Cover Image: Urban Foraging

Urban Foraging

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A book about getting your greens from your urban community, but with cautions due to current situations, for example the author is from Flint, MI, where you have to be careful of the water you drink and use on the plants you would want to eat. I find this idea intriguing, gathering your plants from around the area you live in. But, of course, check for legality before just pulling and picking the plants, as some might be protected as a state plant. A guide with warnings about what to look for when foraging and a tool kit for use in foraging. The second section is an A-Z guide of urban plants. Each listing includes culinary uses, identification information, and recipes. Included is a metric conversion chart. And a further reading guide.  I do wish there was a little more information about whether you can find all of these plants in every area or if they are limited to specific parts of the country. There are pictures included with the descriptions, but I they are just of the pieces of the plant, not the entire thing that you would see in the wild.  Good book for an urban explorer and someone who’s trying to do better in their local world.
Was this review helpful?
An excellent starting guide for urban US foraging. 

If you have ever been curious about foraging but have been unsure where to start this is a beautiful introductory text. It opens with contamination considerations, etiquette, and tools before delving into several common plants including identification, considerations, and recipes for each. I would not call this comprehensive at a textbook level, but Lisa Rose is well-versed in the foraging environment and offers a very simplistic jumping-off point for the resourcefully curious. 

By removing the overwhelm, I have new confidence prior to taking the 'foraging plunge'. Urban Foraging has allowed me to start my foraging journal with entries for all four seasons and given me some common plants that I would love to find locally. My next step will be to do some regional research, perhaps find some foraging groups, in order to identify what exists within my specific midwestern locale and where the best places to harvest may be. 

Working out of Flint, MI, if Rose can find edible wildlife I have no doubt you will be able to too!.

[Thank you to NetGalley and Timber Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Was this review helpful?
I read Urban Foraging by Lisa Rose for free through NetGalley.  I found the book interesting and informative.  Sometimes, I wished for more information or felt it wasn't in depth as needed.  I would have other books on hand to compare information.  Since the 2000s, I have been told not to collect fruit falls due to E.Coli super strain.  I also learned that Raspberry tea could cause    miscarriage.  My other concern is do we know where the environmental contamination is in a town since some plants help clean brown fields.  I would still use this as a reference along with other books
Was this review helpful?
Urban Foraging is an interesting and accessible guide to useful plants and foraging in urban/suburban environments written by Lisa M. Rose. Released 11th Oct 2022 by Timber Press, it's 236 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

The author's introduction and general advice for finding and -safely- harvesting plant material provides a good basic starting point for beginning foragers. The following herbal A-Z which makes up the bulk of the content (from Apples to Yarrow) contains color photos of 50 different plants along with some recipes for tinctures, teas, foodstuffs, and more. I would strongly recommend readers proceed with caution and preferably in the company of experienced mentors/foragers to be sure of plant IDs and usages. Readers should be confident in their plant identifications and -not- rely very heavily on the information contained here for ID purposes. Additionally there were some at least slightly iffy bits of information included for preparation methods for some plants, such as acorn flour and artemisia which aren't straightforward to use as they are. 

It's also worth noting that the information contained in this volume is slanted toward readers in North America, although many (most?) of the plants will also be found in some parts of Europe/Asia (and indeed have been introduced to North America by humans over time). Recipe measurements are provided in imperial (American) units. The author/editors have provided a metric conversion chart in the appendices as well as an abbreviated links list for further reading.

