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Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods Paperback – April 7, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 242 customer reviews

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  • Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Hundreds of edible species are included...[This] handy paperback guide includes jelly, jam, and pie recipes, a seasonal key to plants, [and a] chart listing nutritional contents.”—Booklist

 

“Beautiful color photographs...temptingly arranged.”—The Library Letter

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Tenth edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402767153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402767159
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Ferguson VINE VOICE on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This Outdoor Life Book, while it follows the typical field guide format with nice glossy pages and clear, crisp color identification photos with full plant descriptions, is jam-packed with not only the picture, plant name, habitat, and identification details but goes in-depth to clearly define those PARTS of the plant that are edible and how to prepare them (sometimes even including simple recipes). This guide is the most detailed edible plant guide I have found and offers great "extras" like a quick key guide that allows you to identify if a plant is trail nibble, salad addition, cooked green, underground vegetable, fritter, raw fruit, cooked fruit, jams/jellies/sauces, syrup/sugar, candy, grain, nuts/seeds, flour/meal, hot beverage, cold beverage, pickle, seasoning, or thickener. The "Poisonous look-alikes" feature is an added attraction within each plant description and there is also an entire poisonous plant section so there will be no mistake that what you have found Mother Nature meant you to harvest. A fabulous handbook for gardeners, hikers, and cooks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beneficial foraging books
The opening paragraphs are designed to assist others avoid some of the pit falls I made in purchasing wild food literature. You can skip this and go directly to the individual book reviews if you choose. Please note that this review is of multiple wild food books. I prefer authors that work with the plants they are writing about, and don't just repeat things they read from another book (yes some wild food authors actually do that). I also prefer books with good descriptions, lots of photos of each plant to make identification easier, and to cover the plant from identification to the plate. That's my bias, here is my review.

I'm just a guy who likes to forage and enjoys the learning and nutritional aspect of wild foods. My main purpose for writing this review of multiple wild food books on one review is to assist others coming to wild foods for the first time (like I was three years ago), and to hopefully help them avoid some of the easily avoided pit falls I made in the literature I chose. At first I wanted books with the most plants in it for my money. It made sense to me at the time but ended up being a grave mistake. Books that devote one picture and a brief explanation to a plethera of plants helped me identify some plants in one stage of growth, but did next to nothing that would have allowed me to use them as food. Example, most books will show you one picture of the adult plant. Many times that's not when you want to harvest it. No one would eat a bannana that was over ripe and pure black and call banana's in general inedible due to that experience. Yet many who have sampled a dandelion have done exactly that.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book to use to gather wild plants for making homemade wines, but now it's a companion whenever I go hiking, fishing, camping, or merely sightseeing. It's that valuable!
The book is divided into an introductory section, guides to harvesting plants in each of the four seasons, the plants themselves (also presented seasonally), poisonous plants, a nutritional guide, and two great indices. The introduction includes great tips on how to prepare wild foods as drinks, snacks, entres, and condiments, along with recipes for 25 jellies, 20 jams and 17 fruit and berry pies. But the good part is yet to come.
Each plant is presented with a good-to-excellent photograph, a distribution map (so a person in the Pacific Northwest doesn't have to wonder whether he or she is looking at a squashberry or a hobblebush berry), a complete description, identification of the edible parts, harvest and preparation notes, related species, and poisonous look-alikes (if any). The presentations are just excellent. My only complaint is that the book isn't twice as thick.
Whether you just want to be prepared for emergencies or you want to collect wild edibles for making jams, jellies, pies, and wine, this book is one of the only two you'll probably need. The other is a good regional guide, because with over 20,000 species of plants to choose from north of the Rio Grande alone, a guide to regional edibles is a must.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a well-organized listing of edible wild plants in North America. Listings are by season, so you know when to look for a specific plant. Habitat is described including a quick reference range map of North America, as are how to harvest, prepare, and store foods for future use. A symbol key at the left of each plant will tell you at a glance what uses you can put a plant to; trail nibble, potherb, etc. Related edible and poisonous look alikes are also listed. This book utilizes pictures, something none of the other books I looked at did. I think this makes identification of plants much easier than relying on someone's black and white sketch or colored pencil rendering of something wild that I'm plan to eat. The one down side to this is that some of the pictures could be much better; about a dozen pictures are black and white, while others show the plant only at a distance which might make identification problematical. However, scientific names are provided, and if you have the luxury of time, you can do a search online for a more precise picture.
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