Disclosures: There are Amazon affiliate links from which I may make a commission. The giveaway prizes are provided courtesy of Globe Pequot Press who also provided me a review copy.
Springtime brings with it a new abundance, and not just in the garden. From stinging nettles to ramps to Japanese knotweed, useful and edible wild plants may be growing right under your nose -- even if you live in a city.
In "Dandelion Hunter," Rebecca Lerner of the blog First Ways recounts her experiences as an urban forager in Portland, Oregon. Even in the fecund Pacific Northwest, she encountered an unexpected learning curve. In her first attempt to subsist solely on wild foods, she made the mistake of assuming that nature would offer itself up like a buffet of ready-to-harvest treats. It didn't.
Realizing that a diet dependent on wild foods required more foresight than popping out to the local grocery store, she deepened her knowledge of edible plants, building a pantry of foraged foods. Along the way she encountered a charming menagerie of Portlandian characters, fellow foragers, artists, herbalists. With the help of these wise souls, her relationships to the plants evolved. Going beyond basic edibles, Lerner explored various plants' usefulness as medicine and tools.
Through Lerner's eyes Portland unfolds like a pop-up book of useful plants. What to the lay person's eye might look like weeds emerging from a crack in the pavement or the impenetrable thicket of an overgrown yard becomes a virtual Garden of Eden. The plants leap out to her, speak to her. Indeed, by the end, they become nearly human. After reading this book, you may think of your next trip to the park as more of a family reunion.
It's an engaging read, and I want you to enjoy it. Lucky for you, I have not just one but two copies to get into your eager little hands. Here's what you do:
Simply scroll down and leave a comment, telling of a foraging experience. One lucky commenter will win a copy.
But wait, there's more: Click here to tweet about this post, or pin this post on Pinterest (make sure the book cover image gets pinned so we can find it). All comments, tweets and pins must be logged by midnight PDT, May 3.