There are many incredible resources out there.  This is my own list of favorites that have helped me to dive deeper.  I do not believe that you need to know a lot of plants or own piles of books to be a great forager and medicine maker.  In-depth knowledge comes from hands-on experience – watching and using plants from season to season and year to year.


Books on Wild Edible Foods:

Discovering Wild Plants.  Janice Schofield.  This is one of my favorite books on food plants.  Janice is thorough and entertaining with her own stories of harvesting and using the plants.  Great recipes and descriptions of traditional medicines.

Pacific Feast.  Jennifer Hahn.  A beautiful book on wild foods including seaweed.  Jennifer worked with local chefs to come up with delicious recipes.

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate.  John Kallas.  A wonderfully detailed book on wild edible greens.

Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples.  Nancy Turner.  A beautiful book about many of our local edible and medicinal plants.  Specific uses according to different coastal people.

The Forager’s Harvest: a Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants.  Samuel Thayer.  While Samuel is from the mid-west many of the plants in this wonderfully thorough book are in our area.

The People of Cascadia- Pacific Northwest Native American History.  Heidi Bohan.  Traditional uses of many native foods and medicines.  Great illustrations by the author.

The Neighborhood Forager, A Guide for the Wild Food Gourmet.  Robert Henderson.  Good information on local wild edible foods including recipes.

Traditional Food Guide.  Alaska Native Health Consortium.  This cookbook includes recipes, nutritional information and cultural teachings.  Buy directly from publisher at


Books on Herbal Medicine:

Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest.  Michael Moore.   No one does it like Michael —  incredibly knowledgeable and down-right entertaining.

Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast.  Pojar and Mackinnon.  Good color pictures of local plants.  Good botanical descriptions and some ethnobotanical information.

The Book of Herbal Wisdom.  Matthew Wood.  A detailed book that covers the full spectrum of a plants history, where it grows, how it has been used in herbal medicine, homeopathy, etc.

The Earth’s Blanket.  Nancy Turner.  A beautifully crafted book on Northwest Coastal People’s traditional teachings for sustainable living.  Wonderful plant stories.

Herbal Healing for Women or The Family Herbal.  Rosemary Gladstar.  Remedies and wisdom from a woman who has inspired and blazed a trail for contemporary herbalism.

The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook.  James Green.  Very thorough and accessible information on preparing your own herbal medicines.

Making Plant Medicine.  Richo Cech.  A thorough guide to herbal preparations complete with a material medica and proportions for making tinctures.

Preventing and Treating Diabetes Naturally: The Native Way.  Leslie Korn and Rudolph Ryser.  This includes cultural principles, healing trauma, herbal medicine, energy medicine, detoxification and strategies for community action to address the epidemic of diabetes.


Books on Growing Plants:

Food Not Lawns.  H.C. Flores.  This book is written by an urban activist who has excellent insight into how to design and grow your own garden.  She talks about gardens as a way of building personal, community and global health and wellbeing.

Growing 101 Herbs that Heal.  Tammi Hartung.  A basic description of how to grow many herbs along with medicine making techniques.  She also has some garden layout ideas.

Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest.  Arthur Kruckeber.  A useful resource for identifying and growing native plants in our area.

Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades.  Steve Solomon.  I have heard that this is the bible for growing a food garden in our region.  He talks about growing and harvesting food year round.

Herbal Renaissance.  Steven Foster.   A guide to growing and using medicinal herbs.

Organic Gardening.  Geoff Hamilton.  A basic guide to growing herbs and vegetables organically including information about soil, composting and pest control.  Great demonstrative pictures.

You Grow Girl.  Gayla Trail.  This contemporary basic gardening book is user friendly, hilarious and full of great garden ideas.  It is written by a young hip city dweller and has a fresh outlook.


Web Resources and Organizations

Michael Moore’s page.

Ryan Drum’s website.  Ryan is an herbalist, teacher and plant forager based in the San Juans.  He offers classes, top of the line dried seaweeds, herbs and great on-line articles.

Wild Harvests.  Wonderful wild foods blog by Abe Lloyd

Henriette’s Herbal Page.   Medicinal +culinary herbs.

From HerbalGram and Herbs for Health.

Washington Native Plant Society.(check for native plant classes and sales in your area)

Washington State University Master Gardener Program.  Training programs, community events and lectures on gardening in Western Washington.

United Plant Savers.
PO Box 98, East Barre, VT 05649

American Herbalist Guild
PO Box 1127, Forestville, CA 95436

American Herbal Association
PO Box 1673, Nevada city, CA 95959


Northwest schools and teachers:

Northwest Indian College Cooperative Extension.
Community classes, train the trainers workshops, books and other resources.

Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical StudiesIn Portland:

Bastyr University
14500 Juanita Drive NW,  Bothell, WA  98011-4995
(206) 602-3100

Center for World Indigenous Studies
Classes and resources on wild foods, ethnobotany, environmental policy and much more in Olympia and Mexico.

Center for Traditional Medicine
Classes and resources on traditional medicines, healing modalities, trauma and more in Olympia and  Mexico.

Wild Food Adventures
John Kallas offers classes and resources in Portland and beyond.

The Elderberry School of Herbal Medicine
New herb school in Portland.

The School of Traditional Western Herbalism
Programs highlight many wonderful herb teachers and approaches to medicine