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42 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
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3 star:
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a beginner's guide - perhaps
Irving's book is incredibly in depth, inspiring, beautiful and a joy to read.
I think it's essential for anyone interested in foraging and cooking - and I've very successfully been using it both for identifying plants and cooking (the Sea-buckthorn Sorbet/caramel is brilliant!). I have read a few books on wild food and this is by the far the most in depth and...
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by City forager

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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars foraging for people sitting on the sofa
This is a good and interesting book but the format makes it totally unsuitable for its purpose. A foraging book needs to be portable, and this is a big hefty hardback the size of a luxurious cookbook. I don't imagine this is down to Miles Irving, I suspect the publisher has made this decision based on how they want the book to sell. It is also disastrous that the photos...
Published on 10 July 2009 by emma who reads a lot


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite The New 'Food For Free'..., 15 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
Whilst this is a very good reference book, I feel it's let down a little by the black & white photos (which are great in themselves but just not good enough for identification). Interesting comments, detailed write-ups and the occasional recipe make this more of a kind of book that you will reach for after a foraging trip, just to confirm edibility or usage, rather than one to be carried in the field. It wins a worthy place on the bookshelf but won't be replacing Richard Maybe's 'Food for Free' or Roger Phillips' 'Wild Food' just yet...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best foraging books out there, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
I have been foraging for a couple of years now and after having made good use of the book 'Food for Free' I really wanted to find a detailed and extensive guide to ALL of Britain's wild edibles, to get a solid understanding of the hundreds of different plants that grow freely just waiting to be eaten. In my eyes, The Forager Handbook is that guide.

I should state that this is no field guide, nor do I think it should be considered a novices book. This is for those who really wish to become knowledgeable about the subject. When I first got the book and started flicking through it, it was obvious that a lot of effort and research had gone into it. Page after page of information on all the different plants, good descriptions, any potential hazards, similar species and ways to use them, it's all there. I saw some people saying they weren't too impressed by the black and white images but to be honest the photos are of such good quality (the vast majority of them anyway) that if you were to bring a bit of the plant in question indoors and hold it in front of the page, I have no doubt you would be able to make a positive identification, especially with the descriptions to help. All it takes is a bit of attention to detail, which let's be honest if you are foraging, you are meant to have anyway ;)

The book is divided up in to all the families of plants making it easy to navigate, here and there the author has included a few poisonous plants as learning about these is half the battle when it comes to not poisoning yourself and the way it is written feels like how somebody would talk, as though you have someone there mentoring you which I thought was nice.

In summary, a dozen or fewer average quality photos (take into account there must be a few hundred in the book) is all I can really pick out to fault. The whole book is really quality and I think if you are planning on foraging seriously, you won't be disappointed with it. £20 well spent! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .free food!, 7 Jun 2011
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
An excellent resource for anyone interested in foraging. A bit too heavy to take out into the field though. Very comprehensive. This will be a very valuable resource to refer to prior to foraging & on return to identify plants seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Forager Handbook, 18 April 2011
This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
Arrived quickly and in perfect condition due to good packing.

A great read as well as a useful reference book. THe best thing that I've read in this genre since Food for Free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, well worth it, happy to pay double for colour though., 10 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
This book is excellent and I have already done a lot more foraging with it than I had done before without it. Much like many reviews elsewhere, I wish it had colour photos and would be more than happy to pay a higher price for it to reflect the increased printing costs. The detail on everything is wonderful and it's got a good index to use. We have already had some marsh samphire, rock samphire, rose hips, and have many more plans. As always there are things missed that could be included (like more mushrooms) but what an endless task writing a foraging book - there's so much out there! This book includes many unusual species and is very clear about how to collect and eat them with many tips on different times of year. Lovely to have a solid book with a nice cover too. Would make a great present for someone I'm sure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars this is note a hand book, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
the book is not a hand book, and you would not wont to carry this hardback around with you. The book however does have lots of info required, but does not have photos as stated. all pictures are just a black & white print on the edge/top/bottom of each page, which shows no colour for identity purpose. Would not recommend to anyone that is new to foraging. Would recommend FORAGING Self-Sufficiency By David Squire, which can be purchased on amazon. The original price of this book is £30, so it is a good buy, but its only a hard back book that you would want to read at home and not take out into the woods with you "unless you want hand & arm pain"
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 14 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
There are a tremendous variety of plants covered, grouped botanically and some interesting points of folklore etc. But this for me was a book to browse, not a hedgerow companion. The dull photographs were pretty pointless and could not be used for identification, while the author does explain identification in detail. This baffled me. All in all this book though it presents as hefty and knowledgeable is pretty superficial in content, though pleasant enough to flip through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book that makes you view the countryside in a ..., 6 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
A great book that makes you view the countryside in a different way.Very informative and presented clearly, the illustrations are subtle but good enough if you know your plants. As a professional gardener the book included some great gems of information that you just wouldn't find in other books,even a use for Japanese knotweed! I think this book would make a good gift for anyone who has an affinity with the countryside.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I got this, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
I bought this book because it's mentioned as a reference in Alys Fowler's foraging book. Its strength is that it covers plants which are toxic yet might be confused with the edible plants. Its weakness is the monochrome illustrations. It's a weighty tome unsuited to carrying around, and is more use in informing the forager before we leave home with a good identification guide, or for use in confirming a plant is edible before we eat it. Some of it seems to be rather "extreme foraging" in that if a plant is so bitter it needs its flavour tempering with lots of fats, I'm not convinced I'm dedicated enough to try it. But that's personal taste. As a reference book this one is very good and one I will refer to often.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forager handbook, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Forager Handbook (Hardcover)
This covers a lot of material. I was a little disappointed that the illustrations were in B&W rather than colour but I'll use it in conjunction with other books and pics (as one should!) There's a load of useful information and I expect to get a lot of use from it this year.
HM
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The Forager Handbook
The Forager Handbook by Miles Irving (Hardcover - 2 July 2009)
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