Posts tagged plant
At Home Tree Tapping-- Part Three

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
At Home Tree Tapping-- Part Two

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
Common Edible Plants of Cities

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
At Home Tree Tapping-- Part One

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
Juniper: An Aromatic Evergreen

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
Identifying Plants in Winter

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
Purslane Identification

Learn more about purslane and other common wild edibles at my upcoming web event, Eat Your Weeds! Registration closes Friday, July 27th at 12pm, so reserve a spot today!

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a common plant of open, sunny areas, such as gardens, yards, and roadsides. It’s not picky about its habitat— you can find it growing in gravel, sidewalk cracks, disturbed soil, and other “waste places.” It is commonly found across the lower 48 states, Hawaii, and all the southern Canadian provinces. 

Read More
Elderflower: Three Variations

Midsummer is when a great variety of flowers are at the height of bloom. It is traditionally thought that many medicinal herbs reach their peak during this time, infused by the powers of the sun. Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) is one such plant. Though the berries are arguably the more popular product, the flowers themselves have numerous health benefits. And we don't have to wait until fall to pick them! Below are three recipes that feature this beautiful and healthful blossom.

Read More