5/23/23: Found in a walk in the woods

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

High 81°/Low 56° Sunny

Nabe Shin, a staple at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market and a forager for decades, on the life lessons and other sustenance found in a walk in the woods. Also: Gun violence is on the rise in Kzoo, with four dead in less than two weeks. And a group that teaches young, disabled people to bike is seeking volunteers.

NowKalamazoo Feature Story

‘My best teacher’

Nabe Shin stands with her arms outstretched, showing off her wares at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market. In front of her are various plants with signs saying what they are, including: fiddle heads, Japanese knotweed, mushrooms, and wild ramp.

The woods in and around Kalamazoo County sustain Nabe Shin.

She cooks and heals with ingredients she finds there and sells foraged produce at the Farmer’s Market. It’s an opportunity presented by Mother Nature and passed on by her own mother growing up in a small town in southernmost South Korea.

She is soothed by the woods, which reminds Shin of her oldest child, Mike, who died from COVID-19 in 2021.

“I go out in the woods every day, almost all day long, that’s my escape. I go into the woods, I talk to plants, I scream, I yell, and I cry, and I laugh, I smile – all that in the woods,” Shin says. “Nature is my god and my escape. Foraging gives me all the comfort that I need.”

Done right, as consumer prices increase, a forager can save on food costs – and even earn an income – with full-flavored, vitamin-packed greens, nuts, berries, and mushrooms that can be found in most backyards, woods, and wild areas in the country.

But doing it wrong could have dire consequences. A forager on someone else’s property risks violence from an over-aggressive property owner. The authorities can also get involved if a forager is picking crops that are endangered. Over-picking could also harm that crop the next season. And, the ultimate foraging faux pas: eating the wrong thing could cause illness or death.

Shin teaches classes, and shares her knowledge on social media, so others learn how to forage safely and sustainably. The core message woven throughout her lessons extends beyond the woods, offering valuable insights applicable to anyone.

More News You Need To Know

4th shooting death in 10 days

An unidentified person was shot and killed over the weekend in Kalamazoo. Police responded to a report of shots fired on Saturday near the intersection of Cork Street and Emerald Drive. One victim was found dead at the scene. That marks the fourth firearm death in less than two weeks in Kalamazoo.

Tyquincy McFerrin, 42, was shot and killed last Thursday; Marcus Pierce, 33, was shot and killed on May 14; and Omar’re Williams-Dickey, 19, was shot and killed on May 11. It’s a shocking spate of gun violence that pushes the county’s gun violence stats to record numbers. Seven people have died during shootings so far this year. Only three people had been fatally shot by this point last year; there were six fatal shootings by this point the year before amid a pandemic-era surge of gun violence. [MLive]

Raw sewage dumped in Kzoo park

Kalamazoo’s Milham Park is clean and open to the public again after workers discovered about 50 gallons of raw sewage dumped in the park. The city responded after people complained of a strong odor at the park. Witnesses said they saw an RV release the stream of sewage from its septic tank. Crews were quick to clean up the mess and sanitize the area, though officials are advising anyone who came into contact with the mess to do the same to themselves and their clothes. [WOOD]

Disability group seeks volunteer bike assistants

Want to get your steps in while also helping teach young, disabled people to bike? The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan is looking for just that kind of help. The group hosts an annual iCanBike program for people with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities who may never have ridden a bike before. For the first time, it is bringing its program to Kalamazoo, but the group needs a herd of volunteers to make it a success.

“I know this sounds cliché, but this program really has been life changing for our family,” said Katherine Mills, who traveled with her daughter, Adeline, to Grand Rapids for the program last year. She said it has given her daughter an activity that she can do with her whole family. The program lasts a week, running from June 19-23. Volunteers can sign up for 90 minute slots to basically just jog alongside a bicyclist and help keep them upright and on track. Those interested in helping can sign up online.

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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May Mastermind Luncheon – The Catalyst Center
11:00AM 5/23

West Michigan Area Show Juror Talk: A Conversation with Alison Wong – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 5/23

Pooches On The Patio Opening Day – Crafted Copper
4:00PM 5/23

Public Services Week: All Things Public Works – 415 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/23, 5/25

Public Services Week: Groundwater and Water Production at the Central Pumping Station – 215 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/23, 5/25

Jazz with Barry Ross, Violin, and Terry Lower, Jazz Piano – Martell’s
5:30PM 5/23

Open Mic with THE DOC! – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 5/23

Death Cafe discussion group – Kazoo Books
6:00PM 5/23

Hip Hop with Speak It Forward Showcase – Kalamazoo Public Library, Alma Powell
6:30PM 5/23

Trivia night – Shakespeare’s Pub
7:00PM 5/23

Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat the Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness, and Love – Portage District Library
7:00PM 5/23

Garlic Mustard & Dame’s Rocket Pulling Day – Kalamazoo Nature Center
8:30AM 5/24

Party in the Park – Bronson Park
10:00AM 5/24

Public Services Week: All Things Wastewater – 1415 N Harrison
5:30PM 5/24

Public Services Week: All Things Water – 415 E Stockbridge
5:30PM 5/24

this is a puzzle competition – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
6:00PM 5/24

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 5/24

Eating Wild for the Future – Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
7:00PM 5/24

3 of a Kind – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 5/24

Decades of Hits! – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30PM 5/24

“Love Is…” volume 6 – Kalamazoo Bach Festival
7:30PM 5/24

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 5/24

West MI Apple Blossom Cluster Dog Show – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
8AM 5/25-29

Open Mic Night at Table of Contents Cafe – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 5/25

West Michigan Area Show Opening and Awards Ceremony – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
5:45PM 5/25

GLAMA Jam! – Old Dog Tavern
6:00PM 5/25

Paint With Coleen: Bee Happy! – Parchment Community Library
6:00PM 5/25

City Centre Live!!!!! w/ Zion Lion – The Xperience by LuXury Escapes
6:30PM 5/25

Sunny Bleau and The Moons: Slow Burn Album Tour – Dormouse Theatre
7:00PM 5/25

GD Funny! May – Green Door Distilling Co.
7:00PM 5/25

Sadie Bass Live – Rugger’s Up and Under
7:00PM 5/25

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