foolproof foraging books for beginners?

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Sorry to say that Selfsufficientish or anyone who posts on here is liable to make a mistake when it comes to identification so we can't be liable for getting it wrong.
crazymaisey
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foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #240986 crazymaisey
Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:47 pm

I know there are many foraging books out there but I also know that missidentification can happen. Is there a book out there that shows a "good" foraging plant along side of pics of the "wrong or dangerous" plant which can look similar? Just so you know for certain that you haven't picked the wrong one?

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Jeremy Hunter
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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #241629 Jeremy Hunter
Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:30 pm

Although I don't know, I would be very interested in this too! Also if there such a book exists including mushrooms, as poisonous counterparts can be too similar to risk.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #241647 clanpowell
Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:46 pm

River cottage Hedgerow book is good. Has a section on poisonous plants and the entries on the edible plants often warn you about any potential dangerous similarities. If you are a HFW hater (although I wouldn't understand why!) don't worry it's written by his mate and he only contributes an intro. The recipe section at the end is interesting as well. But, be warned his dandelion jelly recipe does't set and is more like a thick syrup.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251104 Team Building Man
Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:21 pm

I'll give a heads up for the River Cottage Handbooks as well. They are just the right size to fit in your bag or pocket. Ive got the Mushroom one, the Hedgerow one amnd the Seashore one. I think HFW is getting a bit commercial but these books really are useful- I like the way you get a few recipe suggestions to use with your foraged produce as well!

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251113 Ellendra
Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:13 pm

I don't know about one for the UK, but for North America, the book "Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants" by Steve Brill, does a pretty good job of showing edibles and their lookalikes, and pointing out the differences between them.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251116 Somnophore
Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:24 pm

If you can understand his accent (German) 'Waldhandwerk' on YouTube has some very informative videos on foraging I'd recommend.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251133 old tree man
Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:31 am

I also agree river cottage books are very good but the one i found easy to follow and carry around is Richard mabey food for free, when i was a yong lad working in the woods it never left my pocket :flower: :flower:
Respect to all, be kind to all and you shall reap what you sow.
old tree man,
aka..... Russ

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251139 Somnophore
Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:39 am

Food for free is my reference book of choice, got the tiny version which will fit in any pocket. Lots in there too, very useful on any foraging trips.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251183 becks77
Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:00 pm

Me too I have a little pocket size version of fFood For Free....very useful, set out in months so you can know what to look out for when.
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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #251191 Zech
Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:58 pm

I can't recommend anything, but I've heard advice - particularly for mushrooms - never to rely on just one book, but use at least three. I tend to use online resources which makes it easy to look at several. Perhaps one little book to carry with you then check a few websites when you get home?
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Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #254844 the.fee.fairy
Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:27 am

there's Mushrooms by (i think) rRoger Phillips

It's a photography book on different mushrooms, but he gives tips as to what is edible and what is definitely not.

It's a bit big to carry around, but good for a reference when you get home.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #256250 Hedgerow hunter
Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:56 am

I like the concept of similar looking plants pictured alongside the plant in question. I'm not technically plugging when i state that its not something that i have put in my soon to be published book on medicinal plants-'Medicinal Plants in Town and Country' - A foragers guide to finding and using wild plants as foods and medicines.
I tend to ride with Miles Irving quite far on the case of Poisonous plants. Whether this is because we have both poisoned ouselves I dont know!

The main reason is that aside from the Hemlock/water hemlock dropwort/ general umbellifer confusion possibilities, I agree there are few edible plants that can conceivably be misidentified with something seriously toxic should the appropriate books/resources be available to help. Saying this i needed to double, then triple take at the winter aconite growing through patches of lesser celadine just the other day near oxford!

Our very poisonous plants such as belladonna, datura and henbane are very distinctive. Although Miles mentions in his great book 'Forager', that he does not pick to sell a certain maple-leaved goosefoot due to the similar looking leaf of Henbane.

The climber white bryony could be confused with Hops due to the leaf shape, but other features such as the spring like-curcurbit-tendrils, and small , white, trumpet-like flowers reveal otherwise.

Knowing a few key words for plant families, narrows the 'risks' down. In my forthcoming book I promote the ideaI I first saw being advocated by thomas j repel of using the patterns revealed in plant identification. Knowing the plant family can help us ascertain if the plant is edible or medicinal and whether it is likely to be toxic. For instance we know that the rose, mint, dock and mustard family are edible families. We know daisy's give some people allergic reactions, although many daisy familiy members are edible...think dhalia!

Plant species in families often have similar chemistry . Think of the aromatic Labiatea family members such as thyme, rosemary, mint, hyssop, lavender.
Im not allowed to link to thomas j epel sites but they are worth a visit. His 'botany in a day book' is one I want.

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #256440 kit-e-kate
Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:20 pm

Hi! The Collins Gem book on mushrooms is good for general identification, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Gem-Mus ... 0007183070 but this sounds exactly like what you're after: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Identify-Mu ... 0007259611 it really is terriffic, with sections divided up into edibles and poisonous, with potential lookalikes and confusing species highlighted in the description of edibles.

:icon_smile:

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Re: foolproof foraging books for beginners?

Post: #259558 Ash Blue
Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:38 pm

Richard Mabey just released a 40th anniversary addition of Food for Free. You can find it on amazon :)


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