Friday, May 13, 2016

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


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