Kristine Lofgren lives outside Portland, Oregon with her husband and two dogs. She grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah, where she discovered a passion for all things gardening. Her first gardening adventure involved hiding herbs like chives and mint among her mother’s ornamental plants.
After moving to Denver, Colorado, where she spent her evenings bartending and her days playing with new ways to cook up the plants she grew on her apartment patio, Kristine got her first taste of produce from a local farmers market, and discovered the importance of food provenance. She returned to Salt Lake to pursue higher education – but the gardening bug didn’t go away.
By the time she graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in English, Kristine knew that she wanted to make gardening more than just a hobby. That’s when she purchased a small plot of land outside the city, and began a little urban homestead with chickens and a half-acre garden filled with all manner of unusual herbs and veggies.
She sold bundles of lovage, black medic, and purple tomatoes – along with baskets full of eggs – at her local market, and took classes on native plant gardening and foraging at the local university. Utah isn’t known for its bountiful flora, but Kristine quickly learned to appreciate the taste of local plants like mullein, purslane, stinging nettle, and spruce tips.
That experience spurred a new passion for finding ways to cultivate and prepare plants that many people don’t realize are edible.
When her husband’s career took them to Oregon, Kristine swapped out the challenges of gardening in a dry climate for the ones caused by an overabundance of moisture. There, she learned the art of foraging the abundant wild plant life of the Pacific Northwest from local experts and began volunteering at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, where she gets to nibble on all the different roses.
These days, Kristine is excited about cooking with foraged food and “weeds,” which she shares at a local cooking class. Her garden is packed with native flora and lesser-known plants, with a particular focus on edible ornamentals.
When she isn’t elbows deep in the dirt, she’s riding horses, writing, taking photos, and cooking up a storm.
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