Learning to forage food in the wild is sometimes a tricky process but to be effective in bushcraft, it is a skill well worth pursuing.
Food For Free, part of the Collins Gem series, is the ideal introduction to wild edibles.
When teaching my kids about edibles, I have found that there are very few titles available that clearly show the plants in detail until I bought myself a copy of this compact gem of a guide.
Attention to detail
The guide features over 100 edible plants, fungi, seaweeds and shellfish with each being illustrated in detail alongside beautiful photography which are displayed at a reasonable size give that this title is designed to be pocket sized.
Each description is presented clearly throughout and there are very little opportunities for confusion to set in thanks to the way the author, Richard Maybe, approaches each. The descriptions include details on when and where you can expect to see the various food sources, how to harvest each and also what uses each has.
Throughout the guide the author has thoughtfully included some recipes for the reader to try once they have successfully harvested each wild food. There are 21 recipes and I have to say that I have found some of them a little tricky for following and recreating in the wild but are ideal for home base.
Advice on foraging
The author has been careful to include some practicable advice for the would be forager. Included is information on countryside rules on picking wild plants to help you to plan your next foraging trip without too many concerns.
As with all books from the Collins Gem series, the physical book has been well put together and has survived many outings with my kids and I without falling apart. The size is small enough to fit in you trouser pocket without issue which great for the space conscious bushcrafter.
I think that as introduction to foraging, this a very good guide and is in no doubt of value both to the bushcrafter and cook alike. Food for Free highlighted to me some of the plants that I had missed when foraging and gave me with some useful information about the type of plants, fruits and fungi that are edible. Overall I would say that it is a must have for the bushcrafter on the hunt for wild food sources.