Lisa Rose Starner is an herbalist, forager, urban farmer and writer. With a background in anthropology and professional focus on community health, Starner has gathered her food, farming and wild plant knowledge from many people and places along a very delicious journey.
Growing up in Michigan only a handful of few minutes from the magical dunes and shoreline of the Big Lake, Starner was a child of the ’80s. She was raised on a hodgepodge of foods — from home cooked meals made with vegetables from her mother’s garden to those 1980s-style frozen pot pie dinners. Starner’s mother was frugal with her food budget out of necessity, taught her family how to forage wild mushrooms, cultivate a garden and preserve seasonal produce. Her mother also worked to get her family to sit at the dining table nearly every evening for dinner. For this, Starner remains forever grateful.
Starner first learned the art and pleasure of eating while a university student in Nice, France. After university; her edible journey took her to work in the Stag’s Leap District of Napa Valley and to volunteer at Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California. It was at the Edible Schoolyard where Starner witnessed the power of growing gardens with children and the impact it can have on their health, the environment and the future of our global food system.
Starner returned to Michigan from the Bay Area in 2001 and has since been an activist in her local food community writing, teaching and getting her own hands dirty in the soil to help grow the local food movement with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
When Starner is not in her gardens or kitchen; she can be found in the fields and forests leading foraging plant walks and teaching classes on edible and medicinal wild plants. Starner herself forages for her own family and herbal apothecary. Beyond the Great Lakes, Starner’s interest in ethnobotany and herbal medicine has taken her to study across the United States and into the Yucatan, mainland Mexico, Nicaragua and Brasil to study plants, people and their connection to place.
Starner’s writings and her foraging skills have been featured in Rapid Growth Media, Solace Magazine, Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, Shore Magazine, and in The Rapidian. Her first book, Grand Rapids Food: A Culinary Revolution, is scheduled for publication by The History Press (Charleston, SC) in June 2013.