With six courses and the luxury of time to enjoy them, the Spring Spice dinner ushered in a season that teases you with flavor and textures. A piece of well-cooked, local beef will please an omnivore crowd anytime of the year, but pairing it with light and airy treasures expertly showcased the seductiveness of the season. Like a fleeting breeze that carries a whiff of a spring flower, the dandelions—picked before they bloomed and treated like capers—offered a mere caress, while the pickled fiddleheads served as the perfect foil for the buttery meat. And the morels? They were a conversation starter. “The texture is interesting,” one of my tablemates remarked. “It’s fuzzy—but in a good way.” That is, in a way that evokes rich, buttery steak. These shrooms were something special and I wanted more. Sadly, my mushroom-abstaining friend decided that she did, in fact, like morels and didn’t want to share. Like the giant, brain-like morel that Rhoneymeade executive director and botanist James Lesher unearthed before our dinner began, our culinary adventure was the direct result of stewardship of the land. So before we even took our seats at the communal table, Lesher took us on a tour that highlighted some of the wild plants that will grow on this historical site for countless generations. In 1986, three years before Rhoneymeade was established as a private foundation, the then-owner of the property and farmland signed Clearwater Conservancy’s first conservation easement in Centre County to permanently protect the land from development.