Friday, May 13, 2016

Northeast Spring Events

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepius incarnata)
I am excited to have a full schedule of book signings, plant walks, and presentations lined up for the Spring here in the Northeast. My newly published book and second in the Botanical Hiker Series: A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail will be available at all events. Thank goodness Spring is here to warm our bones, drizzle us with rain, sprout our woodland medicinals and, yes, even our common weeds, and beckon us back onto the trail!

Medicine Wheel Fest at Lusscroft Farms (Wantage, NJ)
May 14th and 15th (Saturday and Sunday) 10am - dusk
Join me on a plant walk at 1 pm on both days of the fest and pick up a signed copy of the new book at any point in the day at my booth. There will be variety of botanical workshops and craft vendors to the tune of foot-stomping local music. This is a celebration of Spring in the Medicinal Wheel Garden at Lusscroft Farm.
Cost is Free

Herbal Hoedown at White Hawk Ecovillage (Ithaca, NY)
June 4th (Saturday) 9:00 - 6:30
Join me for a edible and medicinal plant walk on the grounds of the fest and pick up a signed copy of the new book throughout the day at my booth. There will be host of botanical experts available to share their knowledge with you through various plant walks and workshops as well a wide selection of local botanical goodies for purchase.
Cost is $20 - 60 sliding scale with work/trade opportunites available

Plant Walk with the Sierra Club at High Point State Park (Montague, NJ)
June 11th (Saturday) 10:00 -12:00
Take a ramble around New Jersey's highest point and learn about our local edible and medicinal plants. Hike will be easy/moderate with lots of stopping to admire the plants, so be sure to bring your camera and notebook as well as your hiking shoes
Contact Dave Alcock at to register
Cost: $20 (group is limited to 20 participants so be sure to reserve your spot!)

Finger Lakes Trail Spring Gathering (Montour Falls, NY)
June 17th - 19th (Friday - Sunday)
This is a hiking-filled weekend with fellow members of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (check out their website to join if you are not already a member I will be Saturday night's keynote speaker leading you along New York's 1000 mile trail as I experienced it during my 2015 thru-hike. I will also be leading a hike on Saturday through NY's one and only national forest, identifying the botanical beauties along the way.
Cost is affordable and varies according to chosen lodging options (Registration closes 5/20 or at the limit of 180 people)

More plant walks, classes, and book signings to come! These will be listed here at the blog or on my facebook page at . Hope to see on the trail or on the festie fields!

A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail

A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail - published by Pisgah Press 2016

I am so very thrilled to announce that my second book in The Botanical Hiker Series: A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail (Pisgah Press 2016) is now in print and available for purchase. It was a long winter of researching and writing and dreaming of seeing the familiar faces of Violet, Trillium, Bellwort, Chickweed, and others that are the first to appear in spring. However over the last nine months--a new guidebook was born and just in time for the foraging season!

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) - A valuable woodland medicinal that enjoys the cool of  the waterside in shaded woods. It is rich in thymol which is an organic compound found in its aromatic oils. Thymol is antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal. This make a trailside encounter with Bee Balm very handy when in need of first aid. Pluck and steep the leaves to make an infusion that may be used both internally and externally. (Full description and recipe may be found in the guide)

A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail is a backpacker's practical guide to identifying, harvesting, and utilizing the useful plants found along the Finger Lakes Trail and throughout New York state. All of these plants may also be found here in our Pennsylvania and New Jersey rock strewn mountains, deep river valleys, grassy meadows and farmfields. Many of the plants are common weeds of the eastern United States and woodland medicinals found throughout the Appalachian mountains.

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) - A common weed of roadsides and meadows. Its leaves, flowers, and long slender seedpods (also called siliques) are all edible. Why not try this recipe, preparing the dish as you would sautéed kale or collards :

Dame's Some Greens
1 handful of Dame's Rocket leaves
2 handfuls of non-bitter wild greens
5 Dame's Rocket siliques, diced (or the seeds from 5 siliques)
1 small shallot slivered
2 t olive oil or 2 pats of butter
1 squeeze of lemon or dash of rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
A few Dame's Rocket flowers to top dish (optional)
(Method of preparation included in the book)

The guide is perfect for both the budding plant enthusiast as well as the blossomed botanical expert who desires to learn yet new ways to utilize and prepare familiar plants. Besides botanical and habitat descriptions, each plant in the guide is accompanied by a color photo and showcased in an easy-to-prepare, wholesome and delicious recipe which may be prepared on or off the trail. Quick Reference pages in the back of the guide lend a hand in the field, grouping plants according to habitat, food and/or medicine, and plant parts used.

Deviled Eggs and Violet

Veggie Bruschetta with Wild Greens Pesto 
Presently, the book may be purchased here at the blog through Paypal and very soon at an outfitters or independent bookstore near you! Stay tuned for the next blog post in which I'll provide a schedule of upcoming events of book signings, plant walks, and presentations throughout the Northeast.

Woohoo! Now step away from this computer and get to hiking and botanizing!

The Finger Lakes Trail through Hunter's Creek State Park