Daily Distraction: Read about Columbus' Alexis Nelson in 'Rolling Stone'

Known as 'The Black Forager,' Nelson appears in the current issue of the magazine, which you can read online now

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Alexis Nikole Nelson inspects a fallen spruce branch while foraging at Jeffrey Park in Bexley

The star of Columbus' Alexis Nikole Nelson, a.k.a. "The Black Forager," continues to rise. This month, the social media icon features in a two-page spread inRolling Stoneoffering tips and tricks related to urban foraging.

Among the plants highlighted in the feature are dandelion, pine and lambsquarters, sometimes called "wild spinach."  “In a blind taste test, I would not be able to tell the difference,” Nelson said of lambsquarters. “You can eat them right off the plant — the seeds, too. They are cousins to quinoa. They’re super-tasty.”

Nelson also spoke of foraging as an act with deep roots in the Black community. "So much foraging knowledge was being passed around during slavery, because if you weren’t creative with the meager amount of food you were given, you couldn’t take care of yourself," she said. "Foraging feels like tapping back into a practice that we just forgot about for a couple of generations.”

Previously, Nelson went foraging with Brittany Moseley for Alive, offering further insight into her introduction to the practice, which she traced all the way back to childhood, when her mom taught her about onion grass at age 5.

“For some reason, that stuck,” Nelson said of her first lesson in foraging 101. “None of the other really cool organized gardening things really stuck. I was like, 'No, I want to find more of these accident[ally] tasty plants.'"

The issue of Rolling Stone featuring Nelson is on shelves now, assuming of course that Nelson hasn't already bought local stores out. (Anyone else can read the feature here.)