Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat

Overview

Eat Your Way Around the Block

Discover food in the plant life all around you: your backyard, your front yard, or a nearby park or vacant lot might be rich with edible possibilities. Ellen Zachos, an experienced foraging guide, safely leads you through harvesting etiquette, plant identification, and tips on how to eat the leaves, flowers, nuts, seeds, roots, and mushrooms that are there for the taking. Foraging — the fun, safe, and free way to ...

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Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat

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Overview

Eat Your Way Around the Block

Discover food in the plant life all around you: your backyard, your front yard, or a nearby park or vacant lot might be rich with edible possibilities. Ellen Zachos, an experienced foraging guide, safely leads you through harvesting etiquette, plant identification, and tips on how to eat the leaves, flowers, nuts, seeds, roots, and mushrooms that are there for the taking. Foraging — the fun, safe, and free way to eat locally.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Dominique Browning
…extremely appealing…Forget farm to table. Here's weed to bowl.
Publishers Weekly
Foraging is all the culinary rage these days, but the idea of harvesting backyard ‘shrooms for use in store-bought pasta and salads may be off putting to those scared of severe hallucinations. But Zachos, who leads foraging walks and teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, ushers the reader safely through the foliage where ants and beetles roam and into the enlightened land, where sheep sorrel, chickweed, dandelion, sumac, and prickly pear become edible parts on the most discerning palate. Unfamiliar edibles are described at length, with instructions for their harvest and preparation time when cooking. With such wholesome food comes also vindication: our parents really were wrong when they said we couldn’t eat acorns. (Mar.)
Booklist
“[An] impressively comprehensive guide by horticulturist Zachos, who stresses the “ease and elegance” of foraging familiar plants—greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, tubers, and fungi—in yards and nearby environs. … Eye-catching sidebars on legality, quick plant identification, food-preparation tips, and more accompany the main text, which is abundantly illustrated with full-color photos throughout.”
director of Wild Food Adventures John Kallas
“[An] impressively comprehensive guide by horticulturist Zachos, who stresses the “ease and elegance” of foraging familiar plants—greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, tubers, and fungi—in yards and nearby environs. … Eye-catching sidebars on legality, quick plant identification, food-preparation tips, and more accompany the main text, which is abundantly illustrated with full-color photos throughout.”
From the Publisher
“Forget farm to table. Here’s weed to bowl. ... Extremely appealing.”
The New York Times
“Forget farm to table. Here’s weed to bowl. ... Extremely appealing.”
Library Journal
Hungry for a healthy snack? While Musselman, et al., cover wild plants, certified horticulturist Zachos suggests you simply visit your yard, where you can nibble on cultivated landscape plants such as hosta or munch on some mulberries. With Zachos as your knowledgeable and witty guide, you will soon see common landscape plants and garden weeds, etc., as a smorgasbord of edible fruits, vegetables, flowers, roots, nuts, and fungi. Chapters cover general information about foraging plus profiles of edible plants arranged by plant part (greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, etc.), and offer some basic recipes and information on preserving your foraged fare. Each profile includes a short description of the plant, where to find it, and how to harvest and eat it, along with lovely color photos. Unfortunately, the profiles do not include USDA hardiness zones or regions in which the plants are commonly found. The book includes very brief, general content on cultivation, but since the plants are quite common, that data can be easily found elsewhere. There is also a short but excellent annotated list of additional sources of information. VERDICT Readers interested in local food and new tastes will enjoy this clear, well-illustrated guide to the culinary delights lurking nearby.—Janet Crum, City of Hope Lib., Duarte, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612120096
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 204,800
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Zachos is a professional gardener and proprietor of Acme Plant Stuff, a garden and houseplant maintenance company. She is also the author of several books, including Backyard Foraging, Tempting Tropicals, Orchid Growing for Wimps, and Down & Dirty. She lives in New York City and Shohola, Pennsylvania.


 

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Getting Started: Identifying Habitats in the 'Hood

Ensuring Safety
• Ethical Harvesting

2 Harvest with Care: You Don't Have to Sacrifice Your Scenery

Picking Shoots and Young Foliage
• Foraging Flowers, Fruits, and Nuts
• Digging Roots and Tubers
• Timing for Taste

3 Grazing Greens: Tasty Leaves and Stems

4 The Fruits of Nature's Labor: Edible Flowers and Fruits

5 Nature's Granola: Nuts and Seeds

6 Hidden Treasure: Roots, Tubers, and Rhizomes

7 Superstars: Plants with Many Edible Parts

8 Friendly Fungi: Five Easy Mushrooms

9 You Wouldn't Do This If It Didn't Taste Good: Preserving Advice and Basic Recipes

Freezing
• Dehydration
• Syrups, Jams, and Jellies
• Booze
• Baked Goods and Savory Dishes
• Fruity Miscellany
• Resources and Recommended Reading
• Books about Wild Edible Plants
• Foraging Books and Blogs
• Mushrooms
• Vendors of Mushroom-Growing Supplies
• Food Preparation

Interior Photography Credits

Index

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