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I managed to get a marked down copy of this excellent book on food foraging, reduced from £16.99 to £4.99 in The Works. Bargain!!
While being extremely informative, including lots of pictures, advice and recipes, Alys Fowler also manages to write in a very down to earth, girl next door, and quite often humorous style. The letter to her husband at the beginning of the book is a good example of this humour. I have typed it out so everyone can see what I mean.
I have something to admit.
I've been lying to you.
Every time I've served you up spinach, be it in soup, pies, or risotto, I've actually been feeding you wild things. You've had stinging nettles, dead nettles, purslanes and oraches; I've fed you fat hen, good King Henry and goosegrass. You've eaten dandelions and thistle. They've come from the side of he train tracks, along the river, in the parks, and sometimes my garden.
You've gone back for seconds and had it the following day, so I guess you've liked some of it. Actually I think, by now, you must know that spinach is a pretty loose term in our kitchen. I hope you don't mind, but I don't inten to sart growing it anytime soon.
Lots of love,
The contents include chapters on the safety of foraging and how to work out what to eat, the law on foraging, a great plant directory with illustrations and photographs which explains botanical descriptions, and wild food case studies including Todmorden a village in the UK where food is being grown freely in public. She also encourages the spitting out of seeds in order to get more wild plants growing. This is much more than a book on foraging though. It is an invitation to get to know your local landscape.
I have always wanted to know more about wild foods and am so pleased I managed to get this book, and so cheaply too. I found the amount of information, description, and pictures, as well as the recipes extremely useful and helpful as they are also a guide to how these wild foods can be used.
The recipes include:
Rose Petal Jam
Spicy Siberian Crab Apple Jelly
Castagnaccio (Italian recipe using chestnuts)
Nettle Potato Cake
Elderflower and Grapefruit Cordial
I am looking forward to getting out there and getting picking, as well as to trying the recipes!
Here is a further review I found on Permaculture UK's site, in case you are wanting a further opinion and some more information, whille at the same time finding out about permaculture!
Also, perhaps if you are interested in such things as foraging, growing food, creating better environments for all lifeforms to live in you may also be interested in finding out about Transition Towns. There may even be one near you. Check Transition Towns out at: