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Essential Books On Wild Food
Native American Ethnobotany
This is my most cherished wild food book. Every plant used by the Cherokee for food and medicine - that we know of - is profiled in this book. This is an invaluable resource.
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places
One of my most well used books on wild food. It catalogs the most commonly found wild edibles and has extensive info on the uses and identification of each. Line drawings help make plant identification easy. It also contains info on dangerous look-alikes.
The Wild Vegan Cookbook: A Forager's Culinary Guide (in the Field or in the Supermarket) to Preparing and Savoring Wild (and Not So Wild) Natural Foods
Although I'm not vegan, I've found this to be a great resource that offers a baseline for wild food recipes. A lot of the recipes incorporate tofu and other vegetarian proteins, which are great if you're vegetarian or vegan, but it's easy to replace tofu and other ingredients with meats and cheeses if you're not.
Wildflowers Of Tennessee, The Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
Another one of my favorite plant books. You'll find info on the medicinal and edible uses of plants that you won't find anywhere else. This book is an extensive catalog of plants that grow throughout North America... don't let the title fool you.
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guide)
This is an old standby. It contains an extensive listing of wild edible and medicinal plants and has basic info on the uses and identification of each.
Stalking The Wild Asparagus
Another standby. This is the book that spurred the "wild food movement." Even if you're not into wild food, this book merits a look based solely on Gibbons' humor and writing style. It really is a great read.
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
This book provides a clear and simple method of identifying and classifying plants. If you're interested in honing your identification skill, this is a great resource.
The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America: Nature's Green Feast
This is one of the most extensive resources available on wild food. It discusses not only what parts of the plant are edible, but also medicinal and utilitarian uses. It also includes nutritional information, such as vitamin content, of wild edible plants. I really like the fact that it points out rare and endangered species. I feel that, as foragers, we have a responsibility to respect and assist those plants that are at risk.
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
Honestly, my laziness makes this the last book I turn to. My right brain doesn't like the methodical system this book outlines for identification. But it offers a rock-solid positive identification system for flowering plants... if you're willing to follow protocol.
Essential Books On Cooking and Real Food
This is an excellent resource for creative cooking. It has little to do with wild foods (it does list a few of the more common wild edible plants), but it offers a wealth of information on pairing ingredients.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
This book has a tremendous amount of info about the quality and healthfulness of real food. It dispels a lot of the myths we've been told about fat, cancer, heart disease and other afflictions that are supposedly caused by real food. It's clear that the author has done extensive research on the subject.
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
Wild Fermentation has over 100 recipes for fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, wine, mead, beer, vinegar and lots of others. The author also discusses the health benefits of fermented foods. There are some great recipes you won't see anywhere else including a recipe for Gv-No-He-Nv, a fermented sour corn drink made by the Cherokee.