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Armstrong forager promotes connection with the land in new book

Mikaela Cannon will launch Foraging as a Way of Life at Allan Brooks Nature Centre Saturday

An Armstrong forager has captured the hidden bounty of nature in a new book, which will soon be launched in Vernon.

Mikaela Cannon’s recently published book, Foraging as a Way of Life, aims to foster a bond between people and the natural world. It’s a compendium of various plants that can be foraged for food and medicine, replete with 450 colour photos of plants that have hidden values.

“I love learning about plants and what you can do with them,” Cannon said, adding she hopes to share her findings over the years in her book.

Cannon has been foraging all her life. After she had her two children, she would take them for hikes, harvesting plants and making food out of them.

“Then I thought, it would be really good for them to learn about these plants and have them written with some information that they can use when they get older so they don’t forget, and that’s how the book started,” Cannon told The Morning Star.

Cannon originally planned to create just two books, one for each of her children. But after hearing about her book, people kept asking her for a copy, and so she eventually decided to make the book available to the public.

“I realized there’s a lot of interest in this and a lot of people are kind of yearning for that connection with the land,” she remarked.

It took Cannon nine years to complete the book, and on Saturday, April 20, she’ll hold a free book launch at Allan Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon, preceded by a workshop on foraging. The workshop will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the book launch will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Foraging as a Way of Life contains information on 60 different plants, five for every month of the year, and teaches people how to make use of the land in a sustainable way.

The book is divided by the 12 months of the year, and for the month of April — a time of flourishing in the plant world — it highlights plants including chickweed and violets.

“I’m actually making violet cookies today,” Cannon said, explaining that sugar can be infused with violets and used for baking.

Cannon hopes people who read her book will be struck by the importance of preserving the land and its species of plants and animals.

Cannon has been teaching foraging workshops at Allan Brooks Nature Centre for 10 years, and she’s excited for this weekend’s event.

She said it feels “surreal” to have finished the book after nine years.

“The process has been a lot of fun,” she said. “I feel like my dream has come true to see it in print.”

Foraging as a Way of Life, published by New Society Publishers, is available for purchase on Cannon’s website, It will also soon be sold at Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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