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Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat [Kindle Edition]

Ellen Zachos
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

You don't need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You'll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles! Full-color photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should never harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.



Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sixty-five familiar plants you didn’t know you could eat are the stars of this impressively comprehensive guide by horticulturist Zachos, who stresses the “ease and elegance” of foraging familiar plants—greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, tubers, and fungi—in yards and nearby environs. Safety first is the mantra when harvesting in the hood, Zachos instructs. She also provides a section on such necessary “tools of the trade” as bypass pruners and canning jars. She fully describes the categorically arranged 65 plants, from bamboo to redbud and ginkgo, providing how-to discussions on harvesting and preparation. Eye-catching sidebars on legality, quick plant identification, food-preparation tips, and more accompany the main text, which is abundantly illustrated with full-color photos throughout. Back matter includes instructions on freezing and dehydration and recipes for syrups, jams, alcoholic beverages (“Dandelion wine is the color of sunshine”), baked goods, and savory dishes. --Whitney Scott

Review

“[An] impressively comprehensive guide by horticulturist Zachos, who stresses the “ease and elegance” of foraging familiar plants—greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, tubers, and fungi—in yards and nearby environs. … Eye-catching sidebars on legality, quick plant identification, food-preparation tips, and more accompany the main text, which is abundantly illustrated with full-color photos throughout.”

(Booklist)

“Forget farm to table. Here’s weed to bowl. ... Extremely appealing.”

(The New York Times)

Product Details


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(41)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foraging books of this caliber don't come out often March 13, 2013
Format:Paperback
A top quality foraging book only comes out once every few years--and this is one of them. In the spirit of full disclosure, I confess that I got to review the book before publication, and that I have had the pleasure of foraging with the author. But those facts have not colored my opinion of the book--had I seen this for the first time at my local bookstore, I would have bought it immediately and then called my friends to recommend it. Here's why: The information is accurate. Ellen believes in researching what she writes, testing it in the laboratory of her own experience, and carefully explaining things in a clear, realistic, and intellectually honest manner. I have read the entire book and find nothing suspect. That means a lot to me. She gives each plant a two-page spread with 1-4 photos and enough text to explain the vitals of identifying, harvesting, and preparation without dallying on side-notes and stories like . . . ahem, some people I know. So the book is pleasantly space efficient. The photos are superb, generally showing each plant in a stage that is convenient for identification, as well as clearly demonstrating the edible part at the time that it is just right for eating.

The selection of plants is another special attribute of this book: it focuses on those edibles (both wild and cultivated) that most readers are likely to have access to in their own yards and neighborhoods. The plants covered fall mostly into three categories: ornamentals with mostly-ignored parts that happen to be edible, street trees, and weeds. While it is ridiculously popular for readers to complain that a wild food book doesn't contain this or that favorite plant, this book has a very thoughtful and useful selection that should be revealing to anybody.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm impressed despite myself! March 11, 2013
Format:Paperback
I received this as an ARC and read through it. I really was impressed and pleasantly surprised with this book. I was expecting the same old plants that are always covered and the same old preparation methods. Or even worse, a book that is limited to plants that grow only on the west coast. I've seen that a LOT. This book covered plants both familiar and obscure with plenty of pictures and tips to make identification easier. She also included plenty of recipes and neat new ideas on how to prepare these wild foods. Many of the things she said are edible are things I would never have thought to eat. I mean, I've harvested a lot of garlic mustard and nettles and lamb's quarters from my yard. Violets even, dandelions. The typical things. It never occurred to me that redbud buds or dahlia tubers are edible and apparently quite tasty. I'm really please to have been able to read this and even more pleased to recommend it. I don't let ARC's affect the way I review a book. I'm always honest in my reviews whether it makes the publisher happy or not. This was a slam dunk for Storey Publishing. Then again, I hardly ever dislike anything from them! :)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardening without planting June 28, 2013
By Linda G
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this book very much but most of the plants written about are on the west coast. Still it's very informative.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars get this now September 2, 2013
By Motif
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have tons of foraging books, and this one by far is the most beautiful. The author really has an eye for photographs and design. She covers with some depth, and covers plants I have not seen in any of my other books, like the Hosta.
This is not a compilation book just copied from other sources. Her view is unique.
65 plants is not enough of course. I want more! But, I understand a book can only be so big. Please author, I hope you are working on volume 2! I will buy immediately...
This is also the book I would buy as a present for someone brand new to foraging...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for beginning foragers May 13, 2013
Format:Paperback
Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat by Ellen Zachos is a collection of weeds as well as commonly grown garden and landscaping plants that are edible and not generally grown for food.

It's written for people who have recently started foraging or who have been doing it only for a short time and would like to know more about what is edible and ways to prepare it. Full color photographs and lots of information written in an easy to follow conversational fashion make it a very accessible book for people who are just starting out. The plants cover a fairly wide range of regional zones.

It starts with learning how to identify plants to be safe and how to harvest in an ethical way, and then talks about how to harvest in a way that doesn't destroy the appearance of your garden and landscaping. It explains about young shoots, foraging flowers, nuts and fruits and digging for edible roots. It also has a great section on the tools you'll need to enjoy your harvest.

Getting into the plants, each plant is described completely and has both the common name and the Latin name listed. The text explains how to harvest, and which parts of the plants are edible, and how they are best eaten. It will also show dangerous lookalikes and how to tell the difference. It's sectioned by types of edibles.

The first section is leaves and stems that are edible. This includes things like chickweed and miner's lettuce that can be eaten raw in a salad as well as things like fern fiddleheads that are best cooked.

The next section covers edible fruits and flowers. This covers crabapples and highbush cranberries as well as things like juniper berries, roses and prickly pears.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth having
The physical paperback is 9" high x 7" wide and 1/2" thick with 223 pages not counting the "Resources" and index. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Wilderness Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical foraging with clear photos
I have looked through several books from the library, etc. about foraging and this one is the best I've found. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Pickle6
5.0 out of 5 stars Willito
I am glad I bought this book. I did not realize how many plants are edible in my backyard and in the prairie across the street. The photos were great as well as the tips. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Angela J Gonzales
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good reading, great book
Published 27 days ago by mike pike
5.0 out of 5 stars great
great this is a helpful product and can be use with the purpose it is intended for at all times
Published 1 month ago by gunther
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to foraging library
Downloaded this from my local library and was delighted to find it at a reasonable price at the Kindle store. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Canyonjo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a New Forrager
I have a few books on foraging and this one is great. I am new to foraging and really need clear and concise information. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
An excellent resource. A guide that I will constantly refer back to again and again. Great pictures. Excellent value. 5 stars
Published 3 months ago by ironfox
5.0 out of 5 stars Backyard vittles
Here is a well written well illustrated book on things in your backyard or around you that are edible. Really fun.
Published 3 months ago by Robena D. Robinett
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resourse
Great photos and helpful information on identifying and preparing these backyard treasures. Since dandelion greens have made a comeback in the gourmet food trend, maybe the rest... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MJ
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