A Fun-Loving Guide to the Natural World for Kids and Adults

Of Mystery Mushrooms and Rare Plants

On a casual romp through the woods the other day, we came upon a humongous mushroom. A bit more searching and we discovered others of the same species growing nearby (though not of this massive size). Kenton was almost positive that we had found {…}

Samuel Thayer’s “Nature’s Garden”

There is no feeling quite like wandering off into the neighboring woods and returning with baskets full of wild edibles. These are the ultimate health foods — about as 100% organic as you can get, and many of them are surprisingly yummy. Even more significantly, learning about wild edibles re-connects us with nature. When all […]


Rebecca and I have been experimenting with eating different grains, and are quickly realizing that here in the United States we’ve developed a pretty narrow viewpoint of grain. Here, wheat and oats rule {…}

Cooking with Watermelon Rind

Kenton and I picked the first watermelon from our garden yesterday, and sat down to enjoy its crisp sweetness. Nothing like eating your own fresh melons! When we sat back, both of us full with the red delight, Kenton suddenly said, “Hey, can’t we make watermelon rind pickles out of this?” {…}

Mystery Tree, Mystery Bird

We came across two mysteries. The one we solved, but the other is still eluding us {. . .}

Delicious Flowers

It’s that wonderful time of year when the black locust tree is blooming. These flowers are one of the most delightful of wild edibles, with a strong floral scent and a sweet, crispy taste {…}

Variations on a Theme: Hepatica nobilis

This is one of our first spring flowers in Wisconsin, and comes in a delightful array of variations.  We found all of these within a few paces of each other.

Taste-testing the Evergreen Teas

Taste Test: Evergreen Teas

There are a lot of plants out in the wildlands and back yards that make for great teas. In the interest of culinary curiosity, today we thought we’d have a showdown between the Red and White Pines, with a Norway Spruce thrown in for variety. We collected the needles, attempting to gather a similar amount for each cup, and poured boiling water {. . . }