Foraging & Feasting + Giveaway Winner

forage-and-feastDo you remember when I told you about a new foraging book, written by herbalist Dina Falconi and illustrated by artist Wendy Hollender, right here in Accord, NY? Well, I reached out to Dina and Wendy, who are also the publishers, Botanical Arts Press, and they were kind enough to send me a review copy and a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.

I was so excited to receive my copy and I was not disappointed: it is a gorgeous book. The hardcover is beautifully illustrated and sturdy. The plant identification pages are intricately drawn to the tiniest detail, including what the plant looks like in all seasons, the leaves, flowers and fruits, close-up illustrations of the seeds, leaf undersides or other details which aid in plant ID. Each page includes details on habitat, life cycle, plant size and a list of culinary uses, with a page index of recipes that are included in the book.

forage-and-feastThese are, by far, the most detailed (and beautiful!) plant illustrations I’ve ever seen in a foraging book. The one thing that I missed (common in some other foraging guides) was a note on any poisonous look-alikes; but I suspect, with pictures this detailed, plant ID should be a snap, and should leave no room for doubt. The authors inform me that notes on dangerous look-alikes are included in the book, where relevant. Hooray!

forage-and-feastPlant identification is, however, only one part of the book: while there are 50 botanical illustrations of edible wild plants, there are also 100 master recipes for using your foraged booty. There are herbal infusions and teas, salads & sandwiches, soups and eggs and a number of desserts. You know I was thrilled by the large preserving section, including herbal sea salt, fruit chutney, wild BBQ sauce and fruit coulis, to name a few.

I smiled to see that the recipes outlined are very much the way that I cook: master recipes, with abundant room for substitutions, and several variations on each theme. There are pages devoted to stock, both animal and vegetable (and here I thought I was the only one who kept chicken stock on the stove for 2 days), as well as egg dishes like frittata, my favorite answer to the must-use-it-now vegetable conundrum.

forage-and-feastAll in all, it’s a beautiful book, and I can’t wait ’til Spring so I can take it out for a test drive in the fields & forests near home. Surely a great gift for the budding forager or wild foods cook on your list.

The giveaway is open to anyone with a US mailing address (sorry international folks!). Simply leave a comment here telling me what food you’d most like to forage, and what you would do with it once you found a stash. Comments are moderated, so please do not panic if you don’t see yours right away. It will be there, I promise. Comments will close at midnight on Tuesday, Dec 17th and the winning comment chosen by Random.org. I’ll do my best to get it in the mail to the winner in time for Christmas. Those of you who want to ensure Christmas delivery may want to order a copy directly from Botanical Press. Good luck!

random-21Update: We have a winner! Stephanie was lucky commenter 21, who says, “Anything! I’m curious to learn what I can get a hold of out in the wild.” Congratulations, Stephanie! Your copy of Foraging & Feasting is on its way!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Foraging & Feasting in return for my review and hosting the giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

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80 comments

  1. That book looks beautiful and I agree, detailed pictures would really help. I always wonder if any of the greenery on my forest preserve walks is edible, but too scared to poison myself or someone else to try. I’d love to be more knowledgeable about mushrooms, but I’ll settle for seemingly less potentially toxic greens. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. Jean

    I would love to learn more about what under noses in the woods and fields. As a child my father took me out to gather wild mushrooms. Since his passing I don’t have the confidence to go it alone. Also remember his bring home apples from old abandoned trees on old farm sites in the fall. Made some of the most amazing applesauce.

  3. Erin

    Cool! I have always wanted to go ramp hunting. I had some for the first time last year and they were delicious. I recently found out that oxalis/wood sorrel is edible and i have that all over my yard! Wood sorrel pesto might just be in order next year.

  4. Jessie

    I found a bounty of wild black raspberries near an old local cemetery last year, and I’d love to come across a patch of Juneberries or wild grapes…

  5. Dave

    I love to forage for berries and nuts. I would make a nice wild raspberry preserve with my haul and the nuts (black walnuts) would be used for cookies and baking. Here in Iowa we have a morel mushroom season that makes for many a meal with sauteed shrooms! In the past these would get dried for future uses if there was a bumper crop in that year.

  6. Suzannah

    What a gorgeous book! I’m have someone in mind who would love this fir Christmas… Besides me 😉 I would love to forage elderflower for drinking concoctions.

  7. I would love to be better at mushroom ID and collection. We have found a total of 5 morels in the whole of our property in the last 3 years. I want more!!! Also other types of mushrooms like puffballs I would love to know how to use…

    Also sorrel. And ramps. We have loads of wild black raspberries. I am intrigued by the BBQ sauce!

