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Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places Paperback – May 20, 1994
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From the Back Cover
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places shows readers how to find and prepare more than five hundred different plants for nutrition and better health. It includes information on common plants such as mullein (a tea made from the leaves and flowers suppresses a cough), stinging nettle (steam the leaves and you have a tasty dish rich in iron), cattail (cooked stalks taste similar to corn and are rich in protein), and wild apricots (an infusion made with the leaves is good for stomach aches and disgestive disorders).
More than 260 detailed line drawings help readers identify a wide range of plants -- many of which are suited for cooking by following the more than thirty recipes included in this book. There are literally hundreds of plants readily available underfoot waiting to be harvested and used either as food or as a potential therapeutic. This book is both a field guide to nature's bounty and a source of intriguing information about the plants that surround us.
About the Author
Naturalist-Author "Wildman" Steve Brill has been leading public foraging tours in parks throughout the greater New York area since 1982. He works with schools, day camps, environmental organizations, museums, parks departments, nature centers, scouts, garden clubs, and educational farms, from March to December.
His Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Places (HarperCollins Publishers, 1994) is considered a classic on the subject.His innovative Wild Vegan Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2002) is changing the way people think of preparing gourmet food. His Shoots and Greens of Early Spring in Northeastern North America (self-published, 1986 and 2008) teaches people how the foraging season begins, and his Foraging With the Wildman DVD series, along with the website he created, is showing people how it's all done. But he's still best known for having been handcuffed and arrested by undercover New York City park rangers for eating a dandelion in Central Park!
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Top customer reviews
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The Pros of the Book: Good descriptions. Very informative and useful information to the: forager, survivalist, and for those who wish to expand their diets and improve their health. Steve is the real deal. Not some guy who parrots (you know the people who read about the plant somewhere and parrot another author without having any experience themselves) other people. Steve speaks from experience and research. This is the kind of person you want to learn from, because there are a lot of wild food books that are inaccurate. Steve is very careful and accurate in what he tells you.
The Cons: Steve designed the book by season. I can't get used to it, and don't really like that format. My preference. Steve also uses line drawings (which are good) but I find color photos are far superior. Both Samuel Thayer and John Kallas have fantastic color photos in their books, and I find both Thayers and Kallas books to be superior to the beginning and intermediate forager for that reason. Mr. Brill's app that he has for android and i phone has really good color photographs. If you have any form of smart phone I would highly suggest supplementing this book with that app. I know there are some out there that prefer line drawings to photos. I'm not one of them.
Conclusion: This book is worthy of 5 stars. There are a few books out there on foraging that I like better, but not many. If your going to have a wild food library this book should be on your must own list. I would put it right behind books by John Kallas, and Samuel Thayer. It is hard for me to put it above Euell Gibbons but to the beginning forager this book is probably a better place to start than Gibbons. For that reason my personal first purchases would be by authors: John Kallas, Samuel Thayer, Steve Brill, and then Euell Gibbons. In that order.
We all seem to forget that we have made it to the 21st century solely because our forefathers were able to forage wild foods and domesticate some of them. Sadly most people forgotten about Foraging and the really great health benefits you get from eating preservative free uncontaminated food. It personally solved a lot of my health problems by avoiding supermarkets and using foraged greens, but I digress.
If you are truly interested in foraging, buy Steve's books. They are extremely well written and thorough. there just isn't a better book.
Steve "lives" the content of his books which is different from other authors at large.
This book by Steve does not contain photographs but detailed technical drawings showing all the parts of the plant in exact focus. Photography cannot achieve this unless you are at hyperfocal distance but then resolution is compromised. Therefore most photographs has parts of plants in focus and others not. Drawings gets rid of this trouble. So before anyone complains about the lack of photographs, remember that you can get any of the plants he lists on the internet as photos.
Therefore by combining google with this book you get TWO different descriptions of a plant, both drawing and photo. To me this is ideal and indispensable.
In short I cannot think of a better book if you are seriously interested.
If you are a Vegan, Steve's Vegan Cookbook ( also available at amazon )is THE Cookbook. It is simply a beautiful book. I am not Vegan, but I use the book as the ultimate reference to create my own recipes to my dieting style. Vegans definately should not miss this one..