Which book?

10th February 2013

One question that I’m constantly asked by people and we go into on our foraging courses is what is the best book for foraging.  In reality there is no correct answer to that and there is certainly no “best” single book as all of the books which describe the edible uses for plants or fungi are either not detailed enough to make good identification guides or are too big to be transported in the field. Whereas most good i.d. guides don’t describe the edible uses for the plants.

In my mind, identification is the key factor. All the edible food books in the world are useless if you can identify a plant.  My personal favourites are the “Wild Flower Key” by Francis Rose for the plants and “How to Identify Edible Mushrooms” by Patrick Harding, Tony Lyon and Gill Tomblin for fungi.


To supplement this the Collins Gem version of “Food for Free” by Richard Maybe is small enough to stick in your pocket to let you know whether a particular plant is edible or not.  Because the identification is so important, I recommend having additional books at home to confirm your i.d. and the Roger Phillips series of photographic guides are superb for this.


To then show what to do with your foraged goodies my three favourites are the full sized version of “Food for Free”, “Wild Food” by Roger Phillips and the excellent “Forager Handbook” by Miles Irving.


These are just my personal recommendations that have served my well over the years and there are dozens of very good books out there.


Kev Palmer

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