Nature & Ecology

The Best Books For Foraging And Foragers

“What are the best books about Foraging?” We looked at 105 of the top Foraging books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 25 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Foraging” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 75+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Also, see our article on The Best Mushroom And Foraging Books.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 25 Foraging Books




25 .) A Cook on the Wild Side written by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Lists It Appears On:

  • Hedgerow Harvest
  • Original Outdoors

A cook-book which incorporates a tour of the British countryside in search of wild ingredients. The book presents all the recipes from both of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s television series of the same name, as well as new recipes. Guidance is included on where to find the ingredients.



24 .) All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms written by David Arora

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The Survival Garden

Full-color illustrated guide to identifying 200 Western mushrooms by their key features.



23 .) Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, The Northwest written by Janice Schofield Eaton

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads

Learn all about the interesting and delicious wild harvest of Alaska, western Canada, and the Northwest in this significant illustrated volume on 147 wild plants.



22 .) Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West written by Gregory Tilford

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Nectar Apothecary

Full-color photographs face detailed descriptions of 250 plant species in the western United States and Canada, covering field identification, habitat and range, edibility, medicinal uses, and more.



21 .) Edible Wild Plants written by Oliver Perry Medsger

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.



20 .) Foraging the Mountain West written by Thomas Elpel and Kris Reed

Lists It Appears On:

  • Backdoor Survival
  • Goodreads

Foraging the Mountain West is a hands-on manual for identifying, harvesting, and preparing real food. It is written for the backpacker who would rather bring more knowledge and fewer provisions into the wilderness. It is intended for the happy homemaker who wants to eat well and spend less. It is ideal for the creative chef who wants to explore new ingredients and impress diners with novel dishes.



19 .) Guide to foraging: top 25 edible plants written by Field Studies Council

Lists It Appears On:

  • Hedgerow Harvest
  • Hedgerow Harvest



18 .) Hedgerow written by John Wright

Lists It Appears On:

  • Hedgerow Harvest
  • Original Outdoors

Hedgerows, moors, meadows and woods – these hold a veritable feast for the forager. In this hugely informative and witty handbook, John Wright reveals how to spot the free and delicious pickings to be found in the British countryside, and how to prepare and cook them. First John touches on the basics for the hedgerow forager, with an introduction to conservation, safety, the law, and all the equipment that you may need. Next he guides you through the tasty edible species to be found. Each one is accompanied by photographs for identification, along with their conservation status, habitat, distribution, season, taste, texture and cooking methods – not forgetting, of course, some fascinating asides and diversions about their taxonomy and history. Fifty species are covered, including bilberries, blackberries, raspberries, common mallow, dandelions, hedge garlic, horseradish, pignuts, nettles, sloes, sweet chestnuts, water mint, bulrushes and wild cherries. After this there is a section describing the poisonous species to steer clear of, with identifying photographs as well as warnings about nasty ‘lookalikes’. Finally, there are thirty delicious recipes to show how you can make the most of your (edible) findings. Introduced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hedgerow is an indispensable household reference, and an essential book to have by your side for every trip into the countryside.



17 .) Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast written by Hank Shaw

Lists It Appears On:

  • Backdoor Survival
  • Goodreads

If there is a frontier beyond organic, local, and seasonal, beyond farmers’ markets and sustainably raised meat, it surely includes hunting, fishing, and foraging your own food. A lifelong angler and forager who became a hunter late in life, Hank Shaw has chronicled his passion for hunting and gathering in his widely read blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, which has developed an avid following among outdoor people and foodies alike. Hank is dedicated to finding a place on the table for the myriad overlooked and underutilized wild foods that are there for the taking—if you know how to get them. In Hunt, Gather, Cook, he shares his experiences both in the field and the kitchen, as well as his extensive knowledge of North America’s edible flora and fauna. With the fresh, clever prose that brings so many readers to his blog, Hank provides a user-friendly, food-oriented introduction to tracking down everything from sassafras to striped bass to snowshoe hares. He then provides innovative ways to prepare wild foods that go far beyond typical campfire cuisine: homemade root beer, cured wild boar loin, boneless tempura shad, Sardinian hare stew—even pasta made with handmade acorn flour. For anyone ready to take a more active role in determining what they feed themselves and their families, Hunt, Gather, Cook offers an entertaining and delicious introduction to harvesting the bounty of wild foods to be found in every part of the country.



