In my knapsack I carry 20 years of academic and professional experience in food systems. I’ve travelled a delicious journey over these 20 years. This Monterey trip will add another layer to my food systems understanding – this time from the perspective of a food service broadliner working with farmers.

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 …

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 …

Wild Gardens in the Windy City

During a weekend of work and play in Chicago, I made my way down the stairs on Wacker to the riverfront for a morning walk. Musing about the layers of the city and metal beams my partner commented, “Chicago is a city built of steel with 3 dimensions.” I thought more about that statement in relation to …

The Roots of My Practice

“If you don’t do the work of the heart, then you will always have pain.” ~ Don Daniel, Maya plant friend in Tulum MX, 2015. I traveled to Tulum first in 2009, the first of what began as many trips to the Yucatan and the beginning of a love affair with such a magical place. …

A Herbalist’s Pilgrimage to Tulum

Tulum has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was in 2009 and I instantly fell in love with her people, ruins, beaches, city and plants. Since that time I’ve made many visits around the Yucatan – Merida, Valladolid – all lovely places with unique personality. So in choosing all places …

Travel & The Forager

Last month, I turned a spring ski session into a usnea harvest outing while in the mountains of Montana. If I am in a new area, or bioregion with plants different than the ones from my own homeland, you can be sure I am out learning plants and gathering those I know and that are …

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. …

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 …