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Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
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Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

4.5  ·  Rating Details ·  301 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Paperback, 512 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Foragers Harvest Press (first published 2010)
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Sep 14, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
After reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I found myself looking at the ground next to the sidewalk when taking my son for walks. I wondered what wild lettuce looked like, was that mushroom growing in my yard edible (the squirrels seemed to think so), and could I eat the red berries on the tree in front of my house? One morning, I noticed a weed on my lawn that I found attractive and thought might make nice ground cover. After several frustrating failed Internet searches, I finally identified my pla ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
I learned about a lot of different plants in my area which I can eat and some which I already knew about. More importantly what this book conveys is that fears of dangerous plants and foraging from the wild are completely overblown. This book calmed my fears and gave me more of license to try things in the woods that may be edible.
Samuel Thayer has been foraging for food since childhood, and since then has taught foraging classes and workshops, written several books on the topic, and continues to share his knowledge with others around the country. Nature’s Garden is a comprehensive look at some edible plants that are commonly found throughout North America. Thayer includes pictures as well as detailed descriptions of the plants, how and when to collect them (and what parts), and how they can be used/prepared. Readers who ...more
May 17, 2017 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: foraging
This is an above average foraging book. It has a wide selection, but it is weighed down by common plants (e.g. strawberries, plums). There is some really good poisonous lookalike information, but not enough identification information for the desired plants.
Feb 19, 2017 Heather rated it really liked it
Very informative, well laid out.
Dec 27, 2012 Hayley rated it it was amazing
My main concern about picking up this book was that it might have been written by an annoying, sanctimonious, potentially full-of-crap gaia hypothesis-spouting person and I was going to have to be annoyed by it. On the contrary, I found it practical, not fanatical, with elements of botany, ethnography, biochemistry, nutrition, and not a little common sense. This book made me extremely curious and simultaneously really hungry... Also really sad that I don't live in a region that has hackberries o ...more
Aug 20, 2010 Claire rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves growing or cooking food. This book is not a comprehensive guide to all edible wild food. Instead, it focuses specifically on food the author has identified as being delicious. Thayer is brutally honest about his entries, too. He tells you which parts are tasty and which aren't worth the trouble. I've found three edible wild food plants on the farm in the past week, alone. The discoveries have been revelatory. Trees I've passed by for almost sevent ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it
When it comes to adding this to my book list as a "book I read," I should note that this is a guide to wild and edible plants. So I've consulted it really heavily, and also read much of the very interesting and nicely written, personality-filled text between individual plant listings.

Of 6-7 plant guides I've consulted this summer, this is definitely my favorite. I like it because the photos are good and the descriptions are detailed, but also because it tells a story. Through it we learn about
Linda Robinson
Feb 24, 2011 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing
Two same-subject books arrived one day. The books are so alike that I just goofed on which one I read and which I took back to the library. Thayer's book is the one I'll buy and keep. His introduction has a "Claimer" rather than a "Disclaimer" which publishers put in to abrogate responsibility for anyone croaking as a result of eating the wrong thing. Thayer scoffs openly at a publisher that wrote "Neither the authors nor the publishers in any way endorse consumption or other uses of wild plants ...more
Aug 09, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
It's been really interesting so far. I think this a book I'll need to invest in. It's something that I need to have on hand as the year goes on so I can find these plants and get to know them. A read through of the book isn't going to really do it, I think. I might end up poisoning myself! It makes me excited to try to find them though!
David Ward
Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer (Forager’s Harvest Press 2010) (810.0). Rather than a comprehensive guide to edible wild plants, the author has chosen to focus on the wild foraged foods which he finds to be particularly delicious. Euel Gibbons would have adored this book. My rating: 7/10, finished 9/1/2010.
Eric Allan
Jul 29, 2010 Eric Allan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book for plant identification that I've found so far. It has excellent color photos of plants during the different seasons as well as very detailed instructions. For example, the guy has 50 pages on all of the different acorns and what you can do with them.
Dec 03, 2013 J.T. rated it it was amazing
Colorful, informative guide to wild plants with a touch of humor here and there. Though many of the plants mentioned can't be found in my region, certain sections, like the acorns, black walnuts, and wild carrots, really came in handy.
Veronica Pare
Jul 18, 2012 Veronica Pare rated it liked it
It's interesting, I'm a little intimidated by the adamant insistence that it's more of an abstract guide and you really need personal handon training to use it. I'm also a little disappointed it ignores mushrooms entirely.
Jul 25, 2011 Susannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unfinished
An excellent book. More of a reference work than something to read right through.
Nov 25, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ag-food
I did not read this dense reference book (with personality!) all the way through, but the photos are gorgeous, and the figures are very clear.
Aug 26, 2011 Jojo rated it it was amazing
this book is awesome
samuel thayer is awesome and has an awesome name too
Nov 26, 2014 brook rated it really liked it
As informative as the Forager's Harvest, more in-depth, and with more for those who do not live in the upper midwest or mid-atlantic (where many of the species from Forager's Harvest reside).
Jan 16, 2016 Phil rated it really liked it
Very well done book on foraging with clear pictures so that you don't make any mistakes about what you are eating. Liked it very much.
Jan 24, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second of Thayer's edibles books. I really like his format because he devotes a considerable amount of space to the species he chooses.
Sheri Bauer
Oct 05, 2012 Sheri Bauer rated it it was amazing
Added this and Thayer's "The Forager's Harvest" to my personal bookshelf. These two are the most useable books on the topic that I have found.
Tiffany Davidson
Jul 26, 2011 Tiffany Davidson rated it it was amazing
Easily the best foraging book I've ever encountered.
Amanda rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2015
Ryan Dewing
Ryan Dewing rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2015
Therese rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2014
Venus James
Venus James rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2014
Kate rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2016
Ruth rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2015
Heather Lawler
Heather Lawler rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2015
Audra rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2012
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