Summary From Amazon: "In this field guide to foraging wild edible plants, Sergei Boutenko (son of raw-food guru Victoria Boutenko) explores the health benefits of wild-harvested food, explains how to safely identify trailside weeds, herbs, fruits, and greens that grow worldwide, and shares his delicious, nutrient-dense recipes. This practical guide to plant foraging gives hikers, backpackers, raw foodists, gardeners, chefs, foodies, DIYers, survivalists, and off-the-grid enthusiasts the tools to identify, harvest, and prepare wild edible plants. The book outlines basic rules for safe wild-food foraging and discusses poisonous plants, plant identification protocol, gathering etiquette, and conservation.
The majority of the 60 edible plants described in this field guide can be found worldwide, including common-growing trees. Over 300 color photos make plant identification easy and safe. A chapter containing 67 high-nutrient vegan recipes-including green smoothies, salads and salad dressings, spreads and crackers, main courses, juices, and sweets-provides inspiration to join Sergei on the trail to radiant health."
Sergei has written a well thought out introductory book about foraging for wild edibles. He includes color pictures and descriptions of 60 edible plants and 67 fun and tasty recipies.
I am looking forward to putting his knowlege to work in the mountains of Wyoming.
Thank you for sharing this! When I was a park ranger and outdoor educator in the NW I always thought teaching wild edibles was one of the best ways to build connections to the natural world so it would be valued and treated with respect. I would even use a scavenger hunt with a similar setup to the layout in the video, but after a minute of being able to "take a mental picture," I would cover up the plants and kids would go find (after learning how to do so respectfully) as many matches to the plants on the sheet that they could and lay them out for themselves to see how many they could ID. It was the best way I have ever learned or taught plants because it really embeds the little subtle shapes and characteristics in your brain. Unfortunately, ignorance by supervisors and parents has led to edibles being seen as too dangerous to teach (apparently this generation is too dumb to survive), even though with a reasonable class size and basic instructions you can teach it more safely than any of the kids' bus ride to camp. Anyhow, wild edibles could save the world and thank you for sharing!
This is all just my opinion based on a flawed memory
I think the book does a good job of doing what Sergei set out to do with the book- introduce people to wild edibles and help make them more comfortable and confident with the art of foraging. I think he did a job by choosing common weeds and plants, because as I was reading the book, I realized that I have seen a lot of these plants before. So, making that connection between things I had never thought of before as food and now knowing that they're food is a really empowering first step.
I think the book is also well-organized, with a nice introduction, some basic guidelines to foraging, some poisonous plants to avoid, a plant identification protocol, and then large series of wild edible plants, followed by some simple recipes. And the sections on each plant are also well-organized with identification pictures, caution, edible parts, flavor, description, uses, nutritional highlights, helpful tips, ID tricks, and Sergei Says.
The only thing I felt was a detractor for the book is that I found there was a lot of copy-and-paste text, like for many of the tree species listed. I think that is perhaps useful when the book is just flipped through by pictures, so, it may be that I didn't like that just because I read the book from start to finish.
Foraging is a top thing I need to do, rather than want to do, as I am a picky and timid eater. But this book is the best beginning foraging guide I have ever seen. It helped me over fears that I had and also got me excited enough to share with my little girl what wild plants can do for us. I wanted to start foraging when my daughter was a toddler. She still loves, a couple years later, being able to eat the freshly-picked (carefully inspected!) greens in clean parts of the yard (especially clover, chickweed, and oxalis).
The book is filled with photos, besides the requisite IDing tips and tricks, and lots of interesting and helpful information. Taking the fear out of foraging, the section for each plant profile leads with a "caution" section which nearly always says, "____ is absolutely safe to eat". Only occasionally will the caution section highlight some look-alikes to the plant that might prove dangerous, but gives clear instructions and descriptions for telling the edibles apart.
The author profiles the nutritional benefits on the plants, and offers comments on his experience with them. In the first part of the book he tells his story of finding out the bounty that nature provides for those who are only willing to look, when his family went out hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The foraging on the trail that began as a minor necessity ended in become a happy (and healthy) obsession.
Besides all this goodness, there are more than 60 recipes, including kid-friendly drinks and smoothies, as well as soups, salads, and teas galore. This is such a great resource, may it find its place on more shelves everywhere!
“Every human activity is an opportunity to bear fruit and is a continual invitation to exercise the human freedom to create abundance...” ― Andreas Widmer
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