Simply Sassy: A Mitten Gal’s Sassafras Rootbeer 

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 oneContinue reading “Simply Sassy: A Mitten Gal’s Sassafras Rootbeer “

Claiming Our Place At the Table: Growing the Good Food Movement

On September 21, 2001, a group of about 25 people representing all sectors of the food community – from farmers to schools to clinics to social agencies addressing hunger – gathered at what is now known as Feeding America West Michigan. With Groundswell farmer Tom Cary at the helm and with me taking notes, weContinue reading “Claiming Our Place At the Table: Growing the Good Food Movement”

Summer Staycations: Foraging with Kids

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 adventureContinue reading “Summer Staycations: Foraging with Kids”

The Magic Nectar of Maple Syrup

Who doesn’t love that dark amber nectar of real maple syrup – the sweetness of the trees and one of the earth’s most decadent and natural sweeteners? Click HERE to watch me rave about syrup on WZZM13. We treat maple syrup like it’s liquid gold in my house – a precious food that I love to useContinue reading “The Magic Nectar of Maple Syrup”

Maple Syrup: A Forager’s Sweet Treat

Can you hear the trees awakening? It’s maple syrup time for the farmers and foragers setting out to tap the maple trees! Even though the land around us continues to be covered with a deep blanket of snow, there’s a shift in the trees. With warmer days and cold, clear nights, the trees are stretching their hibernatingContinue reading “Maple Syrup: A Forager’s Sweet Treat”

Wild Flavors of Thanksgiving: Chestnuts

In Michigan and across much of the Midwest it’s a SNOW DAY! The snow out my window already blankets the ground with drifts in some areas over 2 feet deep! This makes me glad for the season’s harvests that already are packed away in my pantry for hearty winter meals — the acorn flour, the fruitContinue reading “Wild Flavors of Thanksgiving: Chestnuts”

Weedy & Edible: Garlic Mustard

What is the adage, “A weed is a plant that is growing where you don’t want it?” Abundant in areas of disturbed soil – at the forest’s edge, along roadsides, and on river floodplains – the Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) is deemed by many as a noxious, invasive species, choking out native vegetation and spreading wildly acrossContinue reading “Weedy & Edible: Garlic Mustard”

Wild Leeks: A Tasty, Precious Sign of Spring

Spotted: Wild leeks, Allium tricoccum Regionally, Wild Leeks are distributed as far east as New York State and through Canada, west into the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota and south into Appalachia. Here in Michigan, the Wild Leeks (or Ramps are they are also called) are plentiful in the Beech/Maple woods along the rivers and onContinue reading “Wild Leeks: A Tasty, Precious Sign of Spring”

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 therapyContinue reading “Grow Your Herbal Apothecary from the Ground Up”