12/10/15  •  Fort Collins

Rico Lighthouse: Foraging brings security to family

Rico Lighthouse’s favorite plant is one you probably have never tried. It grows along Fort Collins bike trails, roadside medians and in neighborhood backyards. You can’t find it at the local grocery store, and it’s probably not topping your salads. But for Rico, eating milkweed is common. He thrives off finding his own food. Now, it’s just a hobby, but when he was a child, foraging was a way to help nourish his family. His childhood garden, which was the family’s main source of food, was destroyed in a hurricane. He felt helpless watching his mom stress about their next meal until one day he found some wild raspberries on the side of a path, picked them and brought them home. They ate raspberry pie that night, and the night after that. Soon he was gathering nuts and leaves. As he shares his story, you can see the excitement that providing for his family brought to Lighthouse as a young boy. Now, he has his own children. And while he does shop at the a local supermarket, he adds foraged food to meals, and teaches his children along the way. His son’s favorite? Dandelion flowers. “The biggest thing I realized as a child is that I’m provided for,” he said. “No matter what happens, I can find food. I’ve been through some hard times, some disasters, but I’ve always been cared for by the land.”

From the event: Foodie tales

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Rico Lighthouse

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