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A Forager’s Life

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Nov 11, 2019

Jay Marion lives in Verona, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. He's a forager – he searches the woods and fields for all kinds of wild ingredients, to sell, and to eat. In recent years, foraged ingredients have become all the rage in high end restaurants, part of the move toward hyperlocal, farm-to-table ingredients. Of course, we humans have been foraging pretty much forever. And though it’s less common in America today, Jay’s family never really stopped.

What Jay finds depends on the season, but he gets things like morel mushrooms, dandelion greens, truffles, berries, and ramps, which are wild onions. In an article about Jay, one chef said, “When he shows up at the backdoor with a bagful of fresh morel mushrooms, as a chef, it’s like you kind of start hearing bells. Jay can consistently find world-class ingredients just by going for a walk in the woods.”

This week, Dan joins Jay for one of those walks, and hears the story of how his business got to where it is today. Jay had the foraging knowledge he got from his grandparents, and the business sense to get in early on a growing trend. But he never expected what happened next.

Interstitial music in this show by Black Label Music:

- "Marimba Feels Good" by Stephen Sullivan

- "Gravel And Dirt" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Incidentally" by Black Label Productions

- "Narwhal" by Casey Hjelmberg

  Photo courtesy of Dan Pashman.

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