Foraging & Feasting - A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook
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- Wonderful Field Guide to eating local plants
- Stunning artwork
- Innovative and imaginative recipes
- Self published with limited distribution
- Includes the Art of Foraging
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Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi and illustrated by Wendy Hollender is a truly beautiful book. It contains lavish art work and innovative recipes for those who want to eat local bounty. This wonderful volume highlights easily obtainable local foods and traditional foodways. The book features beautiful, instructive botanical illustrations and delicious, enlightening recipes. The author and illustrator share this project with you out of their long commitment to connecting with nature through food and art. The effort weaves together Dina's 30 years of passionate investigations into wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking with Wendy's deft artistic skills honed over 15 years as a botanical illustrator. You will not find this book available in many shops. The author and Illustrator want this to be a special book that you will cherish for a long while and so have limited its distribution. This truly is a wonderful volume and anyone who is interested in foraging would be proud to add this to their collection.Includes Latin and common names.Fully indexed.About the Author & the Illustrator - Dina Falconi is a clinical herbalist with a strong focus on food activism and nutritional healing. She has been teaching classes about the use of herbs for food, medicine, and pleasure, including wild-food foraging and cooking, for more than twenty years. She produces Falcon Formulations natural body care products and Earthly Extracts medicinal tinctures. She is a founding member of the Northeast Herbal Association, a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation and on the board of Slow Food-Hudson Valley. An avid gardener and wildcrafter, Dina is passionate about ecological agriculture and has completed the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. She is the author of Earthy Bodies & Heavenly Hair: Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Everybody (Ceres Press, 1998). Wendy Hollender is a botanical artist, author, and instructor. Hol...
Top customer reviews
One might quibble about the price, as it is higher than most other references. I even went so far as to email the authors, suggesting that they might sell 100 times as many books if they dropped the price to under $30. That would allow them to compete with other good field guides on the market. Dina replied that books under $30 were typically paperbacks; that she and Wendy wanted their book to be a durable hardback book with quality, acid-free paper that would last a lifetime. High-end color publishing still remains expensive, and many authors/publishers have resorted to having their books published overseas where quality is high and human wages are low. Dina and Wendy wanted it to be printed here in America to give Americans work. On their website, the botanical plates from the book are printed and sold as limited edition pieces of art, suitable for framing. The price ranges from $35 for an 8 1/2 X 11 inch print on water color paper to $65 if done on gallery wrap canvas. Different sizes of prints (12 X 16 inch or 16 X 20 inch) are available and more costly of course. The reason I mention this is to point out that their book, with 55 8 1/2 X 11 inch plates in it, illustrating 50 plants, could be viewed as a bargain.
I only have a couple of issues with the book, and those I have shared with Dina. The first is that nowhere in the book does it describe where the plants are found, such as the region of the US. I live in the Midwest, in Iowa, and 11 of the 50 plants simply are not found here. Dina replied that they would describe the region on their website. Here is what it has to say: "The botanical identification pages focus on 50 wild, abundant and very common "weeds". They are ubiquitous and can be found in many of the temperate zones throughout the world: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia. Dina was unable in her research to pinpoint the exact world range for each plant, but knows that many of them (not all of them) can be found almost everywhere. Note: Dina has included a few plants that start as cultivated specimens where she lives in the Northeastern U.S. but then freely spread themselves, becoming wild in the landscape. They are wild in other parts of the world. They grow in various zones, ranging from 2 to 9, with zones 4 to 8 being more typical."
The second issue is the concept most book buyers have of a "field guide." A field guide is small (6 x 9" or less), easily carried in a fanny pack or a day pack or a jacket pocket for a hike or camp out. Dina and Wendy's doesn't belong in that category. However, the botanical illustrations are truly useful in identification, as a good field guide should be. This reminds me of the way our mushroom club uses mushroom field guides: we carry them in our cars, collect the mushrooms and spread them out on a picnic table near the parking lot. We go get our books and our lunches, and sit down and identify mushrooms. By avoiding looking mushrooms up as we encounter them, we can avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes, and can keep our reference books dry if it should start to sprinkle. Would either of these two issues (area covered and claiming that the book is a field guide) cause me to reduce my rating? Absolutely not. This is a great book, well worth owning.
You can take this book into the field to find the living plants, no matter what the season, (as plants often morph in appearance from season to season). The illustrations are that precise. Yet, the drawings are beautiful enough to be considered artwork by themselves. This book could sit proudly on one’s coffee table for all to enjoy, even if one never actually forages.
However, Foraging and Feasting is a serious how-to on foraging. In addition to the amazing plant identification pages, the book contains highly useful and informative charts such as the seasonal harvest, plant habitat and growing conditions, and information on each plant's culinary uses.
Once you’ve harvested the plants and bring them into your kitchen, the book becomes a very worthy cookbook, offering a full spectrum of recipes, from beverages to desserts and everything in between. There are 100 master recipes to guide you in each plant’s culinary use. From these recipes thousands of new recipes can be made to which you can add your own special touches. This book works on many levels whether you are a foraging and culinary novice, or a seasoned forager and cook. I have tried many of these recipes myself and they are delicious and practical. Foraging and Feasting is a book for foodies; it’s a book for bringing us back to our culinary roots. It’s a book to bring us back to food as nature intended.