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Monday, May 12, 2014

{Book Review} Florida's Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking by Peggy Sias Lantz

Florida's Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking
by Peggy Sias Lantz
Publisher: Seaside Publishing
Released: May 2nd 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction- Wild Edibles, nature
How I got it: NetGalley

Living off the land is a romantic idea, but in practice it can be confusing. So instead we buy nuts someone else picked for us, berries packaged hundreds of miles away, and greens that may or may not contain contaminants.

Fully illustrated with photos and drawings to help with identification, Florida’s Edible Wild Plants demystifies the process of foraging to help you discover the wonder of finding and eating wild plants that may grow right in your own backyard. Peggy Lantz shares her fifty years’ experience gathering and preparing wild edibles and bringing them to her family’s table. Practical knowledge is interspersed with recipes, and Lantz shares her own anecdotes about searching for and finding new plants, as well as serving “weeds” to her curious friends.

From acorns to wild sorrel, from duck potato soup to elderberry champagne, this easy-to-use guide provides general information about the most common wild edibles in Florida that are not only good for you but also delicious. And the tips for preparing them are indispensable. Lantz offers specific advice for locating and harvesting the different edible parts of each plant, whether it’s gathering walnuts in the Panhandle or making jelly from coco plums in the Keys.

Review: I requested this because I enjoy learning about different plants. Also I live on the east coast so I figured some of the plants could be up here too and recipes could be useful. I have no intention of ever going to Florida, sorry to hot, wet and over populated for my tastes.
That said, I did find this book to be a wealth of information. Expanding on something I already knew and offering some really great recipes. I'm thinking of trying the Blackberry Cobbler once my blackberry bush produces some berries, of course that's only if the kids and birds don't eat them all. Since it's spring I'm going to give the Dandelion Ice Tea a try and I really liked the wine recipes which was something I haven't seen in other books.
I liked that what not to eat had it's own section so you wouldn't get them confused with edible things. I also liked that Ms Lantz offers some warnings about things like run off from farms that use fertilizer and pesticides. It's something folks should be aware of when harvesting wild plants, but I don't think we do.
The only thing I didn't like about the book was the illustrations, it wasn't that they were bad it's just they were drawing and in black & white. I think when you have a book like this there should be actual pictures of the plants. Granted this did have pictures but not with the plants description. The descriptions were well done and detailed, but for many people pictures are best. Other than that I really liked and enjoyed this book.

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