Make a salad while staying on the good side of the Parks Department.
NEW YORK MAY BE A bustling metropolis, but the city also boasts roughly 30,000 acres of parkland full of lush greenery. But these parks have an important rule: Look but don’t dine. If a weed, such as mugwort, is edible, it’s against park rules to pick and eat it. Local foragers, who comb through foliage for edible and medicinal plants, have fought the rule for decades. Steve Brill has led foraging tours of Central Park since the 1980s, and was even arrested for foraging back in 1986. Despite the legal threat, he and others continue to lead tours, pick plants, and chow down in parks across the city. But now there’s a new—legal—source for edible greenery in New York. It also happens to be floating on the East River.