16 .) Incredible Wild Edibles: 36 Plants That Can Change Your Life written by Samuel Thayer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads

Incredible Wild Edibles covers 36 of the best edible wild plants in North America: fruits, berries, nuts, shoots, leafy greens, root vegetables, culinary herbs, teas, and syrups that boast exceptional flavor and nutrition. The plants chosen represent every habitat and every region in North America, from the northern forests to the southwest deserts, from the largest cities to the wildest mountains. Rather than cover hundreds of species in brief accounts that leave the reader unsure of how to proceed, Samuel Thayer encourages readers to thoroughly learn one plant at a time. Each of these traditional foods has a rich culinary and cultural history―a wholesome past that is still relevant for our health and happiness today. The text is fully accessible to the novice, but remains botanically accurate and has the in-depth information that seasoned foragers crave.



15 .) Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants written by Samuel Thayer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food

Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Wild Edible Plants. Nature’s Garden follows the same award-winning format of Samuel Thayer’s first book, with in-depth chapters covering 41 new wild edibles. In this volume you will find the most authoritative accounts of several important food plants, such as hackberry and American lotus, available anywhere. You will find mouth-watering photography of cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries, strawberries, wild plums, and more. You’ll hear of new methods for using dandelions. You’ll finally be able to make sense of the tricky wild lettuce/sow thistle group. You’ll discover that wild carrot and poison hemlock can be reliably told apart, thanks to a detailed chart accompanied by 19 photographs.



14 .) Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop written by Euell Gibbons

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food

Here is a classic collection of inventive recipes and imaginative cooking ideas from the all-time master improviser and gatherer of healthful wild foods.



13 .) Stalking the Healthful Herbs written by Euell Gibbons

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food

Here Euell Gibbons shows the reader how to enjoy the culinary and medicinal virtues of herbs and wild plants. Drawn from the author’s wide knowledge of plants as well as from the lore of native Americans and early settlers, the information is supplemented by nutritionists at Pennsylvania State University who worked with Gibbons on analysis of the entries.



12 .) Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World written by Edward Lewis Sturtevant

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food

First published in 1919, Dr. Sturtevant’s collected writings provide a detailed guide to literature on edible plants, cultigens, and secondary food sources



11 .) The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms written by Gary Lincoff

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The Survival Garden

Do you know your mushrooms? This is the only mushrooming book that will introduce you safely and with confidence to the not-so “underground” hobby of mushroom hunting and gathering. Gathering edible wild food is a wonderful way to forge a connection to the earth. Mushrooms are the ultimate local food source; they grow literally everywhere, from mountains and woodlands to urban and suburban parks to your own backyard. The Complete Mushroom Hunter will enrich your understanding of the natural world and build an appreciation for an ancient, critically relevant, and useful body of knowledge. Amateur mycologists and mushroom enthusiasts will find this is a guidebook for their passion. Mushroom guru Gary Lincoff escorts you from the mushroom’s earliest culinary awakening, through getting equipped for mushroom forays, to preparing and serving the fruits of the foray, wherever you live. Inside you’ll find: -A brief, but colorful history of mushroom hunting worldwide -How to get equipped for a mushroom foray -A completely illustrated guide to the common wild edible mushrooms and their poisonous look-alikes: where to find them, how to identify them, and more -How to prepare and serve the fruits of your foray, plus more than 30 delicious recipes -Plus, dozens of colorful, priceless anecdotes from living the mushroom lifestyle



10 .) The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants written by Samuel Thayer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads

A guide to 32 of the best and most common edible wild plants in North America, with detailed information on how to identify them, where they are found, how and when they are harvested, which parts are used, how they are prepared, as well as their culinary use, ecology, conservation, and cultural history.



