dandelion flowers

Dandelion Tea Recipe

It’s that time of year again: The time when I dream of eating a hearty bowl of venison-chanterelle stew. And while we’re at it, let’s add some homemade bread and a mug of dandelion tea. Now, this isn’t a stew that came from a can or one of those soymilk-looking containers. This is a stew […]

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dandelion tincture

Edible Weeds: Herbal Medicine in Your Back Yard

Don’t kill, spray, tear up, or destroy the weeds in your garden, yard, and fence rows. Many of them are actually highly-regarded, widely-used, and extremely-valuable medicinal herbs! What could be easier than growing an herb garden with no effort? Of course, you’ll have to harvest your edible weeds, but you would do that anyhow: it’s […]

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bolete mushrooms

Edible Wild Mushrooms

As summer nights lengthen into autumn, the forests of the Catskill mountains in upstate New York fill with magical, mystical, medicinal, and edible wild mushrooms. “Toadstool” is a quaint name for the many mushrooms that spring forth between rains, while “fungi” is the more technical term. Fungi are plants, but plants without flowers, or roots, […]

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black walnut

Black Walnut Harvesting

 Harvesting black walnuts is enjoyable and well worth the effort. Black walnuts are very nutritious and delicious! This is a messy activity, so be sure to wear old clothes, old sneakers and cover your hands with gloves, unless you want to be dye-stained for several weeks. The black walnut tree is pictured above. Here’s a […]

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burdock

Burdock Root Pickles Recipe

Fall is a wonderful time to harvest the roots from Burdock, Arctium lappa. Burdock root is extremely nutritious and a deep healer. It is a long-term immune system strengthener among many other things, which makes it a wonderful herb to use for the upcoming cold and flu season. My favorite way to use healthful herbs […]

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heart tree

Ah, Trees

I was on the first week of my field biology job in the mountains of North Cascades National Park when I got a message from the trees. I had been doing Kamana for a few years, but it still took me by surprise to hear trees talking. Or maybe it was my own common sense […]

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Alexia Studies Mushrooms

One of my housemates brought home a big mushroom for the dinner table. I sniffed at it suspiciously, nervous about the edibility of an unknown (to me) fungus. A friend came in and buried her face in the plate-sized cap. “It smells like…” she searched for the term. “A beautiful woman’s hair,” she claimed decisively, […]

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The Immersion Survival Trek

This past week I had the opportunity to join a small group of my The Immersion classmates on a voluntary, 3­-day “walkabout”. A walkabout, in this context, is meant to practice for a survival situation in which the group is traveling, hopefully towards rescue. The other type of survival trip we practice is “basecamp” survival. […]

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Wilderness Awareness School