A couple months ago I had the opportunity to take a wild edibles/ medicinal plants class from Jeromie Jackson of South West Outdoor Travelers (SWOT) in Lake Side California. It was an awesome class and I really enjoyed the opportunity to walk along the river and learn about the abundance of resources available to us.
Walking away from that class I had an even better idea of just how little I knew on this subject, very humbling. So when I had a chance to pick up his book “No Fear Foraging, A Field Guide to the Most Common Edible and Medicinal Plants of the USA” and started reading, I also finished it quite quickly as it is under thirty pages with pictures of the plants. It is less of a read and more of a field guide which is nice for you to read at home and then it makes for a handy resource on the trail. So I started carrying this with me on walks since I had noticed some of the plants looked familiar so now I have made it a game of finding these plants on my walks.
The book is well laid out with one plant per page on average and there is a full color picture of the plant then a paragraph for Identification, what’s edible on it, a table for medicinal qualities then a paragraph for its utilitarianism and cautions associated with it. My only major wish would be more pictures perhaps the plant in the four different seasons and a ruler or something to measure off of. But aside from my wants it’s a great little field guide and I have enjoyed hunting plants with it.
It serves as a great learning reference but I will continue to sign up for wild edibles classes for a couple reasons. The identification and basics of its edibility is great but there are so many nuances to learn in preparation. Not to mention their medicinal properties and the utilitarian aspect of them there isn’t any way to really learn safely than to take some hands on classes and learn for the pros. For us in San Diego we are fortunate to have the book and access to Jeromie as well. So, if you get a chance sign up for one of his classes and pick up the book!