I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to all of those that made the last Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail Conference such a success!! I would name names, but there were so many helping hands that came together to make to happen, that I would hate to leave out a single one!
The conference was held in Burlington, North Carolina at Elon University this past Saturday. Burlington is home to the Union Ridge Church which I so fondly remember camping at, as well as trail angels Harold, Blaire and Cary, and McCory's Grill.
It was a full day of updates about the trail, complete with beautiful colored photos and detailed maps, speakers regarding new publications - I had the pleasure of promoting my upcoming guide here as well: A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Trail- and many a trail tale from fellow hikers and trail maintainers.
The food was delicious and much of it vegetarian, provided by the school cafeteria. The tofu and Asian slaw wrap was so good, I had to take one with me for my car ride over to Asheville. Too bad I can't harvest Asian slaw on the trail...or perhaps that will just have to be a wild/edible recipe to come!
It was truly a day of trail immersion. The MST has one helluva support network...keep up the good work FMST!
Thursday, February 6, 2014
A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the MST Coming to a Bookstore, Outfitters, or Trail Near You!
|Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata)|
I am proud to announce that my guide, titled A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains to Sea Trail, is indeed coming to fruition and is available for purchase!
Through a hiker's perspective of time, it was a long time coming...I mean, I could have hiked the MST almost 12 times by now, or even the AT more than 5 times by now....but through the writer's perspective, I would say, it's right on time! For the last 2 1/2 years, I have sunk my nose into many a plant guide as well as plants alongside the trail, waded through notes, scoured pictures, drank more than what would be considered an appropriate amount of coffee for a healthy individual to consume, and learned a considerable amount (although still not enough) about the technical aspects of Microsoft Word.
I am pleased to have connected with my publisher, Hither Page Press, an imprint of Boxing Day Books while out visiting family in the tiny town of Princeton Illinois. It's funny how you find just what you need when you're truly ready for it. Hither Page Press publishes books of local flavor and special interest, and I would say that is just what this guide has come to be.
This guide is not only a means to identifying the plants but specifically designed for use in the backcountry by the backpacker, be he or she a day hiker, section hiker, or thru hiker. It will help you identify a wild edible or medicinal plant, teach you how to harvest it sustainably and efficiently, and then provide you with a recipe, turning it into a tasty treat; a delicious backcountry meal prepared with no more than your one pot, alcohol stove, and a few simple ingredients; or a medicinal tea, oil, or poultice perfect for the weary hiker.
The beginner plant lover will find the botanical terms easy to understand, the guide easy to navigate, and appreciate descriptions of look-a-like plants which are critical to discerning the featured plant from a inedible or poisonous plant. If there's a term you don't know, there's also a handy glossary in the back of the book.
The seasoned plant lover will enjoy the detailed description of uses for each featured plant along with unique recipes not found anywhere else but yet field tested and approved by this hungry hiker, not to mention the high-quality color photo accompanying each plant.
|Lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis) - gone to seed|
I'd also like to mention that although this book identifies wild edible and medicinal plants along the MST, all of these plants can be found regionally off the trail, and many throughout the entire eastern United States. The MST can be your starting ground - learn the plants here - and then you'll be able to recognize them in your own backyard or favorite wild place.
|Red Clover (Trifolium pretense)|
You see, harvesting and eating wild foods, as well as using them as medicine, does not need to be complicated. They can be incorporated into foods we already know and love, enhancing their nutrition and flavor, while at the same time more directly connecting us to our environment, making the hiker a part of nature rather than someone simply walking through it as an observer.
The book will begin to hit shelves in April! It will also be available for order directly through me as well as my blog, and perhaps a selected website or two. If you'd like to pre-order your copy now, please shoot me an email at Heather.Herbs.Yoga@gmail.com.
I know I've taken a bit of a break here at the blog, but now that the meat of the guide is finished, I will be posting here again, so please visit again soon or enter your email into the box at the top of the page, to receive an email directly when I do a new post!