  8. what a beautiful book! Since I already have a great location for ramps I would love to find some morels and nettle. If I don’t win I think I might have to order this book anyway 🙂

  9. This book looks amazing! I think my favorite thing to forage is mulberries–they were super abundant everywhere when we lived in Michigan. Here in CA the wild blackberry is a lot more common, but that’s ok–they’re clearly still good. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  10. Jennifer Dougherty

    I am really enjoying the comment thread for this post. I was introduced to foraging by my husband when we were dating. He has taught me so much over the past 11 years. Morels are my favorite thing to forage; my heart actually starts to beat faster when we’re on the way to “our” morel spot each year. We also collect elderberries, as my husband makes an elderberry wine each fall. What I’d like to forage, if we could ever find them again, would be lobster mushrooms. We found them once on a camping trip several years ago, and they are just so elusive to me. If I found them, I’d use them as a lobster substitute for some sort of appetizer.

  11. Kris

    Of the plants I can already identify, I love finding blackberries. But, what I really want is a guide that will help me discover new things to forage for. What would I do with them once I found them? Hopefully, eat them as fresh as possible!

  12. it’s really hard to pick my favorite thing to forage. i’d most like to learn about foraging mushrooms since i don’t know much right now… currently i really love wild greens like miner’s lettuce, nettles and purslane. i also love wild blackberries, elderflowers and elderberries for making jams and syrups.

  13. Lola R. Hodges

    What a gorgeous book you have and full of the very best information that we all need. I would love to for rage for sorrel and purslane. My father took me nutting when I was a child and the book would be a lot of help to find the trees bearing nuts in my northern Michigan area.

  14. Ani

    The only thing I have foraged was dandelion greens, but they were delicious!! I would love to learn more and this book would definitely help!

  15. keirstenalana

    Wow! Excited to see this in print. I have been learning to forage wild foods and medicines over the past year or so and have collected pine pollen, fiddleheads, japanese knotweed, nettles, all sorts of mustard greens, sumac, berries, rosehips, autumn olives and more! I’d love to learn more foods available in early spring here in New England. The season is so short that it was over before I could get to everything! 🙂

  16. Sarah Josey

    I LOVE to forage apples…they grow all over the place and most of the time people don’t do anything with them…I eat them any ways I can…usually in pie 🙂

  17. Pam

    What an interesting book….and beautiful too. It’s a subject I’ve always been wanting to learn more about! I’ve never gotten beyond berries, but this would make it alot easier to learn!

  18. Ouida Lampert

    Wild asparagus, or mayhaws. The asparagus would just get eaten in all sorts of things, and the mayhaws would become jelly.

  19. Ellen O. Bender

    I am a midwestern forager from a little tot…. I really miss the Morel Mushrooms that were plentiful in South Central Illinois as I was growing up, since I rarely see any here in Connecticut…. and it is not from not looking, either….

  20. Laura

    I know a few mushroom varieties locally, if the timing is right we can get wild alpine strawberries, but I would like to learn more about what is edible in our area.

  21. Julia

    I would love to forage some matsutake mushrooms. Matsutakes are terrific in simple preparations, like gohan, where you can really taste the mushrooms.

  22. Elsa

    I have a whole list of things I haven’t been lucky enough to find yet but know they are here in NJ…elderflowers/elderberries, rosa rugosa for the petals and hips, beach plums…all for making jellies and jams!

  23. Beverly Bailey

    I love finding nettles! I have a huge rosa rugosa and the hips are wonderful, I have foraged them from the wild as well as blackberries and elderberries! Would love to find fiddleheads for sure, I would cook a batch for the whole family. Love the flavor of them! The print of this book leaves little to guess work, it is beautiful. The fact that you include recipes, priceless!!

  24. Sarah

    Wine Berries are our favorite. Our newest wild edible is wood sorrel-delicious in salad! Would love to win this beautiful book!

  25. I’d love to find some ripe blackberries or elderberries – nothing beats richly flavored berries for a quick syrup over pancakes or crepes. This book looks incredible!

  26. Hannah

    I’ve heard about eating purslane, but have never given it a try. I would love to forage some and find a recipe to go with it!

  27. Barbara

    absolutely gorgeous book! I’d love to be able to determine which plants growing on our 5 acres are edible and then finding corresponding recipes to utilize them. Thinking there has to be a lot of greens there that would make some sorry pesto or salad and who knows what else is out there. 🙂

  28. Liz

    There isn’t one item I’m excited about foraging, but we’re expecting a baby next week, and I’d like to start teaching the little one about edible plants as soon as possible.

  29. Crystal

    I would love to find some wild leeks. Omg, they’d go great in anything but I’m thinking stir fry, soup or maybe frittatas. Yum!

  30. tpescdoc

    I have planted many wild edibles in my garden, that I hope to enjoy the harvest, but I have such fond memories of gathering mulberries that grew on a huge tree behind the back of my parents property when I was growing up. The tree is still there, but I have been gone for 30 years.

  31. Trish A

    I always enjoy fiddleheads, but I’ve only purchased at a grocer’s and would like to be able to forage my own.

