Navigating the ins and outs of foraging can be tricky! After the long process of learning how to identify plants and other forageables, you then must find places where you’re actually allowed to harvest them. This isn’t always easy, especially for those of us living in cities. This guide is intended to help you get out there and start picking, without getting into trouble! Since I live in the Twin Cities, most of the information will pertain to this area. However, you can use the information herein to do some research into your locality, including city parks, state parks, state forests, and other areas.Read More
The weather is warming up in the Twin Cities, and tree tapping season will soon be over! Here is part three of a video series about tapping maple trees at home for the sap. This one is about end-of-season clean-up. Part one covers putting the tap in the tree, and part two goes over what to do with the sap. I will not be explaining how to boil down sap for maple syrup. Though it's a great practice that I encourage everyone to try at least once, this video series is designed for people who don't have the time or equipment to make syrup. Plus, maple sap is a great product in its own right!Read More
It's tree tapping season in the Twin Cities! Here is part two of a video series about tapping maple trees at home for the sap. This one is about what to do with the sap. Part one covers putting the tap in the tree; and part three will go over end-of-season clean-up. I will not be explaining how to boil down sap for maple syrup. Though it's a great practice that I encourage everyone to try at least once, this video series is designed for people who don't have the time or equipment to make syrup. Plus, maple sap is a great product in its own right!Read More
There are so many awesome edible plants growing in cities! Unfortunately, I can’t write about all of them, so I decided to narrow the list down to ten. Only ten! It was so hard to choose. I opted for diversity. This list includes a variety of plant forms— some herbs, some trees, some shrubs. It also has various plant parts— greens, flowers, fruits, seeds, and even sap! Finally, these plants are eaten in myriad ways— raw, cooked, made into tea, or infused. But they should all be easily found in most cities, and they are all delicious!Read More
It's still cold and snowy where I live in Minneapolis, but tree tapping season is right around the corner! (And currently taking place in some parts of the country.) Here is part one of a video series about tapping maple trees at home for the sap. This one is about putting the tap in the tree; part two will explain what to do with the sap; and part three will cover end-of-season clean-up. I will not be explaining how to boil down sap for maple syrup. Though it's a great practice that I encourage everyone to try at least once, this video series is designed for people who don't have the time or equipment to make syrup. Plus, maple sap is a great product in its own right!Read More
As a child growing up in urban Milwaukee, family walks on Sunday afternoons were routine. I remember going by rows of neatly trimmed juniper bushes, and my father stopping us all as he picked a few leaves, crushed them between his fingers, put them to his nose, and inhaled. We were made to follow suit. The smell was strong but pleasant— resinous, slightly citrusy, and stimulating. To this day, I can’t resist picking small amounts of juniper and inhaling the invigorating scent.
Obviously I didn’t know this as a child, but those distinctive smells are essential oils, and they often signal important medicinal qualities, such as fighting infections in wounds and treating coughs, colds, or fevers. In fact, I didn’t even know that the plant was called juniper, much less realize that it was edible and medicinal. But that uplifting smell always stuck with me; and once you smell it, I’m sure it will for you, too!Read More
Just realized that my chokeberry video never made it to this blog for some reason! Well, here it is. Even though chokeberries ripen in autumn, they can often be found hanging on the shrub throughout winter. Though in my experience, they are much tastier when fresh!Read More
Sustainability is a huge buzzword these days. Sustainable products and services are in high demand, and businesses are cashing in on the trend. But what does it actually mean to be sustainable? Does it mean buying reusable straws, installing energy-efficient lightbulbs, and recycling? To me— no. For something to be truly sustainable, it must be viable forever— or at least as long as the Earth is around. It must encourage balance rather than produce a deficit. Otherwise, that deficit increases as long as the product is made, throwing systems off balance and wreaking havoc on the environment and the beings that live in it.
What if there were a different way? What if humans could tend to the Earth and each other while providing for their needs? What if we didn’t need to ravage the Earth to live on it?Read More
Wintertime in the north is often seen as barren: birds fly south, animals go into hibernation, plants die or drop their leaves and go dormant. The landscape often looks grey, empty, and bleak. However, for the adventurous naturalist, winter can be as great a time of learning and discovery as other seasons. It is possible to practice plant identification in the winter; in fact, I encourage it! Learning to recognize plants year-round is a valuable skill that helps improve your foraging practice. To that end, I have created a short guide on getting started with winter plant identification! Unfortunately I can’t provide a comprehensive manual to identifying every single plant you’ll find in winter, but I can provide general guidelines and recommend resources to learn more.Read More
I’m honored to have appeared on Food Freedom Radio today with renowned forager and author Sam Thayer and host Laura Hedlund. Watch the interview above, or if you live in the Twin Cities area, tune into AM 950 this Saturday at 8am!Read More