Monday, January 4, 2010

Books: Talking Leaves

The dearth of foraging in January is a great opportunity for us to plan . . . and to read. We've already got some great books on plant ID (Newcomb's Wildflower Guide and Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs are two of my favorites.) I hardly go on any growing-season trip without my Newcomb's which I affectionately call "The Duke" because of its homophony to Duke Nuke'em from my childhood days watching the G. I. Joe cartoon. My favorite overall edible plants guide is The Forager's Harvest by Samuel Thayer. Reading it the first time was like a revelation. His chapter on milkweed is the best!! I wish he lived closer so that I could take courses with him.
We got a couple of gift certificates this Christmas to a big chain bookstore, so we went onto their website and foraged for promising titles that might enhance our project. We're looking for cookbooks in particular, because, really, what does one do with a burdock root once you've spent your afternoon digging it up? Then I visited Wild Food Adventure's website. They have awesome in-depth reviews of wild food books. Cheapskates that we are, we figure that we'll inter-library loan a bunch this winter so that we really get the right books by spring.

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