It was a bit of a drive out to Rich Giordano’s farm in West Brookfield, but the trek was well worth the effort. With my son Evan acting as photographer and Giordano
in the lead, we spent a morning discovering all the wild edibles growing around his property, many of which are probably sprouting in a yard or field near you.
I found Giordano through the local East Longmeadow Library, for whom he hosted a wild edibles walk in nearby Heritage Park. I couldn’t make that walk, hence the drive to his locale.
I’m always fascinated by how people arrive at their professions, as I had originally planned to teach, but through happenstance, ended up pursuing my natural love of writing instead.
Giordano told me he had originally gone to college to teach elementary education, but decided to take some time off after school to follow the Grateful Dead around the country. That side trip turned into a 10-year trek, during which he learned about wild edibles as a way to get “free food.”
Along the way he’s also worked as a jeweler, and at one point got a job with Sturbridge Village, where over 15 years he learned blacksmithing, worked as a potter, operated the heirloom orchards and oversaw the herb garden. He became so immersed in farming 1830s style, he admitted to just having bought a weed wacker and chainsaw recently. Up until then, he cleared his fields by hand with a scythe, and set his own cross-cut saw for felling trees.
Beyond his work as a wild edibles guest lecturer, Giordano also has a landscaping business where he helps select clients maintain a permaculture environment similar to his farm.
My thanks to Giordano for taking the time to give us a very educational tour of his property, and hats off to him for living the lifestyle he loves.
My tech writer needs your help
Longtime readers of Prime will be familiar with my technology writer, Gary Kaye, who provides us all with the latest information on everything from medical devices to hot gift ideas. If you don’t see him in print, his column is always online. Gary underwent a kidney transplant about a year ago to help alleviate a medical condition, and was one of a handful of transplant recipients who developed a rare form of cancer as a result. He’s battled back from near death, but in the interim, he and his company, Tech50+, has suffered financially. His employees have started a GoFundMe page to help manage some of his debts. You can find it at www.gofundme.com//save-tech50.
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