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Stalking the Wild Aspa...
Euell Gibbons
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Stalking the Wild Asparagus: With Remembrance of the Author by John McPhee

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  580 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Euell Gibbons was one of the few people in this country to devote a considerable part of his life to the adventure of "living off the land". His greatest pleasure was seeking out wild plants, which he made into delicious dishes. The plants he gathers and prepares in Stalking the Wild Asparagus are widely available everywhere in North America. There are recipes for deliciou ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Alan C Hood & Company (first published January 1st 1962)
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Jul 01, 2008 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in foraging or survivalism
What a great book! This guide to foraging is more of a folksy cookbook than a field guide, but well worth a read. Just browsing through it, I found out that acorns are edible, there are no poisonous wild onions, you can make great apple dishes, butter & jams with crab apples, and that I could make maple syrup from the trees in my yard, even though they are not sugar maples. The author has a grandfatherly style I really enjoy.

The only thing that would make it better are more tips for recogni
Cliff Davis
Loved this book. Read it all the time. The grand-daddy of foraging in America!
Ava Chin
This is the forager's bible, and a true classic. Gibbons, who was embraced by the back-to-the-land movement, became famous and wrote a slew of other "Stalking" books, but this is the one that launched his career.

In plainspoken yet swaggering prose, Gibbons eloquently describes the benefits of eating wild foods, including dandelions, amaranth, and mulberries. Each chapter focuses on a different edible plant (mainly flora, although he's got a brief chapter on mushrooms) with a simple line drawing
More of a cookbook than guide. Sort of sweetly old fashioned with its emphasis on pies and jellies. The sense of humor and writing style are nice.
Nicole Heggelund
I now recognize the edible, wild plants that I have been seeing everyday on my walk! Anyone want to come over for some milkweed?
This book is an easy to read in-depth source of knowledge of wild foods. Not only does it include helpful tips of where to find these wild food items, but also how to prepare them. It is often quirky and folksy with an odd mix of cooking terms, reminiscences of his childhood, and botanical terms. Anyone who can use a term like esculent while discussing raccoon meat is certainly not your average hillbilly. Chapters read in a stand-alone style with each ending with an encouragement to "try it!". I ...more
This book is a series of delightful short essays by this wonderful old country man sharing his favorite wild foods of North America. Each 2-20 page chapter is devoted to a different plant and meanders its way through its identification, common locations, how to harvest it, and several recipes... all nestled alongside quirky, chitchatty stories about that one time Gibbons first tried the food as a little boy or some expounding on the great joy of spending an afternoon berry-picking and how much b ...more
"I have lived at my present address for only a few months and I am not as familiar with the area as I would like to be. But, just for fun and to escape from the typewriter for a while, I interrupted this writing to take my notebook and go for an hour's walk. Without going more than a half mile from the house, I saw, identified and recorded more than sixty species of plants good for human food and several of these had more than one edible part. A look at this list tells me that I could gather edi ...more
A great overview of wild foods. Beautifully illustrated (botanical line drawings) by my great aunt, Margaret Forbes Schroeder.
I looked to this for a manual of sorts on how to survive once the food supply is insecure, if things continue the way they are... And it is an excellent start, but I am concerned about the preparation required to achieve some of his recipes... In a starvation situation, I somehow doubt many would have the energy, time, tremendous amounts of water, or other ingredients re
I loved the premise of this book! (for one thing, who knew that acorns were edible--if you prepare them properly?) I found it so interesting that the author could live so long by foraging along (if I recall correctly, his longest foraging "trip" was 4 years), plus I had no idea that it's actually better to forage in an urban setting than in the wilderness--I think at one point he commented that he'd found 42 edible species in a vacant lot in Chicago.

What I would have liked, however, was more in
Hannahhippo vvverst
there's an old copy of this old forager's classic here at black bear ranch and i am currently gulping it up. there are simply drawn plates of many of these common edible finds, which are easy for me to draw and trace--something that i have to come to regard as essential if i want to retain the wee details. besides that these essays interspersed with keen plant descriptions and many preparation techniques read like a guilty-pleasure there are so witty--somehow both dated and perfectly poignant to ...more
A very interesting book containing knowledge that has been forgotten by most in the modern day (including myself). While some of the chapters were more interesting than others, the overall message of this book is really quite good. While I doubt that I will ever use most of the information in this book, it is still fascinating to learn about the abundance of food around us. This book makes you think differently about those weeds growing in your yard or on the side of the road. What we find in na ...more
I had a summer job as a janitor at my old elementary school and as we'd be out doing groundswork, the head janitor would point out various weeds and trees and whatnot and say "You can eat that, you know!" and he'd show me which parts were edible.

