The Delectable Lilac. Gather the lilacs blossoms and bring them into the kitchen, preserving their fragrance for use in drinks, confections, and desserts. The lilac’s memorable springtime scent can be captured in an aromatic simple syrup or lilac jelly. The lilac syrup can be used in refreshing cocktail recipes, lemonades, and soda spritzers.

The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is much more than a weed — it is a healthful salad green and important herbal medicine. As a food, dandelion should be included at the dinner table. Bitter greens such as dandelion help the stomach in digestion by increasing bile production. It’s a good spring habit to add handfuls of …

“Midwest Medicinal Plants” “Midwest Medicinal Plants” (Timber Press, OR) is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

Weather’s changing. Glad for a warm hearth, food on my stove and a pantry & apothecary full of ways to keep me & my family healthy this winter. Counting my blessings. With the cold, damp weather upon us, one of my most favorite warming drinks is Chai. I like my chai so many different ways …

Drip. Drip. Drip. That’s the sound you hear of the maple tree’s sap dripping into buckets. Did you know that it takes up to 60 gallons of sap to produce just ONE gallon of maple syrup. Consider that next time you are incredulous over the price of real maple syrup in the market — most commercial …

While on a trail run through the dunes of Hoffmaster State Park this summer I realized that there is no other smell reminiscent of my West Michigan lakeshore upbringing than sassafras. That aromatic, spicy rootbeer fragrance of the sassafras floats on the breeze in the dew of the morning or after a wet, damp rain. It is one …

Cocktails flavored with different plants and herbals are now all the rage among foodies and at popular restaurants. Beyond the garden, foraged, wild flavors can be gathered from the woods and fields to be blended into infused liqueurs, simple syrups and handmade bitters for the cocktail cart. The windfall of falling walnuts becomes noticeable in …

Poison Ivy & Favorite Herbal Remedies

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a common invasive plant across the Midwest, found in damp riverbeds, woodlands, trailsides, sand dunes, and open fields. The poison ivy is abundant this year – finally leafing out and growing in large stands in backyards, along trails and carpeting the woods, keeping the morel mushroom hunters at bay and irritating …

And a foraging book begins…

My writing sabbatical starts today. Diving deep into my next book.#Foraging #EdiblePlants #TimberPress #MidWest

Grow Your Herbal Apothecary from the Ground Up

It’s that time of year again — Spring! I know I’ve been thinking about planting time since January, when the seed catalogues began to drop into our mailbox (an evil tease, I say) and this time of year I become so excited to once again get my hands into the soil. It is my therapy …