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Edible Wild Plants [Kindle Edition]

John Kallas Ph.D.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Edible wild plants have one or more parts that can be used for food if gathered at the appropriate stage of growth and properly prepared. Edible Wild Plants includes extensive information and recipes on plants from the four categories.

Foundation greens: wild spinach, chickweed, mallow, purslane; tart greens: curlydock, sheep sorrel, wood sorrel; pungent greens: wild mustard, wintercress, garlic mustard,shepherd’s purse; and bitter greens: dandelion, cat’s ear, sow thistle, nipplewort.

Dr. John Kallas has investigated and taught about edible wild plants since 1970. He founded WildFood Adventures in 1993 and is the publisher and editor of Wild FoodAdventurer. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

The definitive work on growing, harvesting, and eating wild greens.

Product Details

  • File Size: 14627 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (June 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S9W8VE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,452 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
213 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Reasons To Love This Book May 19, 2010
1. This beautiful, glossy book has the sharpest edible wild plant photos available. If you didn't recognize these plants before, you will now.
2. The detailed plant guides describing "common weeds" are, without being a bit boring, fun to read and thorough.
3. The wild plant recipes have been tested and refined. Speaking from experience, the recipe results yield some very yummy surprises for kids and adults. Who knew purslane, mallow, and wood sorrel could taste so good?
4. Whether you're a wild food gourmand or just an occasional weed-nibbler like me, Kallas' writing style is both entertaining and enlightening.
5. This book could change the way the world eats (at least the way we eat in the USA) and that's why I bought multiple copies for our public library, school teachers, and fellow nature-lovers.
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118 of 119 people found the following review helpful
My Dad recently gifted me this great book and it is one of the best that I have ever received! You can help the author even more by going to his site directly to see and purchase this book there: [...]. It is the first book in a series that this foraging expert plans to write. This first book focuses on the most readily available greens. I think it is perfect for both the city and country dweller as you will quickly learn to see the wild foods readily available all around you.

The author focuses on the best parts of the plants to use, and even recipes. I think he took the time to do so as most people are put off on harvesting "weeds," let alone when they actually try one (think dandelion leaves), they think, "Yuck, this stuff tastes awful." This is not a pocket field guide for the quick identification of a plant, but rather more of an in-depth look at the plant, look alikes, and the best ways to utilize said plant. That being said, it is not tedious to find the plant or information you are looking for and I have already been able to quickly flip back and forth through it and find exactly what I am after in an instant.

The chapter on the Mallow plant alone should be enough to get most people out in their yards hunting and pecking for a wonderful Nature provided treat. Recipes for this plant include: various "mumbo" gumbo recipes, Mallow confections using Mallow whites for items like whipped cream, meringues, and "Mallowmallows." Yes, the Mallow plant is a cousin to the Marsh Mallow plant!

The cover and paper used in the book are high gloss and will hold up to years of thumbing through, even from going in and out of a backpack on a "less than ideal weather condition" trip. The photography is excellent and I believe was shot by the author as well.
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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
At our monster-big local bookstore, I looked through all the books on edible wild plants, and this one was by FAR the best! Rather than line drawings of hundreds of plants from all over, this book covers a more limited number of *readily available* wild edibles.

As a result, the info and photos of each plant is MUCH more detailed, including various ways it can be cooked (also with photos), the plant's life cycle and various edible/non-edible parts, photos of any similar NON-edible plants, etc.

I was interested in wild greens, and this book had a great discussion of not only how to decrease bitterness in the cooking process, but also which greens are less bitter, and what times of year are best for trying the more bitter ones. As a total novice, I'd been thinking of trying some dandelion greens, and was saved from getting overwhelmed and discouraged in that first experiment, and steered to some *much* better options. Since then I timed a dandelion-picking better according to the book's suggestions, and they were wonderful! (also, the author had some great thoughts about 'bitterness' in wild greens that have stayed with me since)

Since then, it seems like everywhere I look there are great edible greens growing in yards and wild spaces. This has been a wonderful addition to eating veggies from my garden. There's something so full of life about wild foods, grown right where *you* live and grow -- it's local, organic food taken to a whole new level.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edible Wild Plants - Are you serious? June 16, 2011
If you are genuinely serious about learning AND eating edible wild plants on a regular basis, get this book. I have been gathering wild mushrooms for over 40 years, and foraging for wild foods for over 30 years. I am also a collector of wild mushrooms books, wild food books, wild edible flower books, and sea vegetable (seaweed) books, and have hundreds in my collection, all read cover to cover by the way. In short, if a book is about wild and edible, I probably have it, read it, or reviewed it. I'm hooked, and proudly so.

Dr. Kallas' book is comprehensive, while at the same time being user friendly, practical, and fun: It has better descriptions, deeper explanations, incredible photographs, current nutritional information, and a depth and breadth of facts and knowledge that is incomparable. He explains each plants life cycle in detail, discusses each stage of growth with appropriate photographs, and explains how to identify each of them. He shows and describes the one or more parts of each plant that are edible, where and how to gather them, when and how to prepare them, and includes tantalizing recipes that are accompanied with stunning photographs.

In addition, he discusses at length, the history and future of wild foods and how to grow a wild garden. He explains why eating wild food is not weird, but absolutely normal. And, he emphasizes why learning about, finding, gathering, and eating wild woods is an adventure that is rewarding and fun!

This book is not just a book on wild edible plant identification; it is an all-inclusive user manual, all presented with Dr. Kallas' subtle sense of humor. This book covers more useful information than any of the other books in my collection. If I could have only one book on edible wild plants, it would be Dr. Kallas', period!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Edible Wild GREENS
This book is extremely well done for what it is, but it covers only wild greens. To call it "Edible Wild PLANTS" is deceptive. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Phoetus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It is mostly recipes...
Published 1 month ago by Meliae
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book great pictures and much information
Published 1 month ago by N. Gomes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful book. Can't wait to get into it.
Published 1 month ago by Peden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely love this wild plant guide.
Published 1 month ago by jseath
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a fantastic resource here in Northern Maine
Such a fantastic resource here in Northern Maine! My students try to identify many of the common plants in their surroundings!
Published 1 month ago by Shelly Bouchard
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
I started reading and cant put it down, The author is very passionate about the book, and wild food, I would rate this a 11 out of 10 this is the one you want
Published 1 month ago by beetle
5.0 out of 5 stars If you buy one wild plant book, buy this one!
This is by far the best book on wild plants that I have come across. Kallas wrote this with regular, conventional people in mind. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katie Koyle
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Should be titles back yard plants. Not much on the forest scale.
Published 2 months ago by clarissa charbeneau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Bill
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this book usefull in the Northen Amerca
From the author:

The plants covered in this book are universal. That is, they are found all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. These plants are native to humans, abundant and widespread. You will find them all in Washington State.


John Kallas, Ph.D., Director, Wild... Read More
May 16, 2013 by John N. Kallas |  See all 4 posts
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