Mindy and Marc are back at the bunker! It’s a crisp New England night (finally) with crickets chirping in the background. Mindy was in New York for a few days wildcrafting, while Marc stayed in Boston making winter herbal tonics and dehydrating more basil.

Marc’s “Herb Nugget”  reminds us (more like reprimands us) to get our herbal preparations ready.

basil-in-containerThe “Herb of the Podcast” is Ocimum Basilicum!  Commonly known as Basil. Marc highlights some features of this amazing herb, talks about the 60+ pounds he grew in his tiny city backyard, and of course, some basil mythology.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Microbial Safety and Quality of Fresh Herbs from Los Angeles, Orange County, and Seattle Farmer’s Markets. These researchers question the safety of food, particularly herbs sold at select farmer’s markets. Mindy adds her own thoughts!

basil-in-garden“Wildcrafting with Marc and Mindy” discusses acorn foraging, seed saving, and finding (possibly eating) newly discovered chicken of the woods mushroom!

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, and this one.  Women farmers, women farmers making millions, and a dad challenging his family to a 100 day “eat what you grow or raise” challenge!

Updates: Mindy and Marc are now in beekeeping school!


Enjoy the show!



Evening primroseEvening primroseEvening primrose

Poison ivy, prepping for a lecture, and discovering the beauty of the blue-bruising, pancake replica fungi, the Boletes mushrooms, Marc & Mindy return to Southie to record this episode.

Marc’s “Herb Nugget” discussing herbal creations, and using your imagination when preserving your fall harvests.

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Oenothora biennis, or Evening Primrose. This tall, lovely biennial is prized for its seed oil which contains omega-6 essential fatty acids (and in particular gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Mindy, on the other hand, loves to eat its leaves particularly minced and on pasta. Evening primrose attracts moth pollinators.

Mindy’s“Backed by Science” article is: Kim TS, et al. Comparative analysis of anti-Helicobacter pylori activities of FEMY-R7 composed of Laminaria japonica and Oenothera biennis extracts in mice and humans. Lab Anim Res 2015; 31(1): 7-12. A full-length .pdf of the entire article can be found here. The article talks about how a combination of kelp and evening primrose extracts can kill the bacteria responsible for ulcers.

We talk about our “Wildcrafting and Homesteading Updates”! Mindy misidentified white snakeroot (probably for another aster) during a plant walk last week and owns up to it! Marc talks about his lemon balm and sweetfern hydrosol bug spray. The duo made smudge sticks from sweet fern to use eventually as a smoldering bug repellant.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, and this one. Succession gardening for fall, a government subsidized mobile farmer’s market in Austin Tx, and plants that repel pesky bugs are the topics.

Stay tuned for a mini-episode next week!

bolete bolete

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – (Mini) Episode 34: Joanne Hull and Natural Plant Dyes


Marc & Mindy have been on the road, spending the past week in Upstate New York. Fortunately, we had a chance to sit down and talk with Joanne Hull (better known to Mindy as “Mom”!). We learned all about the Outdoor Natural Plant Dyeing Studio that she had built at her suburban home in Upstate New York.


Take a look at these great shirts!



We hope you enjoy this mini-episode, and will see you back for a full-length episode next week!

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 30. The “Try, Try Again” Herbalism & Yarrow Show

Marc and Mindy tell the unfortunate story of our newest family member Josee, a 10-or-so week old german shepherd puppy who swallowed a nail. Fortunately, just as she was about to be whisked off to surgery, she passed the nail! Intestines of Steel we say!

joseeMarc’s “Herb Nugget” revolves around the old adage: “if at first you don’t succeed, try again!”

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium. This lowly seeming waste area weed is medicinal magic! Named after fabled Greek half-god Achilles, its battlefield


use as a bleeding stopper (styptic) is legendary. Yarrow, an aster (so take heed if you have allergies), is abundantly blooming this time of  year. Teas, salves, oils are all products we make with it at home. Also known as “Carpenter’s weed”, Mindy has been using it a lot with the many pains and pokes she has experienced with her new woodcarving hobby.  The yarrow photographs are from our Western Massachusetts stands.

“Wildcrafting with Marc & Mindy” talks about Marc’s St. John’s Wort flower harvest (for oil), the emergence of staghorn sumac berries (which will ripen by late July for Sumac-ade – a delicious beverage!), our disastrous attempt at solidifying flowers in resin, amongst other topics.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Konieczynski P, Wesolowski M. Water-extractable magnesium, manganese and copper in leaves and herbs of medicinal plants. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica – Drug Research. 2012; 69(1): 33-39. A full .pdf of the article is available here. This research discusses how well plant trace minerals extract into tea.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, this one, and this one. Plants squeaking, Martian veggies, small herbalism business owners highlighted, and overcoming adversity are discussed.

