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The forager's harvest : a guide to…

The forager's harvest : a guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing… (2006)

by Samuel Thayer

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This is the best of the lot of books on this subject I've surveyed. Lots of material details and breaking myths, all from the perspective of a lifelong passion.

Very useful. ( )
  2wonderY | Jan 3, 2014 |
This book, along with Thayer's other book, Nature's Garden, is THE best foraging resource I have ever seen. In both volumes, the author covers a select number of plants in exquisite detail, rather than barely touching upon a few thousand. He talks about when to collect, what parts are best, and how to prepare the food. There is also a wonderful introduction section that discusses foraging. I highly recommend this book.
  aaduncan | May 7, 2011 |
Excellent foraging handbook! ( )
  Sundownr | Jan 9, 2011 |
Readers may be put off by the tone of the introductory chapters of this work on finding, harvesting and using edible wild plants, but it's worth plowing forward. The author, a life-long wild food enthusiast, set out to write a manual covering only those wild plants he himself regularly harvests and *enjoys*; as opposed to the usual suspects. (He does not really regard distasteful foods as 'edible'.) As a result, he can be dismissive of some other texts and come off sounding self-satisfied, but his knowledge and tips are worth it. In particular, he gives detailed harvesting directions, precise instructions for preparing and/or preserving your harvest, and an indication of which foods preserve best and how. He covers Ostrich Fern, Cattail, Wapato, Wild Rice, Ramps, Smilax, Butternut, Siberian Elm, Stinging Nettle, Wood Nettle, Sheep Sorrel, Goosefoot, Spring Beauty, Marsh Marigold, Swamp Saxifrage, Serviceberry, Chokecherry, Pin Cherry, Hog Peanut, Hopniss, Black Locust, Sumac, Wild Grape, American Bassword, Evening Primrose, Wild Parsnip, Common Milkweed, Virgina Waterleaf, Nannyberry/Black Haw, Highbush Cranberry, Burdock, and Thistle. Of particular interest are his comprehensive instructions for harvesting and processing Wild Rice. He is very forthcoming about his own learning experiences and almost gleeful about experiences where he proved books wrong (such as his experiments with common milkweed, whose usual warnings can be traced back to Euell Gibbons). Thayer's usual range is the Middle North of the USA in the Great Lakes region, but he observes where and when he has found all the plants, many of which he has encountered in the Eastern and MidAtlantic seaboard as well. His story about the opossum baiting and the burdock is almost worth the whole book.
1 vote bunnyjadwiga | Jun 14, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0976626608, Paperback)

A practical guide to all aspects of edible wild plants: finding and identifying them, their seasons of harvest, and their methods of collection and preparation. Each plant is discussed in great detail and accompanied by excellent color photographs. Includes an index, illustrated glossary, bibliography, and harvest calendar. The perfect guide for all experience levels.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

Rather than cover hundreds of plants in abbreviated accounts like the typical field guide, the author has chosen a smaller selection of species to discuss in exhaustive detail, including only those plants he has eaten fifty times or more. This book contains as many as ten high-quality color photographs of each plant. These have been selected to facilitate identification and depict the plant parts at exactly the stage of growth in which they should be harvested. The accompanying text is accurate and thorough, giving readers of any experience level the confidence to harvest wild plants for food. Botanically, the text is accurate, yet it remains accessible to the layperson by using technical terms only when necessary. This book has many unique features that will appeal to naturalists, hikers, campers, survivalists, homesteaders, gardeners, chefs, Native Americans, and whole food enthusiasts. It contains a calendar of harvest times for wild produce, a step-by-step protocol for positive identification, an illustrated glossary tailored to the needs of foragers, a recommended reading list, plus special sections on conservation, safety, nutrition, harvest techniques, preparation methods, and storage. While this is not a regional guide, it will prove most useful to readers in the eastern US and Canada, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest.… (more)

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