a sizable shot of yummy plant know-how, including a familiarity with such snazzy vocab words as monocotyledon, bolting, and nitrogen-fixation!

This is class is appropriate for gardeners of all levels, foodies looking to broaden their edible horizons, and those just wanting to brush up on their Latin.

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