Welcome to The Wild West Virginian

Hello and thanks for joining me. I’m very excited about this blog and its potential; I hope you will find it useful as well. I wanted to start off with a little about myself and my mission.

My name is Alex Coffman. I currently live in Petersburg, West Virginia serving as the WVU Extension 4-H Agent in Grant County. I am from north central West Virginia and am a 10th generation West Virginian. I have always loved these hills but it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I began realizing the amazing edibles that were all around me.

My immediate family members were not foragers in particular, although we did pick blueberries and blackberries occasionally. My sister-in-law, a biologist, began introducing us to ginseng and cranberry bogs. I also made friends with and dated some wonderful foragers who taught me about ramps, morels, redbuds, cranberries, and so much more in the world of Appalachian edibles.

Baking and cooking are my passions and combining wild foods and home cooking has been my favorite past time. Here, I will share recipes I come across, ones we make up, suggestions and so much more. I will not, probably, share exact locations of my foraging sites because life still needs some mystery.

A few final things looking ahead:

Sustainability: I want to make sure everyone reading this blog understands that I am doing my best to harvest all these foods completely sustainably. Each plant, tree, river, and bush can only handle minimal harvest so I am conscious (and still learning) about responsible harvest. Please make sure you are doing the same. If you purchase wild foods from someone, ask if they are harvesting sustainably so we all have lots of wild foods for generations to come.

Leave No Trace:  I am the current Leave No Trace Advocate for West Virginia.  If you are ever harvesting on public lands, please make sure to read all the laws, follow all the rules, and keep wild food wild. We want all people to be able to enjoy the outdoors. Sustainable harvest can work in conjunction with Leave No Trace as long as you stay aware and cognizant. Whenever you are outdoors, always follow the Leave No Trace ethics for sustainable public land use.

Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to get started!

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