  32. Elderberries! I would make Elderberry syrup! Same goes with Huckleberries! I have family in Montana and used to go Huckleberry picking as a kid with my Grandpa and Grandma now in heaven
    ….what memories 😉

  33. Claire

    I would love to learn mushroom foraging. My girls and I have great fun going berry picking every summer. We are lucky enough to have lots of foraging options.

  34. I would most want to find a wild asparagus patch. I’ve heard of people collecting five pounds in a five foot radius, but I’ve never been so lucky to find my own patch.

  35. twoOregonians

    I’d love to get better acquainted with mushrooms! I live in the Pacific Northwest, and we have several great varieties growing wild, but I’ve been scared to try ever since childhood warnings of being poisoned by picking the wrong kind. Also, I’m a landscape architect and I adore the botanical drawings! Just beautiful.

  36. Lindsey

    I would love to find some wild berries or garlic. I love garlic in almost every thing savory and I love to eat berries either by themselves or in jelly or pie.

  37. what a glorious book! here in South Africa, many people still use ‘wild’ food. greens in particular, although they are usually not native plants, but naturalised aliens – probably many the same as listed around New York! we call wild greens IMIFINO or MAROGO and honestly, millions of people eat them everyday. Nutritional value is so much higher the conventional cabbage and spinach too. bonus. weeding my veggie patch equals gathering ingredients for supper….. sebitsa, umbuya, ucadolo,… oooh I am getting peckish.

  38. Jesse Stephens

    I would like to find a stash of Amamranth. I’ve heard that they are good for grain as well as greens. Crossing my fingers to win this giveaway. Would be a great start to a zombie apocalypse survival plan!

  39. melody long

    I Am a newbie to forageing, also to gardening. but this last summer i discovered what Mullein and wild white Yarrow plus natural colored yarrow was. ad collected the seeds. for a medicinal garden i would like to have this spring. so will add this book on my wish list. if i do not get lucky enough to win. thank you!

  40. I’d love to find some morels – and then a recipe that doesn’t just involve breading and frying. While that’s good, I’m sure there are other delicious options.

  41. Gooseberries or any other wild berry. I have made jams from wild gooseberries and blueberries too. I like to add a complimentary spice or flavor such as ginger and cardamom or black pepper and lemon.

  42. jjceramics

    Wild berry jam! I have harvested wild gooseberries and blueberries in the past. I like making traditional jams with a strong flavor of some spice like ginger and cardamom, or black pepper and lemon.

  43. jennifer maharry

    would like to forage :: everything & to would like to do with the stash :: everything possible.
    .my daughter (who id four) and i learned how to make sumac lemonade,
    have found ramps & fiddleheads, and talk about edible flora often.
    this book looks like an invaluable resource done in a way where she can
    help me identify edibles and be engaged in the entire process (the pictures are beautiful).
    cheers to a gorgeous publication.

  44. Kat

    I have lived on a farm for the last year, and so have gotten used to foraging for many things in the surrounding east Tennessee wilderness: mushrooms, ramps, rosehips, witch hazel, wild strawberries, blackberries… The book looks fascinating!

  45. Honestly, I have never really done this, but would love to try it! My new year’s resolution is to go green in as many ways as possible! This and composting are at the top of my list!! Thank you for an amazing giveaway!!

  46. EL

    Tree sap. I’ve had spuce tip syrup and would like to try making maple syrup out of sap from Norway maples (invasive around here).

  47. Chellsea

    My family and I pick at least 10 lbs of black raspberries from our local (city) park each summer. We love to freeze them to pop into our mouths throughout the winter when we need a little pick me up. We also love to pick garlic mustard in the summer to make pesto!

  48. Beth Johnson

    I would like to forage some Hudson Valley truffles! I was actually very disappointed this past late summer when I was mowing I mowed over a Morel Mushroom… just as I was making a pass on the ride on I watched it get hit and deflate in slow motion… so… treats like that I would like to forage as well as things I could make mind numbing wine and stuff out of… why not I am getting old now… I could be THAT Aunt… the crazy one with all the jars of good things my family is afraid to touch.

  49. Taryn

    What a lovely book! I love to forage but have not been able to find a respectable elderberry patch yet. I would make elderberry syrup for any inevitable winter sickness. Also, morels. They evade me.

  50. Jen

    I’d really like to find some hazelnuts. And some mushrooms other than puffballs. This year and last year I found some morels only after they had started to rot.

    As for what I would make with them? A salad with bitter greens, lots of chives or other green allium, toasted hazelnuts, mushrooms, aged sheeps cheese and a simple sherry vinegar & olive oil dressing.

  51. Emily Purvis

    I’m surrounded by elderberry bushes, but I never seem to catch them when they’re ripe. We go foraging for blackberries every summer and make jam and cobbler. I’ve always wanted to try fiddleheads, but not likely in the area I live in.
    When I was younger, we would go crawdadding at a local creek overflow. That area has been filled in and houses put up instead. I’m looking for new areas to take my girls foraging, now

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