Foraging for Edible Wild Plants: How to identify, cook and enjoy them (Paperback)

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Foraging for Edible Wild Plants: How to identify, cook and enjoy them (Paperback)


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Foraging for Edible Wild Plants is a practical and attractive guide to the many edible varieties of wild plant that grow all around us.  It will appeal to gardeners, botanists, cooks and foragers, and to anyone who wants to control invasive plants and weeds in eco-friendly ways.

Wild plants have many virtues. They are: 

  • Valuable for wildlife and beneficial insects.
  • Good for the soil – locking in nutrients
  • Helpful in the accumulation of trace elements in soil
  • Hosts for essential mycorrhizal fungi underground
  • Interesting and unusual ingredients in cooking


Foraging for Edible Wild Plants provides full details of over 50 edible species, with:


  • Illustrated notes on appearance and habitat
  • Valuable nutritional information
  • advice on how to cook them
  • numerous recipe suggestions for jams, cordials, pesto, salads and soups
  • fascinating historical facts
  • tips for non-culinary uses such as dyes from nettles and soap from soapwort
  • advice on controlling invasive species such as knotweed (eat them!)
  • identifying wild plants that are harmful if eaten
  • attractive colour photographs throughout. 

 Foraging for Edible Wild Plants covers both common plants, such as nettle, dandelion, chickweed and ground elder, and less common ones, such as brooklime and wintercress.

The author is a qualified dietician and horticulturalist, who puts her troublesome weeds to good use. Put Foraging for Edible Wild Plants on the bookshelf to do the same and welcome some new, plentiful edibles into the kitchen.

20-Nov-2020 NMM

Gail Harland combines work as a paediatric allergy dietitian with horticultural writing and lecturing. Her previous publications include /The Tomato Book/, /Grow It Yourself/ and /Snowdrop/. She holds the RHS Diploma in Horticulture and is a member of many specialist plant societies. Gail has been eating the weeds from her garden, and feeding them to family and friends, for around 30 years.

Probably from 2012

Gail Harland was born in Aldridge in 1963 and grew up in Sutton Coldfield. She gained a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of Wales and currently works as a Community Dietitian in West Essex.  She started writing articles for the horticultural press in 1993. She was awarded The Royal Horticultural Society’s Diploma in Horticulture in 1999.

Gail writes articles on gardening and avian topics, and has had work published by a number of magazines including The Lady, Amateur Gardening, Country Smallholding and Parrots. She writes a regular poultry column for the Cage and Aviary Birds magazine. Her books include Photographing Your Garden; The Tomato Book, written with food writer Sofia Larrinua-Craxton and published in 2009; Grow-it Yourself, a guide to growing vegetables, published in 2010; and Designing and Creating a Cottage Garden, due out in 2012. She supplies photographs to several picture libraries, including Garden World Images.

Gail is an active member of many horticultural societies, including the Royal Horticultural Society, The Alpine Garden Society, The Hardy Plant Society and The Cottage Garden Society. She is the newsletter editor for The Peony Society and Secretary for The Peony Group of The Hardy Plant Society. Gail lives in Suffolk where she has a cottage garden of about one acre, which she shares with her husband, her two sons and a variety of ducks and chickens.

Gail has been eating the weeds from her garden and feeding them to her husband and children for nearly 20 years. She first wrote about edible weeds for Country Smallholding magazine in 1999. Her book The Weeder's Digest was published in 2012.

Product Details ISBN: 9780857845511
ISBN-10: 0857845519
Publisher: Green Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 2022
Pages: 192
Language: English

A delightful read, well organised, informative and easy to use, successfully filling the hungry gap between books on gardening and those on foraging with inspiring recipes, cooking tips and relevant words of caution for each plant profiled. A welcome and valuable addition to the library of any new or more experienced foragers, gardeners, cooks and weeders. Highly recommended.

- - Fergus Drennan, Forager

A very well written and enjoyable book. Gail Harland is quite obviously passionate about her subject and clearly lives it. Small tit bits such as how Himalayan balsam can be used as an Indian preserve known as gulqand, which literally means sweet flowers indicate she has really done her research.  This book would be a welcome addition to the shelf of any forager.

- - Dave Hamilton, author of The Self-Sufficientish Bible