Happy plant hunting! Enjoy your weekend!

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 28. The “Pay Attention to the Seasons” Herbalism & Lemon Balm Show

Marc and MIndy open the podcast by discussing hugelkultur and wonder if listeners practice the technique in their gardens. There is a nice discussion on it here. If you would like to chime in, give our voicemail a call at 617-622-3916 and we may play your recording on the podcast.

Marc’s  “Herb Nugget” talks about seasonality, and that even though we are in the midst of summer, it is actually already time to start thinking about the preparations we need for the winter months.

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Lemon Balm, or Melissa Officinalis. Marc tells us all about how lemon balm and bees are intertwined chemically. He discusses Melissa’s many traditional uses as a relaxant, antidepressant, antispasmodic, and yes, even an insect repellent. We use lemon balm tincture, and have grown a bunch of it (nearly 100 plants!) for this year’s garden. The featured photograph is of lemon balm in a container in our garden.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Alijaniha F, et al. Heart palpitation relief with Melissa officinalis leaf ex20160621_124024tract: double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial of efficacy and safety. J Ethnopharmacol 2015; 164: 378-384. The researchers show that lemon balm is useful in decreasing the number of heart palpitations and anxiety levels in adults who suffer with benign palpitations.

20160621_124234We give up the book review this week, and try out a new segment instead: “Wildcrafting with Marc & Mindy”.  This was inspired by Michigan listener, Nicole, who left us a voicemail regarding our use (or lack thereof) of mushrooms. She suggested powdering the mushrooms and addin20160621_124627g the powder to our cooking. So we did it! See the photos for proof! We talk about foraging for yarrow, cultivating a wild raspberry plant that showed up in our yard, and snagging some urban deadfall (from basswood / linden trees) for woodcarving.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, and this one, and this one.  Front yard food gardening is attacked in Florida, whereas Fort Worth TX is trying to pass city regulations supporting urban agriculture. Bees help a young man afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Finally, Marc and Mindy talk about the first harvest of their basal plants this season. They are dehydrating as we speak…

Enjoy the show!


THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – (Mini) EPISODE 24. Memorial Day Break (with Steph Zabel & Calendula Bonus Audio!)

seedling trays 2

Marc & Mindy are taking a break from a full-length podcast in honor of Memorial Day Weekend! This truncated episode of The Walking Herbalist Podcast features Bonus Audio from the founder of Herbstalk, Steph Zabel. Listen to her talk about the featured herb of this year’s 2016 Herbstalk, Calendula! We hope to see everyone in Somerville, MA next weekend (June 4 and 5) for the big event, where we will be doing live on-scene interviews!  We will be back next week with our extra special episode, our interview with Iris Weaver. Enjoy the photos of our seedlings hardening off and fritters made from battered dandelion buds!  Happy Memorial Day everyone!

dandelion buds 2 fritters 2

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 23. The “Green is Good” Herbalism & Devil’s Claw Show

The “Herb Nugget” paints a beautiful picture of a riverside walk. Marc & Mindy debate whether to pronounce turmeric “TER-meric”, “TOO-meric”, or something else. They talk about the progress of their seedlings, with thyme, oregano, and basil coming up very quickly in about a week. The parsley and spinach are starting to rear up, whereas the rosemary is taking her sweet time…

Marc’s “Herb of the Podcast” is Devil’s Claw, or Harpagophytum procumbens. While Marc & Mindy have tinctured the root, and tried it on a few occasions, they do not have a lot of personal experience with this southern African native plant. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic reputation has earned it a place in the herbalist’s war chest around the world.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Chung H, et al. Anti-osteoporotic activity of harpagide by regulation of bone formation in osteoblast cell culture and oviarectomy-induced bone loss mouse models. 2016; 179:66-75.  Using test-tube and The researchers find that harpagide, a chemical extracted from the root of Devil’s Claw, may be a useful pharmaceutical for the treatment of osteoporosis.

The Book Review is “Making More Plants: The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation”  by Ken Druse. The full review can be found here. We are huge proponents of making as many plants as possible, and the experimental gardeners will love all of Mr. Druse’s tips (not to mention, his wonderful photography!)

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one and this one. The first one talks about planting by the astrological clock. Here is a great link to a brief discussion on the nuts and bolts of astrological gardening. The other is of an herbalist who (at least as its written in this article) appears to be a charlatan.

Don’t forget that Herbstalk is right around the corner (June 4th & 5th)! Enjoy the show!