Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs

Browsing Nature's Aisles: A Year of Foraging for Wild Food in the Suburbs

Wendy Brown, Eric Brown

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0865717508

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When most of us think of self-sufficiency, we think of growing a large garden, and maybe keeping a few chickens for eggs or meat. While this is certainly part of the picture, unless you live on a large acreage or happen to be a permaculture god or goddess, it is unlikely that it will be enough to allow you to completely break free from the corporate food machine. Wild foods are the ideal solution to bridging the gap between what you are able to produce to feed yourself and what your family needs to survive.

Browsing Nature's Aisles is the story of one suburban family's adventures in wild foraging. As part of their commitment to self-reliance and resiliency, Wendy and Eric Brown decided to spend a year incorporating wild foods as a regular part of their diet. The experience fundamentally changed their definition of food. Not only did they learn about specific flora and fauna, but they also had to learn how to prepare them in ways that would be both aesthetically appealing and palatable.

With information on collecting, preparing, and preserving easily identifiable wild edibles found in most suburban landscapes, this unique and inspiring guide is a must-read for anyone who wants to enhance their family's food security by availing themselves of the cornucopia on their doorstep.

Wendy Brown and Eric Brown are suburban homesteaders growing roots (both literally and figuratively) in southern Maine. They have been studying wild edibles for many years. Wendy is also the author of Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs.

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pesto was actually quite tasty, and not bitter at all. We were surprised by how delicious it actually was, and served over pasta as an accompaniment to one of our homegrown chickens, it created a delectable meal. As Ron Popeil would have said, “But wait! There’s more!” although dandelion greens are amazing, they are not the only aerial parts of the plant to enjoy. The flowers are edible and can be battered and fried making dandelion flower fritters, which if we were more fond of deep-fried

well-known and coveted in Asia for its health benefits. In Japan, it is widely favored for its medicinal properties and is used to balance body systems. It has been attributed with anti-tumor properties, like the chaga, and several other benefits. In addition, it is one of Japan’s major culinary mushrooms, used in a wide variety of dishes, including being a key ingredient in some stews and soups, or baked in foil with butter. 102 Browsing Nature’s Aisles Just to be certain of the

raw ingredient to a box on the grocery store shelf — everything from the cooking of the products to the packaging need vast amounts of energy. Most of us have no idea how much, because both the food production industries and the oil industry here in the US are heavily subsidized by government money. Without the availability of cheap energy, the price of food increases, and that is what has been happening. Over the past twelve years, the price of food commodities has steadily increased. According

the life cycle continues to turn whether we make ourselves part of it or not. Humans have removed ourselves from the cycle and have become dependent on our agrarian culture, but even in that, crops fail, and sometimes the things we want at the grocery store are not there, either. We still have not completely learned the lesson about procrastinating, but we did improve as we progressed through the summer. We made it a point, for instance, to visit the blackberries several times, before the season

agrarian culture. In the Judeo-Christian culture, this is an oft-discussed topic, starting at the very beginning with Joseph in Genesis, who won the Egyptian pharaoh’s favor by warning of a seven-year famine and proved his worthiness to be remembered through history as a Prophet. Famine is very much a part of agrarian societies because crops fail, and when one is dependent on a particular food crop for sustenance, failure is inevitable. Life, for foragers, can be more secure for the simple fact

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