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Food For Free (Collins Gem) Paperback – April 12, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Thirty years after its initial publication, the forager's bible continues to inspire and enthral.' Scottish Field 'Still a classic' The Financial Times 'Armed with this guide, this month you could be sampling the simple pleasures of eating a fleshy Hottentot fig straight from a Devon clifftop, making elderflower fritters gathered from the hedgerows, or frying fairy-ring champignons picked off your lawn. With its charming painted illustrations, it is a book to savour in itself.' Devon Life --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Mabey is a naturalist and award-winning author and journalist. He won wide acclaim on the publication of the original Food for Free in 1972 – which has never been out of print since – and again with the publication of the full-colour edition in 1989. Among his many other acclaimed publications are Gilbert White (Whitbread Biography of the Year) and the ground-breaking, award-winning best-seller Flora Britannica. He collaborated with Mark Cocker on Birds Britannica, and his book Nature Cure, described as 'a brilliant, candid and heartfelt memoir', was shortlisted for four prestigious prizes. He is an active member of national and local conservation groups and lives in Norfolk.

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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Gem
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; POC edition (April 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007183038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007183036
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 0.6 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kodiak Firesmith on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't realize, as it wasn't immediately apparent in the book summary that this is quite specific to the UK. I'd assumed that he was going to be covering temperate regions in general. This largely renders the book non-useful for anyone outside of Britain as the species covered appear fairly localized, even if they have close relatives in the US, the varieties are different enough to cause confusion if going upon the info in this book.

The biggest bummer is that I've got nobody I could give this book away to since it would cost as much to ship it to the UK as it would cost someone there to just buy it new.

No obviously this is partially my fault; I should've known that since it was a UK publisher it wouldn't be useful to me, but it would have been nice for Collins to describe it's region-specificity in the book description submitted to Amazon.
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Format: Paperback
Fun and free ways of connecting with the local countryside - it worked for my kids like a dream:
Me: "Let's go for a walk!" - Kids: "Groan..."
Me: "Let's go and collect free things to eat!" Kids: "Yay!"
- and of course I taught them never to eat stuff without checking with me first - so gradually they learned to recognise plants and know where to find them and to care if their favourite hedgerow was being ripped out - a great start to caring about the planet. And this book is small enough to take with you and comprehensive enough to be useful.
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I don't have any experience in surviving outdoors. This is great. It has pictures and information that is easily understood. I highly recommend this book for any outdoor enthusiast. This book is compact and very easy to pack.
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Maybe not the best but good pictures and information, be VERY CAREFUL with the mushroom section.
Eating the wrong mushrooms can cause death.
Seriously BE VERY CAUTIOUS with that section and when eating any wild plants.
Please build your skill set up.
Dandelions are delicious when harvested at the right time.
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Format: Paperback
I love this tiny little book!! I once was lucky enough to find a tiny book about herbs that is pocket sized and very useful, I never would have imagined I could find the same in a book for wild foods. It is really simple and easy and explains that we shouldn't be afraid to eat wild things and other tips and advice, some I like, some of it I ignore. It may not have enough information for some, but it has enough for me, it even crams in a whole bunch of recepies! I can't believe all the information could fit into it. When I first ordered it, I didn't think it would be this small, but I wasn't dissapointed, I would hate to have to carry around an unmanageble guide when out forgaing, even if it is A5 sized, this one is just perfect for me, and I hope you will ike it too. It is excellent for beginners I would think. I am only 19 so of course it is essential for me to have something to guide me, but then again, if you know a lot about wild food, you wouldn't need to bring any book out with you :)
+ it's is extremely full of pictures so you won't have much trouble finding the right plant, and it even has pictures of deadly relatives in some cases, so you don't pick a poisonous mushroom, if it really looks like the edible one..
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Format: Paperback
Very good section on fungi, very good pocket sized book, I keep one in my side door in the works van, if I come across a plant it's great to refer to, even my mates ring me with requests to use it. I bought mine on Amazon for pennies, superb.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm unsure of the purpose of this book. The passages are too short to be of use as a field guide, and the illustrations/pics are too sparse. There are some recipes, but not enough to call it a cookbook. It covers a huge amount if plants, and has a bit of interesting history, but I found it sadly lacking in usefulness.
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Great reference! European plants, but most are ubiquitous species so applies to other parts of the world. Lot of info for its compact size. Very compact and light, easily carried in a backpack.
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