Herb Profiles

Delightful Dandelion

Updated May 14, 2022

Dandelion (Taraxacum officiale) has a bad reputation with lawn lovers, who often obsessively attempt to eradicate it from their well-groomed grassy patches. But, for herbalists, foragers, and plant lovers, this common weed is a delight as it is edible, medicinal, and a valuable source of food for insects.

Dandelions are truly one of my favorite plants and I get so excited when I see them starting to come up each year. I love our dandelion packed yard and can’t help but cringe when I see people mowing down or spraying pesticides over big patches of them. Aside from being so cheerful and adorable, they are incredibly useful. In fact, all parts of the plant can be utilized in making food and medicine.

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Herb Profiles

Violet (Viola odorata)


Updated April 24, 2022

Violets are one of the first plants to come up in the spring, bringing a pop of cheery color to the forest floor as it wakes from its winter slumber. In addition to being incredibly beautiful, these lovely little plants have a variety of uses in food, medicine, and skin care.

There are over 200 species in the Violaceae family that can be found growing abundantly in temperate and tropical areas all across the world. In North America, the violets start appearing in late February and generally bloom by the end of April.

In this post, I’ll be discussing, Viola odorata, which grows in the Midwest region of the United States, where I currently reside.

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Wild Craft

Foraging Spring Edibles

Spring is my favorite time for a walk in the woods. I love seeing everything come back to life and explode into green again. One of the very best things about spring though is the great opportunity it provides for foraging and wild crafting some fantastic wild foods. Finding and harvesting wild food is a great way to get outside, learn more about nearby the forests and fields,  and to enjoy unique, fresh foods.

Though foraging for your own food may seem daunting, it’s actually really easy to do. Many of the woods, fields, and riversides by your home will be full of plants that you never realized were edible. When I go anywhere where wild plants are allowed to grow, I am on the lookout for wild edibles (even if I won’t have the chance to forage them). You would be surprised to see the many places that food grows. You probably have some food growing in your front yard right now.

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Main Dish, Recipes

Spicy Nettle & Tofu Soup

Updated February 26, 2022

This past winter was long and cold — as Midwest winters often are. To cope, I cooked a lot of soup for about five months straight. Now that the weather has been warmer, I have been taking a break from this comforting dish. But, some chillier temps and cool spring rains have had me craving a warm bowl of soup again.

This light, spicy soup utilizes one of my favorite foraged springtime greens, nettle. Fresh nettle greens are quite delicious and extremely nutritious. But, if you don’t have any or don’t know where to get them, you can substitute any other spring greens you have on hand, like spinach, chard, collards or kale.

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