Monday, July 14, 2008

A Foraging Star Is Born

Remember this name: Sunny Savage. Hard to forget, huh...

Sunny has been sending dispatches from the road to FOTL as she criss-crosses the country in search of delicious wild edibles and the folks who have the knowledge to forage and cook them. Today she's in Nebraska scouting out common milkweed, lambsquarters, prairie turnips, and wild plums.

Sunny is a wild food expert who operates the Wild Food Plants web site, but she's about to make the jump to TVLand with her own cable show. She's been traveling coast to coast, meeting up with some well-known foragers and filming episodes for her new show with a crew that includes a director, two camera people, lights and sound men, and, of course, a grip. She says she's "been blessed with a great team who are exceptional at what they do and patient with being in bug-infested and poison ivy-laden locales." Her recent adventures have included stops in the food mecca New Orleans, an educational romp through New York City's surprisingly bountiful Central Park with "Wildman" Steve Brill, and an Appalachian retreat with Doug Elliott and Frank Cook.

Each episode features Sunny in a new location, where she identifies, harvests, and cooks local plants and fungi. Of course, Mother Nature has her own opinions about what makes good footage: Sunny has had close encounters with 'gators, plenty of "spring showers with the spring greens," and uncooperative campfires that made cooking her catch on film nearly impossible.

One of Sunny's great assets, though, is her optimism (one might even call it her sunny disposition). "It's been such a treat to connect with folks from around the nation," she says. "I'm getting to meet all sorts of wild food folks, along with others, who are connected deeply with the earth." And in this time of rancorous politics and public debate, Sunny still sees the potential of the U.S. being a leader in raising consciousness about health, nutrition, and local food. Says Sunny: "I'm learning to love America again. I am deeply patriotic, which is why I feel so disappointed with our politics and international persona at times. I know we can be better. We still have a lot to be proud of...and we still have a hell of a lot of abundance. There are wild foods everywhere just waiting for us to recognize and use them."

Amen to that!

Hot on the Trail with Sunny Savage will debut later this year, with weekly half-hour episodes on Veria, a channel dedicated to living naturally, airing on DISH 9575. We'll announce the official premier when the date is firm.


NorCal Cazadora said...

Cool looking show! Is that channel only on Dish? I haven't seen it on our cable lineup. Then again, we only watch about five channels...

Poppy said...

I would love to watch Sunny's show. I hope you are going to be on an episode or two.

sunny savage said...

thanks for the post Lang!
Looks like we'll be doing milkweed in Nebraska and lambsquarters in Kansas. Should be fun.

cheers, ~sunny

sally @mixedgreens said...

Through your posts I recognize how much I've missed 'out there'. Growing food has always been a part of my scene, foraging, not so much though I love being in the wild. A few huckleberries, urban blackberries, clams and oysters, stuff like that comprise my foraging realm. A few of you are helping us to get reacquainted with our land. Thank you, Langdon.
I wonder what we'll find in the Canadian Rockies in September. (Don't yet know enough to forage with abandon, but want to have an eye out.)