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Wild Plants I Have Known . . . and Eaten by Russ Cohen

Wild Plants I Have Known . . . and Eaten by Russ Cohen

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Russ Cohen’s foraging book, Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, is a great complement to his walks and talks, as well as an engaging and accessible introduction for anyone new to the subject. The book describes over forty species of edible wild plants commonly found in most of the Northeast. Artistic yet accurate illustrations by Stephanie Letendre augment the plant descriptions.

Russ's vivid descriptions, depth of knowledge, and obvious enthusiasm for the subject make the book both fun and informative. The beginning sections include helpful general information on foraging, including safety concerns and etiquette, related conservation issues, and foraging with children. It then dives into detailed descriptions of fourteen of Russ’s favorite wild edible plants, including where and when to find each species, how to identify them, related natural and human history, health and nutritional benefits, recipes, and other interesting tidbits. The final section features brief summaries of 27 more edible species found throughout the region.

Two useful appendices are a highlight of the book – the first, “When to Pick Wild Edible Plants of New England,” details when to look for edible shoots, ripe fruits, and other wild plant foods during the year, helping readers time their foraging efforts appropriately. The “Edible Wild Plants Checklist and Rarity Ranking” appendix can serve as a foraging “life list” as well as a species-by-species guide for how to forage in an ecologically-responsible manner.

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