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Do you eat weeds? This sounds like a pretty crazy question doesn’t it? I’m here to tell you that weeds are not just for the grazing animals! There are so many wild edible plants out there that most people commonly think of as weeds. If you’ve been following our blog for a little while, you’ll already know that we love to forage and wild harvest plants, herbs, berries and meat from the land around us. I’m going to share with you today an amazing book I’ve been reading the last few months about foraging for edible plants that grow all around us.
A few months ago I started reading the book “The Wild Wisdom of Weeds” by Katrina Blair. The front cover of the book says “A forager’s guide to ultimate food security, including 100 nutrient-dense recipes for food, medicine and self-care.” When I read that, I knew I had to read this book!
When I first got the book, I was expecting it to be like most of my other wild edibles books that have over a hundred plants listed with only a page dedicated to each plant. Instead this book provides a more in-depth look at 13 edible plants that are commonly referred to as weeds. The most amazing part about these 13 plants? They grow in almost every part of the world! So unlike my favorite wild edibles books that are region specific, this one can be helpful to people all over the world. The 13 plants are:
The book shares an interesting story about how the author, Katrina Blair, became knowledgeable of edible plants. I was amazed to read how she lived out in the woods, surviving on what she could forage, at such a young age. She also writes about her philosophy on the creation of life and starting the Turtle Lake Refuge.
What I loved about this book is that instead of just having one or two pages dedicated to each plant like most wild edibles books, Blair dedicates a chapter to each plant. She describes the plant and also explains the history of the plant. There are edible and medicinal uses explained for each plant.
Each chapter also includes multiple recipes for using the specific plant featured in that chapter. There are recipes like Dandelion Pesto, Knotweed Coconut Curry Soup, Lambsquarter Green Quiche, and Wild Mint Magic Treats. The recipes aren’t like the down home country farm recipes I grew up eating that are loaded down with butter and sugar. These recipes contain simple, often raw food, ingredients. I don’t know if my family would be too excited about eating all of the recipes, but there are definitely quite a few that I would like to try. Since we can find most of these plants on our homestead, I can’t wait to go foraging around our property next summer to harvest plants and create some of these recipes.
The highlight of what I learned from this book is about the mallow plant. In our 7,000 square foot garden, there was a “weed” that was quite invasive this summer and had a deep root system that was hard to pull out. I started hating this “weed” over the summer because it was taking over our bean patch, the strawberries and in the rows between all the garden beds. I tried to identify it with some plant books but to no avail. THEN I started reading this book. I was so excited when I saw this “weed” in our garden on the bottom front cover of the book. You can guess what chapter I read first: the one on mallow! While I hope the mallow plant does not take over our garden like it did last year, I am looking forward to actually harvesting and eating some of this “weed” that is growing so abundantly in our garden!
Chelsea Green Publishing provided me a copy of “The Wild Wisdom of Weeds” to review and share with you all and also generously provided an extra copy for a giveaway!
This giveaway is for one copy of the book and is open to residents of the United States. The giveaway will end at the end of the day on January 9, 2014. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us why you want to win the book. Good luck!
The giveaway is now closed. We used Random.org to select a winner, congrats to Jennifer G!