Thursday, March 20, 2014

{Book Review} Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries by Leda Meredith

Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries
by Leda Meredith
Publisher: Timber Press (OR)
Release: April 8th 2014
Genre: Non- Fiction- Adult: Foraging, Nature, Wild- Edibles
How I got it: Received an ARC from NetGalley

The Northeast offers a veritable feast for foragers. The woods, meadows, seashore, and even city neighborhoods are home to an abundance of delicious wild edible plants. A passionate wild foods expert, Leda Meredith emphasizes local varieties and traditions, showing you what to look for, when and where to look, and how to gather in a responsible way.Northeast Foraging is a hardworking guide packed with detailed information and clear photography for the safe identification of more than 120 wild plants. It also features a seasonal guide for foraging year-round and collecting tips for sustainable harvesting. It is applicable to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Ontario, and Quebec.

Review: As an avid outdoors person ( at least in the summer) I love knowing what plants are what. There's a certain satisfaction in knowing if you get stuck in the woods you have the knowledge to survive on your surroundings.  I was delighted when I was approved for Northeast Foraging because it's about plants where I live and hike.
The book breaks down what plants are available in what season and when in that season they are at their peak. It says what kind of area they grow in, sunlight and soil wise. The only thing I would have liked to see in this section was perhaps page numbers next to the plants for easier reference. I loved the full color pictures of each plant. I've read other books that only give you a description, leaving you wonder if a plant is what you think or not, having a picture to compare the plant to is great. I liked that it gave you how to identify as well as the picture going into detail the leaves, flower, stalks and even roots if necessary. There are also sections on how to gather the edible parts of the plant and where as well as when to gather the plants. The author even tells how to preserve the plants and how to take future harvest into consideration. 
Something that I found extremely interesting is the author as makes it a point to tell you which plants are native to the Northeast and which are invasive species. I was amazed to discover some plants I've seen here all my life were actually considered invasive, such as Chicory. I was also happy to discover some plants I thought were unsafe to eat weren't, such as day lilies (which I have in my garden.)
Of course probably the most important section of the book was the warnings for the plants. This section told you what to watch out for, if a plant looked like another type that was poisonous or if it could cause a rash, etc.
I enjoyed reading this book immensely and can't wait to get out so I can apply what I learned. Once this book is released I will be picking up a print copy for my backpack.

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