Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat” as Want to Read:
Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  65 reviews
There’s food growing everywhere! You’ll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Full-color photographs make identification easy, while tips on common plant locations, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Storey Publishing, LLC
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Backyard Foraging, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Backyard Foraging

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  369 ratings  ·  65 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat
da AL
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The author does a great job of showing as well as describing. Who knew that so many goodies are right beneath our feet?
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The list title, 'Books I Want On Hand When The Zombie Apocalypse Hits', says it all. I had fun reading it.
Jennifer Heise
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a new take on foraging: not just plants that grow wild, but landscaping plants that have unexpected edibility. And it is done very well, with good background material, clear photographs, clear directions, and a key for what and when to harvest. The author claims that she doesn't include anything that doesn't appeal to her as quite tasty. A forager could easily use this as her first foraging guide.

The only quibble I have with this book is that the table of contents does not list the edibl
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Did you know you can eat hosta, spice bush, lilac, and dahlia? This book gives factual information about how to harvest, when to harvest, and how to prepare. Even if you never plan to eat any of these plants, it is worthwhile to skim the book -- it is truly amazing!
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As i began reading this book, I was reminded of two things. First, of a story a long-ago friend once told me. The second thing was the essay, "My School," by Tagore.

I had this friend who told me a story about his grandmother. Like most Indian grandmothers who live in India but visit their children who have immigrated to the U.S., his would spend several months at his home in Pennsylvania every year. Both his parents worked, so his grandmother kept herself occupied during the day with various hob
I am going to tell my mom to plant Bishop's Weed in the mow strips ;)

This is a mighty fine book. It's approachable and encouraging. For each edible, she includes photos, where to look for it, how to identify it (including clearly distinguishing it from inedible look-alikes), when to harvest it, which part(s) to eat, and how to prepare it to yummiest effect. It's just gorgeously designed. My favorite design element, I think, is the simple graphic above the plant name indicating the season(s) in w
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Super interesting topic and I liked the author's sassy voice. Also cool that it had recipes and other references. But not really a book for a beginner forager I didn't think - felt like the author assumed you already knew quite a bit of safety basics. For example, she casually mentions in the into by way of a story about her nephew that berries with a cap that has five leaves means it's edible. A useful tip but I didn't find it anywhere in the berries section (unless I missed it), just a small m ...more
Mary Codd
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wild-plants
I found this book to be very helpful. The photographs are good and the information is thorough and well presented. This book is ideal for someone new to foraging like myself. There’s no need to put on your hiking boots because the edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants featured in the book are typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You can just wander out into your backyard and find gourmet produce!
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful pictures and the information is presented in a fun way. While I thought I knew a fair amount about foraging in the woods, I never knew that hostas and dahlia tubers were edible. (Not that I want to eat my dahlia tubers-- I prefer looking at the flowers). And what I always called snow-on-the-mountain (I believe the author called it bishop's weed)is also edible. I must have a year's supply of that! Would make a great reference book.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it liked it
An easy-does-it introduction to foraging. Far less hippy than I'd hoped (or feared). This is a decent place toe-in-the-water kind of start.

However, BF provides far less information on positive identification than I would need to take the book into my backyard. Also, it's more temperate than my northern prairie locale, so only a few of the forageables apply in my case.

Still, a nice, beautifully photographed intro.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly solid book. A guide to foraging for beginners, it focuses on plants you're likely to have in your own yard - whether by choice or accident. It's pretty detailed, with a good amount of information on when and how, and taste; it also has a lovely collection of recipes at the end. It certainly has me stalking my own backyard.
Kristina Seleshanko
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from my local library, but will definitely be buying my own copy. This full color guide is unique in that it does a great job combining common weeds and common garden plants - all edible. There are even a few recipes.
Elizabeth Gajdosik
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, homestead
Never in my life have I been more enthralled by plants and so inspired to grow them!
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
228 pages of "Oh, wow! I didn't know you could eat that!" I can't wait to try some of these things.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. Very well written and engaging with clear pictures and practical information. It’s very well organized and clear, telling you how to identify the plant, where it grows, common lookalikes, how and what part of the plant to harvest, and some eating suggestions. She stays away from specific recipes but tells you the types of dishes or other items that this could be a substitute for. There were a few recipes at the end, but I’m not sure I’ll use any of them. The general knowledge was ...more
Alexander Shultz
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with great full-color photos!
Grumpy Bunny
Interesting. Sectioned well, and gives excellent information without being too prolific.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read on foraging! Includes 65 very common plants, some ornamental and some you would find in your lawn. Each plant has a two page spread in the book and includes a discription of the plant, how to harvest it and how to eat it. There are not really recipes included but there is a section at the end with preserving advice and some very basic recipes.
Cindy DeLong
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book; especially the part about eating Rose of Sharon. 🌹
Don MacAlpine
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a forester, this book was shown to me by a friend... primarily because of fiddlehead discussions we were having... I confess that I only browsed it and stopped at plants I wanted to read about in the one hour that I had it in hand... Gingko biloba, junipers .... etc. ... now, I am buying one for that friend, so that I can borrow it when I want.

