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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review -The Foragers Harvest by Samuel Thayer

I had to do a quick review/plug of this book...

The Forager's Harvest by Samuel Thayer
I have been learning and using wild edibles for the past 10 plus years and have slowly added different field manuals and books to my collection. When starting to use wild edibles most people find themselves with a field guide of the Peterson type which is great for identification most of the time, and this type of book also has some description on uses of plants. Most of the "field guide" type books I have looked at have very similar information and the suggestions on actual use is kinda lite. Never the less the field guides are where most people start learning.

The Forager's Harvest is a different type of book and I am kicking myself for not buying one years ago. This dude is the real deal. Sam writes from a perspective of a forager who actually eats what he collects, and not only eats but cans, drys, and processes edibles for year round use to make up a good portion of his diet! One example is he says he collects 500 pounds of wild rice a year from a canoe!

I have found much useful information in this book that I have not found in any other wild food book such as info on digging sticks, berry hooks, and blickeys. Sam also busts myths about wild foods that are propagated in most other wild food books. One example is of how bitter common milkweed is, it is recommended in most books to boil it in 2-3 changes of water or not to even eat it at all. This is bogus as the common milkweed is not bitter and I have been eating several parts of it for many years by boiling it once!

I may stock this book in the future and his new book due out this fall which I cant wait to get my hands on....check out his site http://www.foragersharvest.com/


Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to purchase this book for some time now. A good friend of mine thats a book seller introduced me too it a couple of years ago. He's met the author on a few occasions and been on some wild edible hikes with him. He says he's an amazing guy, and a riot to be around.

c said...

Actually looks like a pretty great guide! I've been combining every guide I've come across and putting together a really big foraging guide, and this seems like a great addition to it!