Nature’s Garden & The Foragers Harvest by Samuel Thayer
Kevin Kelly recently sent me an email about these books, reviewed on his Cool Tools (here), and I just got them, and they are the best I’ve seen. From Kevin:
“…They are AMAZING. This guy knows his stuff. And he is a great teacher. He does not include any plant unless he has gathered and eaten it at least 50 times! So he shows the plant in all of its life cycle from seedling, to mature, to seeding, and in great detail of how to find it, and how to harvest it — not just a few plants but enough for a meal. And the common lookalikes and their stages. And what not to do while harvesting. There’s tons and tons of photos of his process. His chapter on acorns is magestic — born out of years and years of making meal from dozens and dozens of varieties in dozens of different species in dozens of different states. And he is pretty picky about laying out what tastes good based not on one try but dozens and dozens of tries. He has two volumes; because these are based on his own first-hand knowledge, they are biased to the midwest. (If he cites any second hand knowledge beyond his own he humbly gives a full citation of the source.) Nature’s Garden is a bit broader in geography, but really you want both volumes. They are similar with no overlap of plants, but each contains his general orientation, so can stand alone.
He is to wild food plants what David Auroa is to mushrooms. I believe he knows more than Euell Gibbons did. I’ve spent evenings the past week reading it till late at night. He has completely re-invigorated my interest in wild greens.”