It is an excellent reference book with incredible pictures. Its major shortcoming is a lack of 'species range maps' to help filter out 'unlikelies' in
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Okay, I can harvest what I plant in my own yard because I know exactly what is being grown. That is not true for when I take hikes in the local hills, or take walks around parks and in the neighborhood.

One thing about harvesting unknown plants is while they may look tasty or have a great smell, you just never know what is poisonous and what is safe. Backyard Foraging details many of the different edible plants and other stuff that can be found growing natively or naturally from the ground. An ex
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: natural-world
Beautiful photos, readable text, but I would have liked clearer warnings about problems, like the yew seeds. Perhaps a sidebar to point up any toxins or other dangers would be useful. I noticed nothing was mentioned about the mulberry, which can be hallucinogenic when unripe. The author leaves it up to the reader to decide on the carcinogenic reputation of sassafras. This is one of my favorite flavors and while I have nibbled on the sassafras stem just to sample it, I wouldn't make a habit of dr ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-booklist
This was pretty cool. I find it really interesting that you can actually eat many things that you can find in your backyard. I don't know that I would want to eat some of those plants, but hey, it's still cool. The author is an expert at this and gives some good tips. The pictures were nice so you could actually see what she was talking about. She gave some good advice regarding foraging on the side of busy roads. The exhaust and other chemicals from driving come out and can saturate the plants. ...more
A great reference for edible plants - both those typically grown as ornamentals (hostas? dahlias? who knew?!) as well as invasives (e.g. Japanese knotweed), and other wild plants. :) There are good photos of each plant, details on how to harvest and use the plants, as well as a few recipes. Plants that have parts that are not edible (or have poisonous look-alikes or poisonous parts) have that information included also to aid foragers in their decision as to whether or not they want to try to gat ...more
Roxanne M
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plant-life
Thanks Netgalley for the chance to preview this gem!

My family and I love these type of books that help up to identify various plants when out and about. While this particular book is not region specific, we still found many plants in it that are in our area (coastal California). While not as detailed in the IDing of plants as books suck as Forager's Harvest, what really won me over were the delish looking recipes! I can't wait to make the quince paste, since I've been looking for that recipe fo
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting stuff here. You'd have to own a copy to remember which parts you can eat, how to prepare it properly, when to harvest, etc. But, it's good to know which plants you might find on a neighborhood walk in a suburban area are actually edible. Granted, some don't have great flavor, and many of the items you wouldn't want to eat unless you were trying to get rid of that perennial border out back, but, it's good to know...
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foraging
Nicely laid out, good colour photos, includes some different plants - hostas, bamboo shoots, dahlias, cannas, stonecrop, lotus, etc, and good instructions on how to find and prepare. Good section on recipes and resources. American book so some of the plants are not avble here but how interesting to read about sumac, and mayapple and oregon grape...Foraging blogs mentioned:;;
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
Good book - would be better if I was on the west coast of the US, particularly Oregon. Still - good pictures and descriptions as well as warnings about plants that might be confused with the edible ones. But it was interesting of the parts that were common to my Great Lakes area. Hosta shoots are edible as are Daylillies (tubers, buds and flowers)! The recipe for Dandelion wine looks interesting .... But I'm not willing to try the foraging (and eating) of wild mushrooms yet.
Lia Marcoux
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an accessible read that combines solid information and advice with a conversational tone that's fun to read. Occasionally I wanted more - what zone does this grown in? What do the leaves look like when immature? Etc. - but I thought it was a great place for a beginner like me to start! There's also a handful of recipes for wild-edibles. I don't know if I'll ever gather enough to make any of them viable but this book definitely has me looking around more carefully.
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
An okay book, not too detailed unfortunately but it was set up very nicely. The good thing about this was that it focused on just backyard foraging so these are plants that you would find easily in places around you. (Daylilys, wild roses, juniper..)She also describes how to prepare the things you find to eat which is useful.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Everything Guide to Foraging: Identifying, Harvesting, and Cooking Nature's Wild Fruits and Vegetables
  • The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner Batches, Grow Heaps, Comforter Compost, and Other Amazing Techniques for Saving Time and Money, and Producing the Most Flavorful, Nutritious Vegetables Ever
  • Clap When You Land
  • The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
  • The Library of Lost Things
  • The Diva Serves High Tea (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #10)
  • Back Roads to Belonging: Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People
  • Ghosts of Greenglass House (Greenglass House #2)
  • Toxic Toffee (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4)
  • The Bookshop Girl
  • Cooking with Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor
  • You’ve Got Murder (Turing Hopper, #1)
  • Herb Gardening For Beginners: How to Plant an Herb Garden
  • The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off
  • Sword and Pen (The Great Library, #5)
  • Herbs!: Creative Herb Garden Themes and Projects
  • Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It: The DIY Guide to the Good Life
  • Woman World
See similar books…
A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe College, Ms. Zachos resides in New York.

News & Interviews

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate ou...
81 likes · 32 comments
“But a berry that ripens on the shelf will never taste as good as a berry that ripens in the sun. Fruit picked from your backyard will be harvested at its peak: sweet, soft, and bursting with flavor.” 0 likes
More quotes…