Not all food crops need full sunlight, says Dan Jaffe, propogator and stock bed grower with the New England Wild Flower Society. Jaffe will explore “Shady Food: Edible Native Perennials” at Stearns Farm on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 from 6-7 pm.

Many shade-tolerant native perennials such as ramps, woodland strawberry and mayapple can be cultivated in garden or farm settings in areas that many people usually think of as wasted space for traditional food production. “Some plants offer flavors that we are not usually exposed to,” says Jaffe. For example, the mayapple has a unique, “slightly citrusy, slightly melon-like” flavor, he adds.

“These plants also play active roles in the ecosystem. For example, when you plant black huckleberry and eat every single berry, without leaving a single one for the birds, you are still providing bee habitat in the form of flowers and host sites for the huckleberry sphinx moth in the form of leaves.”

Participants will have an opportunity to see–and smell–samples of plants that Jaffe will cover. He’ll provide cultivation details, as well as handouts with additional information and recipes.

Register at A $5 donation is requested. Stearns Farm reserves the right to cancel any event if fewer than five people sign up to attend.