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Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs Paperback – October 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865717508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865717503
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,567,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Evelyn Rysdyk author, Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power and Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path July 2013

Reading Browsing Nature’s Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs is like walking along side Wendy and Eric Brown as they and their family relearn our ancestors’ way of harvesting the wild foods that nature provides. Even in Maine’s harsher northern climate, wild food abounds if you know how to find it. The adventure of discovery that the Brown’s embarked upon provides for great reading and joyful inspiration for those wanting to develop a truly tasty, localvore lifestyle that is in deep harmony with nature.
Foraging necessitates learning how to observe the rhythms of the natural world and remembering how to effectively live in harmony with the plants, trees, animals and birds. By slowing down to really pay attention to the world around us, we can learn how to find food in every season and in that process, remember the bounty of beauty and peace that the Earth provides.


Jennifer Lavoie, Good Reads, July 13, 2013

This book has encouraged me not just to forage for myself to try new things, but to actually look around when I'm in nature. It's amazing how just three miles from my apartment in the middle of a city I was able to find such a great bounty where it seems very few people visit (the trail, while visible, was seriously overgrown).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is wondering what foraging is like and wants a few starter tips for themselves. This book does include a few recipes as well, though it is mainly one family documenting their story.

Brittany Fleer, Sun Flower Stories blog, July 7, 2013

Though it is not a how-to guide, there is still plenty of useful advice and tidbits of information to be gleaned. For example, my mother taught me to recognize Queen Anne's Lace as a very small child; I (and probably my mother) had no idea it is actually wild carrot! The conversational tone of the book, along with the inclusion of common knowledge tips like Queen Anne's Lace, made foraging seem less like a practically dead art of pioneers and crazy survivalists and more like something that was actually possible in my own life, even a skill I could become comfortable with. As such, the book serves as a comfortable stepping stone between sitting on my couch and actually heading out for a first foraging trip. I'll be picking up a few more detailed guides to foraging on my next trip to the local library, and who knows what's possible from there? Maybe the Browns will help me put a dinner or two on my own table.

From the Back Cover

Mud clams, knotweed, and plants that bite back – one family’s adventures in suburban foraging

… an inspiring journal of one family’s effort to break free from manufactured foods and transition to home-grown and locally sourced cuisine, supplemented by a steady diet of wild fare. --Thomas J. Elpel, author, Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

The Browns are the inspiring Pied Pipers of suburban homesteaders. Through their finely tuned, personal account of the untapped and tasty world of wild foraging, you’ll be craving those dandelion greens right on your doorstep.-- Lisa Kivirist & John Ivanko, co-authors, Farmstead Chef and Rural Renaissance

As part of their commitment to increasing self-reliance and resiliency, Wendy and Eric Brown decided to spend a year incorporating wild edibles into their regular diet. Their goal was to use native flora and fauna to help bridge the gap between what their family could produce and what they needed to survive. The experience fundamentally changed their definition of food.

Packed with a wealth of information on collecting, preparing and preserving easily identifiable wild edibles found in most suburban landscapes, Browsing Nature’s Aisles is the story of one suburban family’s adventures in wild foraging. This unique and inspiring guide is a must-read for those who wish to enhance their food security by availing themselves of the cornucopia on their doorstep. As engrossing as a seed catalog and much more truthful…

A new generation of homesteaders, nature enthusiasts, hikers, campers and would-be foragers have long awaited these passionate, compelling and hard-earned words of wisdom. -- Connie Krochmal, garden writer and columnist, Bee Culture magazine

Wendy and Eric Brown are suburban homesteaders growing roots (both literally and
figuratively) in Southern Maine. They have been studying wild edibles for many years. Wendy is also the author of Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Zittel on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
When I first requested this book to read through netgalley, I thought it was going to be more of a how-to guide. Getting into gardening more and more - and canning, and freezing my garden goodies, and preserving, and probably dehydrating as well next spring, I was thrilled at the idea of reading about foraging. I did a little of that this year, digging up and using lots of wild garlic that's been growing on my parents property for as long as I can remember, and hearing stories of my family eating dandalion greens as kids.

This isn't a how to book. It's still good, it's just not what i was expecting.

The book is chatty, like sharing stories with a friend over a cup of coffee, yet interesting and informative and makes you want to get up and see what you can find in the jungles of your own neighborhood, yet it reads like a memoir.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this on impulse at a local store. While it's well written and interesting, there is not a lot to be learned from it. It was more a social commentary on the value of foraged foods from both a health and a food scarcity perspective. It's a pretty good book for someone who has never done any foraging, but definitely not a "how to" book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you have any interest in homesteading, self-sufficiency, local foods, sustainable living, or health and fitness, this book needs to go on your "to read" list!

The book is broken down into three main sections: What We Did, Why We Decided to Start Foraging, and Lessons We Learned from Foraging. The authors start off with a Preface putting you out in the woods with them, hunting for chaga mushrooms. They immediately start with the tone that carries you through the whole book: two parts personal story, one part foraging and cooking lesson, and one part education. Those new to foraging or especially to the sustainable living and suburban homesteading movements will gather a lot from the Browns' teaching moments. Many folks are getting that nagging feeling that something isn't quite right these days, but they need some concrete facts and some encouragement from those who are already walking the walk to get them to step off the five-lane highway path and onto a trail through the woods or sidewalk in their community. There is some repetition of certain stories and information between the sections, but nothing that is a huge deal killer.

Parents, take note: if you have any concerns about what your kids are eating - the Browns share your fears. In the preface, they share the story of one of their daughters crying, as she worried that something she would eat might harm her. In our efforts to eliminate toxins, get clean water, grow non-GMO food, or whatever else we focus on in our families, we can actually scare the daylights out of the kids. This book helped me, as a mom who has done the same thing, realize how I can turn that around and make it clear that we are not acting out of fear; we are just being proactive.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Well-written, and interesting, this book tells about one family's quest to learn more about foraging and eating wild foods. After many years of research and growing their own foods at home, they spent one year incorporating foraged foods into at least one meal a week. The book is well-researched and explains that if one is going to eat foraged foods, you should check at least three sources to make sure that what you are eating is what you think it is and that it is not poisonous, that you should only take one third of what is edible from an area at any given time, and that it can be good to find a teacher or mentor to show you how to find edible plants in the wild. While the only "foraging" I have done is eating wild blackberries that we found growing when I was a child, I do appreciate the wisdom in this book. Compared to the concept of the doomsday preppers who stockpile massive amounts of canned goods, it seems more useful to know how to identify and eat foods that one can find commonly in the wild and in your suburban neighborhood. I don't think I will be going out foraging any time soon, considering the fact that last week I saw and smelled paint pouring out of a drain into the creek near our house, which would be the closest area for any wild foraging. I did call the city and they sent someone out and when I went back, there was no longer anything coming out of that drain. We are near the start of that creek, and it eventually dumps into a local lake where there is recreation and fishing. I am sure that the paint I saw being dumped from a construction site into the creek is not the only icky stuff that is in the creeks and in our local environment.Read more ›
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By Donna on October 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written and educational.
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