How to Forage and Use Sassafras

Whether you’re a novice or expert forager, chances are you have access to sassafras nearby; it may even be growing on your property. However, despite how common sassafras is, it is often overlooked as a target for foraging; after all, most people forage plants, not trees! However, this easily identifiable trees is a really useful … Read more

Foraging and Using Japanese Knotweed

japaneese knotweed

Sometimes a plant can be so aggressively invasive and problematic that people can overlook its good qualities or refuse to believe any exist at all. Such is the case for Japanese knotweed, a plant so invasive that it has seemingly taken over wide swathes of the Eastern United States and elsewhere. In Southern New England, … Read more

Foraging and Using Evening Primrose

primerose

There is a wide variety of primrose plants, with over 400 types included in the Primulaceae family. Majority of the various primroses grow in shades of yellow, but there are other varieties that are red, pink, white, purple, or sometimes orange. From the diverse lands of North America, evening primrose varieties were soon migrated overseas, … Read more

Is White Snakeroot Poisonous?

Ageratina altissima flowers

I know I’ve talked about this already but growing up on hiking trails and in campsites, there were only a few rules that we had to worry about. A crucial one was don’t touch anything! You don’t mess with Mother Nature, and she won’t mess with you. So, you’d think that with a name like … Read more

Foraging and Growing Real Solomon’s Seal

If you spend any time in the shady woods that surround your homestead, chances are you have run into patches of Solomon’s seal from time to time. This handsome plant looks like it belongs in your garden as much as it does beneath a thick canopy of trees, so it is no surprise that it … Read more

Can Jewelweed Be Eaten?

jewelweed stems and leaves in Mason jars

Impatiens Capensis, or the common jewelweed is a plant that’s native to North America and is found in ditches and creeks. The name ‘jewelweed’ comes from the fact that, when held underwater, the leaves appear to be jeweled. It’s often found alongside its relative the yellow jewelweed – which is less common. It’s very nice … Read more

Is Lady’s Thumb Edible?

lady's thumb Polygonum persicaria

If you don’t know what it is, don’t touch it. This is a general safety rule that applies to everything and it’s especially true when it comes to plants. Some plants are perfectly safe to eat, while others seem safe but are in fact poisonous, and will make you sick. So, with that in mind, … Read more

Foraging for Wild Medicinals

Every forager knows that the best plants aren’t just pretty or tasty, but have many practical uses as well. So, it’s no surprise that modern foragers value wildflowers and weeds for the healing properties they have as much as they do for their taste. Certain plants have numerous health benefits, and can be used in … Read more

Foraging for and Using Milkweed

common milkweed

The flowering perennial milkweeds (falling under the genus Asclepias), grow all throughout the United States. Milkweed flowers range from soft pink, to green, to scarlet, and many colors in between. These plants aren’t just nice to look at. Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch caterpillars feed, making it critical for the survival of … Read more

Preventing Soil Erosion: 18 Helpful Tips

landslide caused by soil erosion

Preventing soil erosion in your yard, garden, or pasture is essential if you have a farm or homestead. Not only does limiting erosion improve and increase the amount of workable land that you have, it makes your property look a lot nicer, too. When we first purchased our property, we had a huge problem with … Read more

Lady’s Thumb Weed: Edibility, Safety, and More

lady's thumb Polygonum persicaria

Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa, Polygonum persicaria) is viewed by uninformed folks as merely an invasive weed that needs whacked and disposed of quickly. But, to homesteaders and fans of wild edibles in general, discovering this plant on your land can provide a natural bounty of home remedy ingredients. This annual wild plant is a part … Read more

How to Fertilize Pastures and Hay Fields

horses on pasture eating corn plants

Adding fertilizer to a pasture or hayfield can help infuse nutrients back into the soil and bring about robust growth of highly nutritious hay or field grass for the livestock to eat … if you do it right. Making mistakes when fertilizing livestock areas can not only bring about a vastly disappointing hay or straw … Read more

How to Identify Goldenrod (Plus Foraging Tips)

goldenrod

Goldenrod is a superb plant for novice foragers to discover because it boasts a plethora of edible and medicinal uses. But, this hardy wild “weed” does also have some potentially lethal look-alikes. There are about 130 species of goldenrod plants. All of the species except one, white goldenrod, feature bright yellow blossoms. Each of the … Read more

How to Identify Chicory

wild chicory

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is probably the easiest of nearly all wild “weeds” to identify. Only daisies and dandelions might be simpler to safely identify for a novice wildcrafter. Not only are the flowers quite distinctive on a chicory plant, but it has no toxic look-alikes, as Queen Anne’s Lace and so many other plants do. … Read more