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

Old Man Winter is upon us and rough lips, chapped cheeks and split cuticles are all signs that the dryness of winter months has gotten under our skin – literally. I love winter.  As a runner and skier, the cold doesn’t keep me inside. BUT, the time outside in the dry cold can wreck havoc …

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 …

It’s that witchy time of year when the leaves blow from the trees and the winds howl through the misty October darkness. Apple cider, pumpkin carving and costume decorating is underway for the fun celebrations that fall across the last days of October. For a bit of botanical fun, my colleague at The Chicago Tribune and I were …

There’s no better place on earth in summer than #PureMichigan. Summer vacation is a time to load the car and head to the lakeshore – bikes tied to the back and sandals in tow. The great thing about our Great Lakes state is that we are never more than 20 minutes from an outdoor adventure …

A PureMichigan summertime is made up of camping trips, picnics, and summers by the lakeshore surrounded by family and friends. But usually unwelcome visitors to the festivities include the pesky mosquitos, ticks and spiders – unavoidable in our forests and backyards. To fully ensure you will stay bite free, cover the skin up in lightweight …

Spring Break Fun: Junior Forager Adventures

  Spring break is a time to load the car and head South to warmer climes, don sandals and enjoy the outdoors. If you are headed out of town, be sure to visit area nature centers and eco-preserves to walk the trails and experience the land that might be different than in the Great Lakes. …

Holiday Cooking with Pines, Spruce & Firs

  From firs to pines to spruces– these favorite evergreens adorned many homes for the holidays with their fragrant boughs. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to take down the trimmings– but wait! The boughs can serve an additional purpose: Before directing that greenery out to the compost or to the curb for recycling, …

Unfurling

Early spring is bursting with all its wild edible glory right now. The woods are filled with fiddleheads, trout lily, morel mushrooms, wild ginger, field garlic, dock and white lettuce leaves. The fields have violets in bloom for salads and sunshine yellow dandelions ready for dandelion wine. Invasive edible plants like Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard still have …

On a plant writing sabbatical…

Headed across the Midwest, with my camera and laptop in tow. Destination is Big Sky & Jackson Hole for a writing sabbatical, working on my next book — “The ReWilded Kitchen: A Forager’s Guide to Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Midwest” (Timber Press, 2014). Here, I stopped just outside of Gary, Indiana off of …