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31 Reviews
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant
Review by my girlfriend since it's her book.

This book was a Christmas gift, and I'm really pleased with it.

First thoughts: The book is beautiful Heavy, glossy and sturdy, printed and bound to a high quality. The hard cover is lovely to look at, with the text stamped into the cover rather than merely printed. The book look impressive and is an...
Published 19 months ago by Mr. N. Gower

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ... full size photos of plants which will be very useful for the novice forager There are several poisonous plants ...
There are many pages with full size photos of plants which will be very useful for the novice forager
There are several poisonous plants identified
Lots of soup and jam stuff
But this is certainly not the complete nor comprehensive guide promised on the cover, Sorry
Published 1 month ago by iron jelloid


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant, 7 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. N. Gower - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
Review by my girlfriend since it's her book.

This book was a Christmas gift, and I'm really pleased with it.

First thoughts: The book is beautiful Heavy, glossy and sturdy, printed and bound to a high quality. The hard cover is lovely to look at, with the text stamped into the cover rather than merely printed. The book look impressive and is an attractive addition to my bookshelf.

Next thoughts: The interior is lovely, as well. Every food item described is illustrated with high quality, glossy photos that display the plant in its natural setting, showing leaves, fruit/flowers and stem clearly. It would be very difficult to misidentify anything with this book.

More detailed thoughts: The descriptions given for different plants are very thorough, and include smell for fragrant plants as well as appearance. The mushroom section is fantastic for newbies to mushroom foraging - the safest and most difficult to misidentify mushroom varieties are offered, and in the few cases where there are similar poisonous varieties, these are described and illustrated just as clearly, with large poison symbols to make it very clear what to avoid. There is also a very nicely arranged index at the back, where all the plants in the book are illustrated with the usual, old-fashioned colour sketches. This is great, as if you come across a plant you don't know, you can skip to the index, find a similar-looking sketch and it will refer you to the main page, where you can compare the plant to the detailed photos and descriptions more thoroughly. A very clever and very efficient way of arranging things.

I have only two criticisms.

One: This book is far too large and heavy to take out when foraging. It is such a thorough and clear book I absolutely would want the information it contains with me when foraging, but it is a little dense to keep pulling out of a backpack, supporting against a rock, flipping open, etc.

Two: Almost none of the plants have a time-of-year with them. Some of them do, but in other cases I'm left with no idea what sort of time of year I can expect to find a given plant at its best. It'd be very handy to have that.

**Overall**
A really great book. Ideal for beginner foragers, especially people who are nervous about picking mushrooms but want to try it. Very informative, well presented and laid out in an intuitive, sensible and useful manner.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars #1 Foraging book, 16 July 2012
By 
Mr. A. O'Donoghue "Ash" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
Perfect for beginner or advanced. Big glossy pictures and everything you need to know. If you're learning from home there is nothing better. If you want to learn while outdoors, the food for free pocket version by collins gem is ideal. With both you have everything you need.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought the original paperback years ago, this is a must have!, 28 Sep 2012
By 
Celticprincess "What you send out, comes back... (Scotland, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
Yip, I still have my original paperback version of this (but will give that away to a friend now I have treated myself to this updated, hard-backed, better illustrated version) and it really is an invaluable source of trusted information if you like to forage in the wild and not poison yourself!

This book is beautiful. Beautifully presented, high quality production - a hard-backed version of a classic title.

Super-sized glossy pictures that make what you are foraging easy to identify and also comes with plenty of superb recipes for things to do with your find.

I love this book, so I've bought it twice over the years.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND (will be good in this downturn we are having in the UK .... save yourself some money, pick your own in the wild and have fun whilst you are doing it and get exercise and fresh air)

10/10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The *definitive* book for beginning foraging in the UK, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Food for Free (Kindle Edition)
I first bought Food for Free as a paperback about forty years ago. At that time it was to help distract our kids on walks. (And incidentally, it remains brilliant for that. Except that the "kids" in question are now our grandchiildren!) It's clear, concise and not at all stuffy or condescending--so it's perfect for somebody who's thinking of, or just beginning, foraging. Also, it's clearly based on UK flora and fungi, so it's ideally suited for the UK forager.

This time round I bought the Kindle edition. (I still have the dog-eared original, though!) This makes it even more useful, because it's completely searchable. So, for example, if you find something with "arrow-shaped leaves", it's easier to work out whether it's sorrel, or bindweed.

If there was a Desert Island Books show, like Desert Island Discs, this would definitely be a book I'd want with me.

Happy foraging!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting reference book with clear, magnified photographs, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
I was very pleased when this book arrived, as it has high quality binding and colour photographs. It was bought as a gift and is definitely the sort of present anyone who loves walking in the countryside and/or cooking would enjoy reading. There is a pocket sized version which would be much better if you need to refer to it during a ramble, but the disadvantage of the pocket sized version is the photographs are obviously a lot smaller and so indentifying plants en route is likely to be more difficult.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JO, 21 April 2012
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
I am reading and enjoying and learning. It is so good to have recipes included. I am now passing this review over to my husband.

I found the format excellent: the photographs are large, permitting of easy recognition; the text is large font, permitting of easy reading if, like me, your eyesight is none too good. An excellent book, worth the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a wonderful book, 17 Mar 2013
By 
Trixi Field "author of 'Your Song Your Joy'" (Hemel Hempstead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
As someone who loves to forage while out for a walk with the dog, this is a treasure of a book. You can't carry it with you, but lovely to put your feet up, find a new plant to look for, and then go look for it. Lovely photos too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for foragers!, 22 Nov 2012
By 
Fabrizio Poli "Fabrizio Poli" (Chorley,Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
If you like going on nature walks and/or you want to find out about the free food & medicine surrounding you this is a great resource.
Lots of photos and it explains where to find these plants and lots more.
Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book, 15 May 2013
By 
Mrs. R. Baxter "Rowena Baxter" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
I had the original, published in 1972, photos and up-dated text added in this edition, which make it very attractive
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Food for Free (Hardcover)
What a great book for anyone who wants to know anything about the countryside. Very clear concise photographs and descriptions. Just wish it was a bit smaller to carry around!
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Food for Free
Food for Free by Richard Mabey (Hardcover - 12 April 2012)
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