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August Hike Through Forests and Farmland: In Search of Now-Wild Edibles

Port Oneida Rural Historic District

The Port Oneida Rural Historic District in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is laden with old farms and homesteads. Some of them are well preserved and open for tours that show what life was like on the Leelanau Peninsula at the turn of the century. Others leave little trace of the buildings that once stood, but have hidden treasures and edible time capsules left by the farmers of yore.

While taking things out of a national park is technically a no-no, I simply cannot help gorging on juicy mulberries from a tall and ancient farmstead tree, or dreaming of the pies I could make with the fruit from a gnarled old apple. This may just be my favorite place on earth.

Hiking past weathered barns in the direction of Lake Michigan, these edible gems seems to hide in plain sight.  But if you look closely you can make a trail-side snack (or possibly even lunch) out of these hand-me-down plants from the past. (The food isn’t technically leaving the park if you eat it first, right?)

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