Published by KotaPress
ISBN 1-929359-20-9
Library of Congress 2003102910
No longer available here, but please contact the author at:


A Naturalist's Journal
by Erin Kenny

This exciting nature journal is perfect for anyone who is interested in observing and recording daily and seasonal changes in the natural world, as well as foraging for and making herbal medicines from local plants. It is designed as a three year journal so that the notes for each date appear on the same page each year, making comparisons and references easy. The journal is interspersed with entries compiled from renowned naturalist and ethnobotanist Erin Kenny's own nature journal. It includes fascinating and practical information about a wide variety of northwest native and naturalized plants, including edible and medicinal uses for all the plants. It is a "how-to" manual for creating your own unique herbal medicine chest with plants you can frequently find in your own neighborhood. The journal also contains thought-provoking questions that will encourage you to think deeply about your connection to the natural world. Erin is a gifted teacher and writer with a style that empowers students to believe in their own ability to work with plants and take their health into their own hands. By using this journal throughout the year, for several years, you will gain an intimate understanding of how to incorporate these healthful northwest herbs into your everyday life.



From "A Naturalist's Journal"
by Erin Kenny

KotaPress note: This book is a writing journal for the reader to read, learn, make entries about their own experiences. Kenny offers educational articles, her own "Notes From My Nature Journal" plus activity ideas, insights into Nature's calendar year, and recipes for everything from miso soup to salve for bee stings. These are just random samples & partial excerpts of a 400+ page book that is an *awesome* resource, full to the brim!! To see the full articles, you just have to grab a copy of the book which you can now get from the author at!


Nettle Gomasio

1 cup of roasted sesame seeds
1 cup of dried nettles
pinch of salt

I use raw sesame seeds and roast them myself in an unoiled cast iron pan, set to low, stirring constantly.

Put the sesame seeds, nettles and salt into a blender and blend thoroughly.

This is a wonderfully delicious and nutritious addition to rice, stirfries, salads, popcorn -- use your imagination! This is the best way to use up the rest of last season's dried nettles.


Dried Northwest Plants

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum): Another truly wonderful tea, Maidenhair fern is great for soothing scratchy sore throats.



The Celtic calendar recognized eight holidays that marked the turning of the wheel of each year: the two Solstices, the two Equinoxes, and four Cross Quarter celebrations that occured midway between the solstices and equinoxes...Beltane (May 1)...was traditionally bring about fertility. It is a celebration of the Earth's abundance and life force. From now until the summer solstice everything is fully energized and action oriented: nature is abuzz. It is a time to celebrate the miracle of life and the abundance of nature's gifts in this season of plenty.


Drying Your Herbs

One of the best ways to preserve your medicinal herbs is to dry them...Most dried herbs you buy in the store have been overdried and/or are too old. There are some general rules of thumb for drying out, as with many things, it takes practice to get it just right.

Always dry your plant material in a warm, dry and DARK room...Plants should be thoroughly dried but not crispy...Most properly dried herbs will last one to two years in potency.


To get the full articles, you just have to grab a copy of the book!!!



Author Bio

Erin Kenny ( has over a decade of experience as a naturalist and ethnobotanist. She is a well-loved and respected environmental educator on Vashon Island, her home of six years. Erin is also a gifted writer published in national magazines, as well as author of a popular column called “Northwest Herb Talk” which runs in the Ticket, Vashon’s local paper, and in Yoga Northwest Magazine. She also has a radio program of the same name accessible through the web at Erin has spent years teaching adults and children about native plants and their habitats, receiving rave reviews for her exciting and empowering teaching style. She runs a successful year long apprenticeship program called “Becoming A Naturalist” for adults and an exciting summer nature camp for girls called Camp Terra.

For more than eight years, Erin has been making all her own herbal remedies from northwest plants and has practiced the wise woman wholistic ways of healing. Her herbal preparations are made exclusively with fresh local wild plants. Erin believes that since we live in the northwest, it makes sense to use healing plants that grow where she lives.

Erin’s lifestyle reflects her beliefs. In choosing to live without electricity and phone in exchange for a simpler lifestyle, she is an inspiring example of sustainable low-impact living. She is a graduate of the Evergreen State College and the UW School of Law, studying environmental science, politics and law. However, Erin’s expertise as a naturalist and ethnobotanist comes from her ten consecutive summers of caretaking at a wilderness hotsprings.

Unless otherwise designated, all photos contained in this journal are copyrighted by Erin Kenny. Erin uses a 1970's Nikkormat and a 55mm Macrolens to capture her subjects.


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