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Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine -WILD BERRIES & FRUITS - Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, by Teresa Marrone, Adventure Publications, Cambridge, MN, 280 pages, $14.95.
This is an absolute gold mine of a field guide, with an abundance of well-organized useful information. Whether foraging is your latest hobby or you just want to check the edibility of that fruit you've seen on your forays in the field, this book is for you. Berry picking is a relaxing, worthwhile pastime and this guide will point you in the right direction at the right season to ensure a bucketful of juicy nuggets.
Not sure when to look for your favorite wild berry? Consult the "Ripening Calendar for Edible Fruit" in the front of the book. It lists all edible fruits with a May to October timeline of when the flower and ripen, or in some cases, persist through the winter. Each fruit has a two-page listing, organized by fruit color, with a full-page photo for each entry. Some include inset photos of similar species or other plant parts for better identification, A plant description opposite each photo includes habitat, range, how the plant grows, leaf and fruit description, ripening season, comparisons with other fruits and notes of particular interest.
The most useful indicator in each entry is the thumb tab at the top of the page that describes the fruit as delicious, edible, not edible or toxic. Once you've gathered your harvest, find out how to prepare it in the companion cookbook.