I remember growing up in my mother’s garden: Tall stalks of corn, overgrown zucchini bushes, large heads of cabbages — all part of the bounty grown for our dinner table. My mother canned and made preserves from our seasonal bounty, but we also had wild foods as part of our seasonal harvests. The wild grapes …

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 …

  Sometimes when you feel a cold or a flu coming on, it’s easy to brush it off and keep pushing ahead. But when that little voice tells you that your body has caught a virus, heed its warning!  Learning when and how to use popular herbal remedies can help you prevent from getting stuck at the …

Infused in cold water overnight, the sumac berries of Rhus glabra and Rhus typhina make a great-tasting, refreshing sour and citrus-like beverage that is delicious on its own or simply sweetened with honey and garnished with lavender for an extra herbal flavor.

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 …

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 …

Winter is at its peak — the smell of cold, crisp, harsh air reminds us of the scarcity of the dark months. But even in the depths of winter’s darkness, nature offers us healing winter remedies for the season’s ailments. Up above in the canopy of the woods, the boughs of pine (Pinus spp.) sends …

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 …

Enjoyable interview talking about my book “Midwest Foraging,” wild edibles, and Leelanau County with Edible Grande Traverse Magazine. Check out the full interview online, along with other cool wild edible recipes including a local hunter’s take on eating squirrel! An interesting note, this interview took place in Lake Leelanau Sunday morning on August 2 as we watched the …