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Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food Paperback – 2 Aug 2012

55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Right Way (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716023105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716023104
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.4 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Lewis-Stempel is an award-winning writer predominantly known for his books on nature and history. He lives in Herefordshire, on the very edge of England before it runs into Wales, and within a stone's throw (with a decent gust of wind) from where his family were farming in the 1300s. His many books include the best-selling Six Weeks, Fatherhood: The Anthology, England: The Autobiography, The Autobiography of the British Soldier (Sunday Express '5 stars') and The Wild Life (Sunday Telegraph 'Timely and Compelling') and Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food. His books have been published in languages as diverse as Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese, are available on all continents apart from Antarctica, and have sold more than a million copies. He has two degrees in history, writes books under the pen name Jon E. Lewis, is married with two children, and also farms. The Guardian's video interview with him about The Wild Life can be seen at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/video/2009/may/23/hay-festival-john-lewis-stempel
Six Weeks, his book about British frontline officers in the First World War, published in November 2010 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson was described by The Literary Review as 'the most moving book I have ever read on the First World War' and Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey) said it was 'the best research resource ever.' The book became a number 1 bestseller in WW1 category on Amazon.His 'The War Behind the Wire', about the life, death and glory of British PoWs in WW1 was published in January 2014, and his Sunday Times Top 30 hardback non-fiction bestseller Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field was released in May 2014. The book was featured on Radio 4's Start the Week, and won the 2015 Thwaites Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing; it was also shortlisted for BBC Countryfile Book of the Year 2014. He is currently writing 'Where Poppies Blow: The British Soldier, Nature, and the Great War', which is due for publication in November 2015




Product Description

Book Description

The Best of British Nature's Food and Drink for Free

About the Author

John Lewis-Stempel is an acknowledged expert on wild foods having lived for twelve months on only what he could forage, an experience captured in The Wild Life: A Year Living on Wild Food, published by Transworld.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Jennings on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
My husband is something of a would-be forager and loves the idea of gathering food for free whilst enjoying long walks with our children. We have a number of books on mushrooms, many on wildlife, a couple on plants, but what they don't do, and what Foraging by John Lewis-Stempel does so well, is provide interesting ways to use these gathered treasures. From Hazlenut Shortbread to Comfrey Fritters, Bullace Vodka to Pickled Samphire, this book is full of wonderful sounding recipes, both unusual and mouth-watering. Lewis-Stempel writes well and with humour (road-kill Herby Squirrel Burgers made smile) and his love of everything the great outdoors has to offer is palpable. This book is a perfect addition to any nature lovers bookcase.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Weston on 12 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Very pleased with this book- I must point out that, no, it doesn't contain any pictures, but then it isn't meant to. John Lewis-Stempel has finally done what so many foraging books have failed to do in the past- actually deliver on all fronts: historical references, descriptions, a fine variety of thoughtful recipes and not just what the plant is but what you can really do with it.

Sadly, some of the reviews have completely missed the point of the book by whinging about there being no pictures.

As any experienced forager knows, when starting out you don't just get one book that will do everything, when it comes to wild plants, especially Mushrooms, you must be very careful, therefore a variety of Identification books are essential in order to cross reference when dealing with unfamiliar plants for the first time.

Whilst many of these ID books have plenty of pictures, they have very little practical information about what to actually do with the plant beyond a few uninspiring recipes such as using green leaves in salad, how to make elderflower cordial and nettle soup. What the Author has done really well is nailed some great recipes- I particularly liked the hedgerow toffee apples and bloody mary oysters. If this book did have pictures then it would certainly 'piss' all over Mabey's food for free which hasn't been updated for 30 years.

Thoroughly recommend this book to all experienced foragers and for Beginners: use it in conjunction with an ID book such as the Forager's Handbook by Miles Irving. I will certainly be recommending it to all course attendees at my Foraging and Cookery School.[ ... ]
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Livings on 27 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say. The book's title would lead you to believe that you can use this book to go foraging. This is not true unless you already have a good handle on botany. The descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you as to what each plant looks like. One description is so dismissive, explaining that all boys know what it looks like, well I am sure they may know what the plant looks like but unless you also know the name of the plant then how can you possibly make the link between book and plant? You will need to get an identification book to use this book which invariably means you do not need this book. It does give a few recipes but it is called "Foraging, the essential guide to free wild food" it is not called the "essential guide to cooking the food you foraged using another book to identify it".
Don't expect to go foraging using this as a guide
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 10 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this as the reviews seemed to be very positive. However, as a beginner in foraging I found it very difficult to follow as it has no illustrations of the plants and the descriptions could be, well, more descriptive. Will now look for a more suitable book with full illustrations and descriptions. When your dealing with mushrooms and other potentially dangerous plants a full description and illustration is essential.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By chantelle powell on 19 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
didnt show any detail of what to look for just the recipes. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GREG on 20 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't normally write reviews, but in this case I'd like to stop anyone else from making my mistake. Put plainly; this book has no pictures and is thus all but useless to anyone new to foraging. I've given it two stars from that perspective as it is useful when combined with my other foraging book, that has pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil MacDonald on 8 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book doesn't have photos so is useless in the field, I can't use it to identify specimens which means it doesn't fit the description of "The Essential Guide". Also the list in chapter 12 - "A Wild Food Calendar" doesn't have reference numbers to find the species in the book. So one has to then refer to the index which sometimes isn't clear, (for example I looked up Barberry from the December list and it isn't in the index) to find the page to find the species and then there still isn't a picture. I would not have bought this as it is not my idea of an Essential Guide. So I have to buy another book now.
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i wish i had read the reviews instead of rushing in and purchasing this book..admittedly this item arrived the following day and was nicely packaged, however as a beginner to foraging i am still non the wiser as there is only a written description of the wild foods so without a picture i would not like to take the chance on eating something which could possibly be life threatening. so personnaly i think this book is a total waste of money!!! money which i can not really afford to waste hence why i have become interested in trying my hand at foraging in the first place.
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