View Full Version : Suggestions for Best Field Guide to Edible Weeds?
05-06-2007, 03:43 PM
I really need help with this ...... I just started harvesting edible greens from our forest, and I am dying to be able to identify all the different plants in there!
So many beautiful leafy greens are now growing, I want to harvest them!
So far I have only been able to find miners lettuce and maybe lambs quarters, but I'm not even sure, it is lambs quarters I have been smoothiefying! :confused:
I've tried online searching, but searching for one plant name, can give you so many different looking photographs ....
So I would really love to get suggestions on which field guide on edible weeds is the best .....
..... meaning for picking a leaf and being able to find it in the field guide, without having to go through the whole book.
Plus good illustrations ....
I think that covers it. :)
05-06-2007, 03:58 PM
Hey there. I like the Peterson Field Guides. I have a number of them. I like that they are compact and fit easily into a pocket or backpack, and the fact that they have the "thumb tab" pages, that shows the shape of the thing you are trying to identify, be it a bird, bug, plant, etc. It's on the margin and you "thumb" to the shape that you're looking at and then that narrows it down for you.
I also thought maybe you could try your local extension service, or 4-H? They may have just for your area papers with the most common edible weeds. Or check with your local school system - the science department. We have an educational facility that I know has that information for my area.
Just some thinking out loud here.
05-06-2007, 03:59 PM
OR your local library - they may be able to narrow your search down for you.
05-06-2007, 04:00 PM
I bought one. It was the one and only book they had on the subject at my bookstore. It was specifically for edible weeds in the west. I got it a couple of years ago so am not sure if it's even in print any more. It wasn't a lot of help to me though since there are so many things that look similar.
05-06-2007, 04:03 PM
How about your local HFS? Mine carries a good number of books. Never looked for an edible field guide though.
Or even go to local nurseries, especially maybe an organic nursery. THEY would know what's growing around.
05-06-2007, 04:06 PM
I did a google search for "edible weeds in dallas oregon" and came up with:
05-06-2007, 04:51 PM
Thanks Veganforlife, the Peterson Guide's sounds like what I'm looking for. I'll have to search the web and take a look.
I even thought it would be neat, to start a thread, where we can post pictures of weeds (that I, for example, would be taking in my backyard) and let whoever is knowledgable identify them.
It could become a useful reference post. :)
05-06-2007, 05:58 PM
They looked perfect, but unfortunately they are for central and eastern US. :/
05-06-2007, 07:25 PM
Hi, I'm from Oregon too; I'm on the coast in Florence. Lane Community College has a great class where students go for a walk every week to learn the plants that are edible. I also see in the Eugene Weekly some similar independent classes. Also, Sergei Boutenko down in the Ashland area offers camping trips to for plant identification purposes. Sounds like fun huh, cash-flow permitting.....
05-06-2007, 08:03 PM
Yeah, I would love to go on a plant identifying walk/hike one of these days.
But I still have two small children, and one of them still nurses, so I couldnt' really leave her yet for a whole day, unless they have half day ones .... but including the drive it probably would be too long.
05-06-2007, 08:32 PM
I strongly suggest you take a class or at least fine a workshop before you start putting unidentified greens in your smoothies.
A fingernail sized piece of the wrong plant can kill you or cause irreveresible liver/kidney damage.
There's a great book out called Botany in a Day that is a simple way to learn to i.d. plants by family. Great for people who don't have time to take a class.
They also have an online forum/class getting ready to start.
Bella, try Wildfood Adventures at www.wildfoodadventures.com if you're in Oregon.
John Kallas does wonderful, affordable workshops.
05-07-2007, 05:15 PM
Thanks RowanC, I will look into your suggestions. :)
05-07-2007, 05:36 PM
I am also interested in this and recently purchased 2 books on line. I am not happy with either.
Book 1 "Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in wild and not so wild places. The pictures are black and white drawings and I can not identify anything from them.
Book 2 "Wild Food" by Roger Philips has nice color photographs but seems to be to find plants to cook and then tells you how to cook them. I have not found any referance to any plants can can specifically be eaten raw.
I think that the world could do with a good book to fill this requirement.
05-07-2007, 06:45 PM
If you find any good book or other information for wild edibles in Ireland, I would be super-interested... Id like to try to do some foraging this summer; im going back to dingle, but I think its going to be a good 6 weeks or so after I get there before theres a huge availability in the garden, so I'd love to be able to forage or supplement. Seems to me though that the best way would be to find someone who knows what theyre doing and get them to take you on a hike... Im going to ask around dingle and see if anyone "eats weeds" but I bet Im just gonna get a lot of strange looks ;) Im particularly also wondering about seaweeds...they are so expensive in the health shops there and I'm right by the coast so I'd love to be able to just go harvest them myself... Id love it if you could let me know if you find out anything else--
05-07-2007, 07:23 PM
On the Wildfood Adventure website is an excellent reading list for identifying and using wild edibles.
05-09-2007, 03:23 PM
I've ordered a couple of books a few days ago, I'll let you guys know, if any of them are any good. :)
05-10-2007, 03:02 PM
I have been scouring the internet a few weeks ago and found a hands on course that I can do but it is not until September so it is of no use to you.
I pick nettles and dandolines when I go for my walks and add them to my smoothie. I feel that it helps to supplement other things and if I can add one or two more things to that I will be satisfied for now.
05-10-2007, 09:52 PM
sport--is that a course up in galway or mayo? i think i found something about that on the internet too.... (dang, i just tried to find it again, thought i bookmarked it but its disappeared....i was going to email them because there was something about them coming out with a guidebook that looked good... it was a couple of months ago i came across it, seems to be gone now, now theres only that one at the organic centre in leitrim; i bet thats the one youre talking about...)
i know we have nettles in the garden. i got welts on my wrists from getting "stung" by them last summer trying to dig new beds.... i didnt know dandelions grew in ireland though. this isnt wild i dont think but you know you can eat nasturtium flowers and (and leaves i was told too. i was told you can use the young leaves in salads. if you plant some nasturtiums they will spread like weeds:) and they look pretty in your salads too). we have those in the garden too. i also know some people use comfrey like spinach, but there seems to be debate about how safe comfrey is internally; although some swear by its benefits as well...
anyway, im going to ask around dingle (i think ive already been identified as one of the "crazy americans" there anyway :p ) and see if i can find anyone who does this stuff or knows this stuff. I would love to find more wild greens, and ESPECIALLY dulse if I can because seaweed is so darn expensive in the hfs and its harvested off the coast of ireland anyway... I'll pass on the details if i learn anything....
darn i wish i could find that website i found a few months ago....its nowhere to be found
have you looked at the book "food for free?" that one looks good but id say its hard to be sure about anything without a person actually showing you...
here is a website someone from britain from another raw foods website referred me to....again, its not going to help people identify plants if they dont already know them, but it does give pretty good lists of what plants are edible, and extensive descriptions of their uses, etc and many of the descriptions mention if the plant can be used raw:
05-11-2007, 06:14 AM
The course that I am considering is being run by The Ballymaloe Cookery School which is a very well known institution over here as the owner is our best known TV cook.
I found it through the website of The Slow Food Movement. This is a movement which has been set up to counteract the fast food way of life and who are trying to get people to go back to the old way of preparing and enjoying food but I do not think that they know anything about the latest food movement (the raw food movement).
05-11-2007, 08:26 AM
Hello! Comfrey is a safe herb. If there is no chemical fertilizers, and you dont over process it, it may be safe. Comfrey taken in small amounts may be fresh and safe. Read more on preparation of it. I dont know if raw is okay.
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