He brought in a couple books by Euell Gibbons and I'd read them during breaks. I've eaten all kinds of stuff, I got the runs a few times, but for the most part I've been unscathed. Since reading his books, I see the outdoors with new eyes.
I can barely remember his PBS programs, but mainly remember him from Grape Nuts TV commercials and as the butt of many Johnny Carson jokes. I'm halfway through this book and am itching to go foraging. His enthusiasm is contagious.

I just looked up his cause of death: Marfan Syndrome. Interesting. Just learned last night that many in King Tut's royal line had the same affliction. I was hoping he didn't die from eating some poisonous plant.
Jodi G.
A classic, and I read it years ago, but in the re-reading I remembered why this book didn't sit well with me. Written in 1962 as a foraging guide, he recommends hunting and eating frogs and turtles as a delicacy. Since their numbers have declined drastically, nobody should be eating frogs and turtles. But the chapters on purslane and dandelion were useful - those grow in abundance in my garden!
Love this quirky little book! Interesting information, storytelling and good, old-fashioned country sense. One I turn to when I don't feel like reading anything else.

I love going around with people and telling them what weeds are and which ones they can eat. They always think I'm wicked smart. :) I just follow Gibbons lead and eat Grape-Nuts
Euell Gibbons is fascinating to read, and he's sort of hilarious. My adoration is enhanced by my mother's personal anecdote: Gibbons taught a class for a semester at Rutgers while she was a student. Apparently, Gibbons gave lots of winking references to dandelion wine. By the end of the semester, he needed to recuperate from his own studies of dandelions. I think that is adorable.
John Evans
This book had a big impact on my life. It was one of the influences that led me to "drop out" in the sixties. The book is a guide to finding and eating wild food, primarily plants although he does covers some small game. It will be of interest primarily to readers living east of Kansas as most of the plants he discusses are only found in quantity in the midwestern and eastern states.
It's funny how you feel you get to know a celebrity or actor by the roles he plays or the talks he gives . Reading Gibbons felt like finding a quirky old friend between the pages of a quirky old book. I hope that should the need arise I am close to as successful in living off the land as my old friend Euell. I really wish I'd saved this copy of this book. Oh well.
found this book at the local free bookstore...
wow. nothing like a book that tells you how to make wild grape jelly AND skin a ground hog. The book is not well written. It is definitely interesting...but lacks pictures/drawings of the plants (I fear I will end up cooking some poisonous thing.)I do plan on collecting acorns this fall and making flour and bread....hee hee.
Robert Flach
This is not merely a field guide to edible plants. This is an amazing collection of stories related to wild plants. While not as good as Gibbons later books (he got more comfortable as a writer and teller of tales later I think), this is the book that made Euell Gibbons a star and it, along with My Side of the Mountain sparked my own love affair with nature.
D.E. Chandler
Euell Gibbons' Stalking the Wild Asparagus has been a constant companion of mine since my youth. My Mother introduced me to some wild foods and this book, and we have been inseparable ever since. Since the publication of this book there have been innumerable field guides and similar books, but this remains among the best, and is certainly the most revered by me.
A great book with really interesting and simple preparations of the many wild foods the author identifies.

It is not a field guide though, with drawings as opposed to photos of plants.

Duel Gibbons is undeniably likeable though, and this book will certainly sit on my shelf (probably collecting dust) until I have the inclination to go foraging.
Wildly entertaining, even just to read through (though why you'd skip on the foraging is beyond me). Gibbons was apparently a teetotaler, so whenever he mentions alcohol, he credits any knowledge to his "drinking uncle." Always in quotation marks. Acorn butter, cattail pancakes and dandelion wine next time you come over.
I read this a long, long time ago and it's about foraging for edible foods. I have recently done a little foraging myself (I made a sauce out of wild grape from my back yard) and I want to do more. I'll have to pick it up again for inspiration and reference.

*I'll add more when I actually get around to rereading it.
My first read of a work on wild foraging immediately inspired life-long interest in herbalism and natural health
Euell Gibbons was one of the finest examples of the "living off the land" genre of books. His descriptions of edible plants, their habitat, any lookalikes that may be poisonous, and a generous dollop of humor makes his book a treat for the beginner or the experienced forager of wild edibles.
A very interesting read about the types of vegetation available for consumption but the descriptions of his preparations were at times lacking and there was no identification chart. if you know the plants on sight, wonderful, but someone new to gathering might search for a different book.
David Ward
Stalking the Wild Asparagus: Field Guide Edition by Euell Gibbons (David McKay Company 1962)(581.63) is Gibbons' treatise on how to identify and collect edible wild plants. As the great man said, "Many parts are edible." My rating: 7/10, finished 2010.
A fascinating read. It transformed both my yard and walk to work into a quest for edible plants. While I missed much of the early Spring growth, I look forward to harvesting and tasting the many edibles that Mr. Gibbons commends in their Summer and Fall states.
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