Three stars, potentially a good starting point, but proceed with caution and preferably with a mentor/guide. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
I feel that this book lacks the proper warnings that foraging requires for the possibility of lookalikes that could cause sickness or worse if misidentified. Maybe that was included in a later version of the book as I was given an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
What a beautiful book! The photographs found within this book are eye catching and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of forage-able plants found within this book, ranging from the common to the less so. You will find methods of using green tips from spruce trees to a medicinal use for plantain. This book will help reshape how you see the plants around you and spur on an interest to take a second look at the plants found throughout your day. A must add book to any nature enthusiast or novice's library!
Was this review helpful?
This was a great guide to finding edible, wild materials in an urban setting, which I think many of us don't even realize is possible. I've lived my life in rural, wooded areas, so finding wild edible plants has never been too difficult, but when I moved to the city I thought that enjoyable part of foraging would be something I would have to leave behind. However, after reading this book and searching/foraging with a bit more intention during my walks, I've found there are many edible plants that can be found and incorporated in my salads, teas, and more!
Was this review helpful?
I love foraging books and this book, particularly about foraging plants in and around urban spaces is a lovely addition. Neat and precise. Useful for gardening and foraging enthusiasts or nature observers.
Was this review helpful?
Firstly, I would highly recommend that the formatting for the ebook be redone as it was difficult to read in the columns without zooming in and out. That said, the photos and layout was very pretty. A very aesthetically pleasing book other than the columns being squished on my ereader.

While the information was correct and on point for a beginner herbalist, this book was not quite what I was expecting. I thought there would be recipes for each herb, but there isn't and many of them are very basic - i don't think multiple tea recipes are needed but rather a page explaining the basics of herbal infusions would suffice.

Overall, this might be a decent book for a beginner but intermediate and advanced herbalists will likely find it lacking.
Was this review helpful?
This is a really interesting book! I didn't realize how many forageable plants are in my own yard. The photos are much appreciated, as someone who doesn't always know what I'm looking at, as are the recipes. I find a lot of books and websites tell you what you can forage, but don't go much further into what you should do next. There is a good focus on safety, including ecological safety when it comes to environmental contamination, which I also appreciate especially as this book is targeted toward urban foragers and not necessarily someone picking plants from a cleaner area.

A fun and helpful addition to any outdoor enthusiast's bookshelf.
Was this review helpful?
I am the daughter of a survivalist and I spent much of my childhood being trained on foraging in urban areas by my father. I can say truthfully that this book is a really great book for that sort of thing. I love the included photos and the recipes for each plant. I would have enjoyed more tips on how to properly process and store some of these plants but all in all this is a really informative book.
Was this review helpful?
<i><b>*An ARC of this book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*</b></i>

Pretty but not particularly useful. The inclusion of things like "apple" and "blackberry" seemed a bit of a cheat. Not enough safety information and the photos were more about *aesthetic* than identification. The version I received didn't even have the acorn flour recipe everyone is bent out of shape about, so I guess early reviews made that difference. Still, a couple interesting recipes and the attractive photos get this two stars.
Was this review helpful?
There are many books like this but none like this. The book is detailed, aesthetically pleasing, and just fun to read. It is an invitation for people interested in foraging and ones who are new to it. I am buying a physical copy for all my walks. Thanks, Lisa!
Was this review helpful?
So many plants around us are edible and free for the taking! I'm a bit wary of foraging because I don't want to poison myself, but many of these plats I already know and see often. Includes recipes
Was this review helpful?
Urban Foraging is a great introduction to gratifying foraging in our own city back yards and meadows.  Author Lisa M. Rose details fifty common plants A to Z found in America including plant properties, beautiful photos, brief identification tips, medicinal and culinary uses and "things to consider".  She also describes urban soil, foraging tools and sites to avoid (grey water, roadways, pesticide/insecticide spray).  

As an experienced forager with a library of countless field guides, this would not be what I would take into the field but rather would use it for pleasure and to glean inspiration for recipes.  Amongst those I would happily make include Autumn BBQ sauce, Savory Burdock Pickles, Roasted Daylily Blossoms Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Elderberry Syrup (I am always on the lookout for innovative ideas for syrups), Garlic Mustard Pesto and Nettle Risotto.  Those plants without recipes often do have culinary suggestions such as using spruce tips.  I can attest to their deliciousness in egg dishes, pickles, jelly and focaccia.  

