Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs by Eric Brown, Wendy Brown
Well-written, and interesting, this book tells about one family's quest to learn more about foraging and eating wild foods. After many years of research and growing their own foods at home, they spent one year incorporating foraged foods into at least one meal a week. The book is well-researched and explains that if one is going to eat foraged foods, you should check at least three sources to make sure that what you are eating is what you think it is and that it is not poisonous, that you should only take one third of what is edible from an area at any given time, and that it can be good to find a teacher or mentor to show you how to find edible plants in the wild. While the only "foraging" I have done is eating wild blackberries that we found growing when I was a child, I do appreciate the wisdom in this book. Compared to the concept of the doomsday preppers who stockpile massive amounts of canned goods, it seems more useful to know how to identify and eat foods that one can find commonly in the wild and in your suburban neighborhood. I don't think I will be going out foraging any time soon, considering the fact that last week I saw and smelled paint pouring out of a drain into the creek near our house, which would be the closest area for any wild foraging. I did call the city and they sent someone out and when I went back, there was no longer anything coming out of that drain. We are near the start of that creek, and it eventually dumps into a local lake where there is recreation and fishing. I am sure that the paint I saw being dumped from a construction site into the creek is not the only icky stuff that is in the creeks and in our local environment. I did learn that the weed that we cut down, but keeps coming back that we found covered with pretty black and yellow caterpillars one day is most likely milkweed and is edible and the caterpillars will be monarch butterflies, so we will stop chopping it down and leave it for the caterpillars. I think this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.