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Author Topic: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden  (Read 4139 times)

Canuck In Denver

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The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« on: January 26, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »

With my usual Barnes & Noble gift card from Christmas, and a few extra dollars, I bought both of these books by Samuel Thayer www.foragersharvest.com

I was looking for some books on foraging and these two had very good reviews, so I figured I'd pick them up. I've only started reading The Forager's Harvest so I can't comment on what is in there yet. What I can say is that the books are very well made, the paper is good and they actually are heavy because of the quality paper used.

I did flip through the books randomly and was impressed. But now I'm reading them a bit here and there so it will probably take me a while to get through them. I do like that he only writes about plants he has actual experience with, I've looked at a few other books and the author's didn't seem to have a good grasp of the subject or provided scant information I'd seen before.

I'll post more when I've finished the first one, or I've read enough to form an opinion beyond an initial one.
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Sustainablehome

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 10:06:46 AM »

I'm looking forward to your assessment.  I get really bored reading most of the books like this, since it's like they cut and paste all their information.

Gungnir

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 10:10:06 AM »

I'm also looking forward to a review of thois book, I'm pretty good at foraging me some deer, but when it comes to wild non meat edibles that's not  wild rice, dandylions, or nettles I need some improvement lol
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Sustainablehome

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 10:55:16 AM »

Let me guess: you found out where the nettles were the hard way?  LOL!  When I told my FIL I wanted to harvest some nettles from his property he thought I was nuts (actually, still does).  I changed my mind after he told me what he'd been dumping on them to kill them.

Gungnir

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 12:50:17 PM »

actually my grandma used to use them to help with her arthritis pain but i have learned the hard way to keep an eye out for them
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 11:56:48 PM »

I'm about half done with Forager's Harvest, so I think I've gone through it enough to give a bit more of a review.

I think the information provided is great. For each plant, nut, etc, he provides his thoughts on it, why he likes it, how he likes to eat it, where it grows, what part of the year to harvest which part, how to store it, etc. There is a lot of information in each chapter, one plant per chapter. He provides scientific name, a good description of the plant, very good pictures of the plant at different stages of the year. If there are plants that look alike he points those out especially when those look a likes could be dangerous or may not taste as good. If a plant was used by Indians or in history he will tell you about how it was used.

He starts off assuming you have no prior experience and spends the first couple of chapters of the book on the basics. He explains things well and in a good style. The book isn't dry, so it is easy to read. He backs everything up with a good amount of reference material, and there is a lot listed int he back of the book. He suggests other good books to get and why, he also points out where it is obvious that other books were written by people that had no real experience of their own or where they made errors. He writes about what he knows but will also point out information that he has read from good sources.

To get a feel for his writing style and the types of things he covers you can check out these:

http://foragersharvest.com/milkweed-a-truly-remarkable-wild-vegetable/

http://foragersharvest.com/basswood-the-ultimate-wild-salad-plant/

http://foragersharvest.com/autumnberry-autumn-olive/

The bottom line? I really The Forager's Harvest and I am sure I will like Nature's Garden. I will also be getting some of the books he recommends to add to my library.
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Sustainablehome

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:05:13 AM »

Do you know what area he's in? - Nevermind (Wisconsin)

Canuck In Denver

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 05:11:43 PM »

I finished it last night.

He does use scientific names, he also lists all the common names and uses either the most common name or the one he likes best if there is more than one. With the scientific name you can cross reference the name, common names may apply to more than one plant. He does use the proper terms for type of leaf, plant parts, etc but there is a glossary and drawings at the back of the book to explain these.

Plus a good bibliography and the books he thinks are best and why. All in all, I was impressed.

Forager's Harvest is a little mid-west centric since that is the area he grew up and lives in and has the most experience in. But he does list the range of the plants he talks about. His second book is a little more widespread.
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Sustainablehome

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 08:00:13 AM »

Nice!  I'll have to get copies!  I only asked because I had a Yahoo group where most of the people lived in Northern latitudes and/or East of the Mississippi.  The only wild plants we shared were extremely common plants like dandelion, chickweed, plantain, etc.

Canuck In Denver

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 10:13:57 PM »

At Amazon you can look at the table of contents and see which plants are covered.

http://www.amazon.com/Foragers-Harvest-Identifying-Harvesting-Preparing/dp/0976626608#reader_0976626608
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Sustainablehome

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Re: The Forager's Harvest & Nature's Garden
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 02:29:52 PM »

Thanks, Canuck.  I think I'll pass on this book (at least until we relocate ... who knows when that will be or where).
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