To properly identify plants one needs detailed photographs and drawings from various angles in situ to avoid possible errors.  This is where this book does fall a bit short.  However, it presents good basics to said urban plants we often take for granted (or even abhor) and their uses.

My sincere thank you to Timber Press and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this lovely book!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book!  I enjoy foraging and I love when people realize that a lot of the "weeds" in their yard can actually be used to make food, medicine, and cosmetics.  A couple of notes: I didn't see a picture of goldenrod in the book; the author talks hyssop flowers but only shows the leaves, not the flowers; and she shows the pine needles but not the specific pine tips used in the recipes.  I know it sounds nitpicky but foraging can be dangerous if you mess up identification, so the more pictures, the better.  Other than that, an enjoyable book that's very useful!
Was this review helpful?
This was a weird one. I live in an area where foraging is very common, so this book piqued my interest. Unfortunately, this book focuses almost completely on America. This is stated in the introduction, which is great, but with a title this long they might as well have mentioned it.

This book is structured in a way I personally am not fond of. We start with the culinary uses of the plant, followed by how to identify them, then a section of things to watch out for, and sometimes a recipe.

I wish we started with the info about the plant itself, followed by culinary uses, but this is just personal preference. The most common culinary uses in this book seem to be cocktails, in honey on top of goat's cheese or brie, and in salads. I'm not sure how many people have their own cocktail card, or how popular goat's cheese is in America, but it feels very niche. And I say that as someone who loves goat's cheese with honey. (But doesn't drink)

This book has some wonderful pictures, but they serve no practical purpose. They are purely aesthetic, and this book doesn't actually help you identify plants. Which can be dangerous. 

The recipes were quite diverse, but there were many plants without recipes, especially towards the end of the book. I also dislike that the acorn flour recipe, arguably one of the most accessible and easily identifiable ingredients in this book, has you boil the acorns for only 10 minutes. All recipes I've seen before recommend at least three hours to get rid of the bitter tannins, so 10 minutes sound extremely short. 
There was also a recipe somewhere that barely used the plant in question, with probably 99% being other ingredients, which makes me wonder if the plant is even necessary and if there really isn't a better recipe for it. 

Some of the language used is unfortunate as well. Calling a recipe g*psy tea, for example. Naming a recipe using a slur is a choice alright. Also a sentence starting with "Lube up the kids' cheeks" sounded so weird to me. Yes, that's only if you take it out of context, as it's a perfectly innocent sentence, but it still had me go O_O for a second. 
The section about Monarda suddenly mentions: <i>Wild Bergamot blends well with yarrow, elderflower, sage, thyme and catnip to make a calming tea.</i> It doesn't even include Monarda? Wild Bergamot isn't included in the common names either, nor does it appear again in the section so this was confusing.

On the one hand, this book is written as if it's for beginning/wannabe foragers. The introduction at the beginning of the book is very basic, yet the book then fails to provide enough information to positively identify plants and can't be used on its own. 
So if not to identify plants, maybe it's a recipe book? But then, a lot of the plants don't even get a recipe, so that can't be it either.
I'm not sure what this book is trying to do. It is very basic in information but skimps on the most important part of foraging, correctly identifying plants. The recipes are fine, but not all the plants get one, and not all of them are great/correct. 
Yes, the pictures are pretty, but ultimately useless. Very disappointing read overal.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting and informative book if you want to learn about foraging. There's plenty of information and it can be an excellent started guide.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book from netgalley and i really enjoyed this book! I think it is so informative and the pictures are really wonderful to see. The reason why I give it a 4 out of 5 stars is because I think this books needs to also mention any poisonous lookalikes, which is a major thing to learn about when foraging.
Was this review helpful?
If you need inspiration in your foraging adventures, look no further! Bright pictures, key information and recipes invite you on foraging wherever you are. I liked the emphasis on being aware of how much you are picking and where you are foraging from. I do however wish there had been slightly more detailed descriptions of the plants, as well as information on any lookalikes, to help really clarify exactly what plant you are gathering, before you attempt eating it. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?