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The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants: Easy to Pick, Easy to Prepare
     

The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants: Easy to Pick, Easy to Prepare

by Lytton John Musselman
 

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A recent rise in the popularity of urban farming, farmers’ markets, and foraging from nature means more people are looking for information about plants. In The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants, botanists Lytton John Musselman and Harold J. Wiggins coach you on how to safely identify, gather, and prepare delicious dishes from readily available

Overview

A recent rise in the popularity of urban farming, farmers’ markets, and foraging from nature means more people are looking for information about plants. In The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants, botanists Lytton John Musselman and Harold J. Wiggins coach you on how to safely identify, gather, and prepare delicious dishes from readily available plants—and clearly indicate which ones to avoid.

More than 200 color illustrations, accompanied by detailed descriptions, will help you recognize edible plants such as nettles, daylilies, panic grass, and tearthumbs. For decades, Musselman and Wiggins have taught courses on how to prepare local plants, and their field-to-table recipes require only a few easily found ingredients. They offer instructions for making garlic powder out of field garlic and turning acorns into flour for Rappahannock Acorn Cakes. To toast your new skill, they even include recipes for cordials.

The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants is a great gift for the beginning naturalist or the perfect addition to every serious forager’s library.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/06/2013
This short but informative guide introduces readers to a small but intriguing variety of forageable edibles, beginning, wisely, with detailed descriptions and pictures of poisonous plants to avoid. Musselman, a botany professor, and Wiggins, an environmental scientist with the Army Corps of Engineers, have chosen plants that “are easy to identify and do not have any toxic look-alikes.” These include widely known tasties such as blueberries; flora that may be familiar in landscaping or as weeds but perhaps not as food, such as daylily, oak, red spruce, dock, and kudzu; less-known edibles like glasswort and nutsedge; and fungi. Descriptions include historical, botanical, collecting, and preparation information, as well as possible health benefits. The authors have put considerable work into discovering plants with enough edible content to make them worthwhile to collect and eat. As they admit, however, “Concocting these recipes drew upon our passion for plants more than our culinary expertise.” Although Boy Scout– and Girl Scout–types may enjoy the bare-bones recipes, slow- and wild-food aficionados may need to follow the authors’ advice to “use your own imagination in crafting recipes.” 116 color illus. (June)
The Aiken Standard - Whit Gibbons
The fact that as many as 50 books explain how to find, collect, and prepare wild plants for a meal speaks to the popularity of the endeavor. Whether this is your passion or merely something you might be interested in learning about, check out The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants... Should I ever get a craving for stinging nettle omelet or black locust fritters, I will know exactly which wild edible plant book to look in.

Portland Book Review - Jane Manaster
The book is witty and full of commonsense. It is a jolly good read for anyone.

Portland Book Review
The book is witty and full of commonsense. It is a jolly good read for anyone.

The Aiken Standard
The fact that as many as 50 books explain how to find, collect, and prepare wild plants for a meal speaks to the popularity of the endeavor. Whether this is your passion or merely something you might be interested in learning about, check out The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants... Should I ever get a craving for stinging nettle omelet or black locust fritters, I will know exactly which wild edible plant book to look in.

Library Journal
While ancient humans foraged to survive, today we often forage for less urgent reasons: fun, curiosity, or cost savings. Musselman (biological sciences, Old Dominion Univ.) and environmental scientist Wiggins (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) have written a concise, useful guide to help modern-day foragers identify, gather, and prepare edible plants. The book features 31 native and introduced wild plants commonly found in the U.S. Middle Atlantic and Northeast regions. Included are plants with edible greens, roots, grains, flowers, and more. Mushrooms, although not plants, are also included. All plants and fungi presented are common, easy to identify, and have no toxic look-alikes. Safety tips are nonetheless provided for avoiding poisonous species. Each brief entry includes common and botanical names, a description of the plant (or mushroom) and its habitat, photographs to aid identification, and instructions for collecting. The book also has a few very basic recipes. VERDICT Readers who live or travel in the regions covered and have adventurous palates will want to have this book with them in their daypacks. Those in other regions should consider one of the many other books on foraging, including Ellen Zachos's Backyard Foraging, reviewed below.—Janet Crum, City of Hope Lib., Duarte, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421408712
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/06/2013
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
355,599
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

Garrison Keillor

Dr. Musselman is a passionate botanist. Walking among plant life makes him very happy, which means he is happy most of the time, except when riding in a car stuck in a long tunnel. He will stop people on the street to tell them some great news from the plant world.

Samuel Thayer

Drawing from a lifetime of foraging experience, Musselman and Wiggins expand the reader's food gathering repertoire with simple recipes and a fascinating assortment of plants largely overlooked by the wild food literature.

Meet the Author

Lytton John Musselman is the Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University. He is the coauthor of Plants of the Chesapeake Bay: A Guide to Wildflowers, Grasses, Aquatic Vegetation, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Flora and the author of Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh: Plants of the Bible and the Quran. Harold J. Wiggins is an environmental scientist with the Regulatory Program, US Army Corps of Engineers. He is the cofounder of the Fredericksburg chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the author of Virginia Native Plants.

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