A guide to 32 of the best and most common edible wild plants in North America, with detailed information on how to identify them, where they are found, how and when they are harvested, which parts are used, how they are prepared, as well as their culinary use, ecology, conservation, and cultural history.
May 15, 2006
File Size: 37 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
Samuel Thayer is an internationally recognized authority on edible wild plants who has authored two award-winning books on the topic, Nature’s Garden and The Forager’s Harvest. He has taught foraging and field identification for more than two decades. Besides lecturing and writing, Samuel is an advocate for sustainable food systems who owns a diverse organic orchard and harvests wild rice, acorns, hickory nuts, maple syrup, and other wild products. He lives in rural northern Wisconsin with his wife and three children. <div id="
I own over two dozen books on foraging. Most are awkward reference material at best. Nine I have read cover to cover. Sam Thayer’s three (besides this one, Nature’s Garden and Incredible Wild Edibles) are the only ones I have read through twice, and they are still the most often referenced books on my shelf. In fact I will go so far as to say that the basic education provided here on how to go about locating food plants, and making identifications generally is enough that by the time you have read The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden, not only will you know how to recognize a number of edible plants, but you will actually know what you’re doing in a way that allows you to use the internet to learn specifics of other species. There is simply no other book that does this.Traditional field guides include hundreds of species of plants with far too little detail to identify with the confidence needed to actually eat them. This book is the only one I’ve seen that provides enough information about each subject to actually use the plant with this as the sole reference.I just wish he would write a mushroom book too!
I was introduced to Gibbon’s, “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” at the age of 7. From that moment, I devoured any wild food literature I could get my hands on. I live in Maine, and Samuel’s two books are by far the most useful, honest, thoughtful, and enjoyable wild food books I have ever read. Truly a modern-day Gibbons. I have been consistently disappointed with wild food literature. Most of what is on the market either regurgitated information from Gibbons books in the 60’s, or it is misinformation, out of context, with authors not having personal experience with each plant. Not the case with this book. This book has transformed and reinvigorated my love of wild food.
Lovely book but is geared to the midwest and east rather than what I wanted – a guide for the Pacific NW. The author is very easy to read and does a beautiful job. Even though there were not many edibles for my area I enjoyed the book. The only reason it does not have 5 stars is because it was not for my area, which was what I was looking for.As a note to the author, it might be nice to include a little US map showing the general range of the plants you are writing about with each plant.
Cons: Not very detailed when it comes to useful information. Too much useless “personal history”, not enough quick to reference details. I’m looking for a guide, not an autobiography. It’s filled with paragraphs of information that could be replaced with simple icons, maps, and useful guidance. Because of this, it covers very few plants. Then he tries to sell you 2 other books to cover what should have been all in one.Edible Wild Plants by Thomas Elias is far superior.Pros: I learned about the author’s childhood…..?
This is a book about identifying, harvesting, storing, and preparing edible wild plants; a topic receiving considerable interest in our ‘farm-to-table’ world. Thayer presents us with a masterful celebration of the enjoyment of wild foods. The author is an internationally recognized authority on edible wild plants. He is an autodidact from childhood. This book is heavy with information. It includes Thayer’s philosophy which has grown up around the careful sowing, harvesting, and storing/preparing wild foods. This is not to say it is a dull account. There is a strong feeling of affection by the author in maintaining and sustaining wild edibles. Humor comes through in his many anecdotes from his personal and life long experience. More than 30 wild plants are examined in detail, with beautiful color pictures of the plants, their harvest, storage, and preparation. Descriptions of their flowers and fruits and any distinguishing marks are noted. The range and habitat of each are given. Information on how to harvest each plant, along withdirection on preparation is provided in sufficient detail for the novice harvester. Nutritional value along with some basic recipes accompanies each of the plants Thayer details. The section on edible versus poisonous plants is presented early in the book. Allergic reactions and plant intolerance are examined to present a clear picture of the knowledge and care that goes into the use of these plants as a food source. Thayer cleverly acknowledges the distinction between plant toxicity and human stupidity when it comes to the preparation and consumption of wild plants. He lives by the maxim that plants are considered edible only insofar as they taste good, are pleasant to eat, and care is taken to consume them in proper amounts. This book is a delightful compendium of useful facts and anecdotes from Thayer’s lifetime of experience. Why wild foods, he asks. He sees one of the greatest benefits of eating these plants is to be reminded that the supermarket is not the source of all food. The sunshine, rain, and soil remind us that our most basic needs come directly from our earth, not from any artificial creation or technology.
Brilliant day out book, I have become accustomed to the odd snack as I walk along so this is an adventure waiting to happen. I use this to forage for food, educate and is an adventure for the Great Nephew an I when out and introducing my own brand of interest and madness which he has come to view with intrigue.
Great book purchase, author seems to know his topic very well. Good to read and have alongside other illustrated botany guides. He points out misinformation and errors by the less experienced, which is extremely helpful as well as potentially life-saving. Would have liked a bundle deal of his books on Amazon, but nevertheless; happy to have bought and read this. A recommended buy.
It’s honestly a treasure, and my mother keeps trying to steal it from me. I’ll likely end up buying a couple more copies. If you’re after a “strictly scientific” book, this is not it. But if you’re looking for a book that recounts personal links to the plants in it, as well as the author’s experiences with them in an entertaining and story driven way, this is by far the best.
I was very disapointed with this book when it eventually arrived.Perfect book if you are in America or Canada but not a lot of use for us in the U.K. As I purchased it as a present it was even more of a disapointment as it sits in the book shelve unused. A total waste of money
Don’t get me wrong this was very descriptive, but he focused too much on personal experiences than the actually plant identification. Very few pictures, overly technical terms. And really only like 15 plants total in this book (with ten pages per plant cause he rambles on and on). Very disappointed…
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