9 .) The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir written by Pascal Baudar

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads

This beautifully photographed book offers up dozens of creative recipes and instructions for preparing a pantry full of preserved foods, including Pickled Acorns, White Sage-Lime Cider, Wild Kimchi Spice, Currant Capers, Infused Salts with Wild Herbs, Pine Needles Vinegar, and many more. And though the author’s own palette of wild foods are mostly common to southern California, readers everywhere can apply Baudar’s deep foraging wisdom and experience to explore their own bioregions and find an astonishing array of plants and other materials that can be used in their own kitchens.



8 .) The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival written by Katrina Blair

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Nectar Apothecary

Katrina Blair’s philosophy in The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic. If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our noses, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we will achieve true food security. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is about healing ourselves both in body and in spirit, in an age where technology, commodity agriculture, and processed foods dictate the terms of our intelligence. But if we can become familiar with these thirteen edible survival weeds found all over the world, we will never go hungry, and we will become closer to our own wild human instincts―all the while enjoying the freshest, wildest, and most nutritious food there is. For free!



7 .) Wild Food : A Complete Guide for Foragers written by Roger Phillips

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Hedgerow Harvest

An authoritative and beautifully illustrated book on wild food and foraging by a leading expert Wild food is all around us, growing in our hedgerows and fields, along river banks and seashores, even on inhospitable moorland. In this definitive book, hundreds of these plants are clearly identified, with color photography and a detailed description. Roger Phillips also gives us fascinating information on how our ancestors would have used the plant as well as including more than 100 more modern recipes for delicious food and drinks. From berries, herbs, and mushrooms to wild vegetables, salad leaves, seaweed, and even bark, this book will inspire you to start cooking with nature’s free bounty. lncludes dual measures.



6 .) Wild Plants I Have Known… and Eaten written by Russ Cohen

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food



5 .) Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate written by John Kallas

Lists It Appears On:

  • Backdoor Survival
  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads

Imagine what you could do with eighteen delicious new greens in your dining arsenal including purslane, chickweed, curly dock, wild spinach, sorrel, and wild mustard. John Kallas makes it fun and easy to learn about foods you’ve unknowingly passed by all your life. Through gorgeous photographs, playful, but authoritative text, and ground-breaking design he gives you the knowledge and confidence to finally begin eating and enjoying edible wild plants. Edible Wild Plants divides plants into four flavor categories — foundation, tart, pungent, and bitter. Categorizing by flavor helps readers use these greens in pleasing and predictable ways. According to the author, combining elements from these different categories makes the best salads.



4 .) Food for Free written by Richard Mabey

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Hedgerow Harvest
  • Original Outdoors

The ideal portable companion, the world-renowned Collins Gem series returns with a fresh new look and updated material. This is the perfect pocket guide for aspiring foragers. Over 100 edible plants are listed, fully illustrated and described, together with recipes and other fascinating details on their use throughout the ages. Practical advice on how to pick along with information on countryside laws and regulations on picking wild plants helps you to plan your foray with a feast in mind. This is the ideal book for both nature lovers and cooks keen to enjoy what the countryside has to offer.



3 .) Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants written by Steve Brill

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chestnut Herbs
  • Goodreads
  • Wild Edible

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places shows readers how to find and prepare more than five hundred different plants for nutrition and better health. It includes information on common plants such as mullein (a tea made from the leaves and flowers suppresses a cough), stinging nettle (steam the leaves and you have a tasty dish rich in iron), cattail (cooked stalks taste similar to corn and are rich in protein), and wild apricots (an infusion made with the leaves is good for stomach aches and digestive disorders). More than 260 detailed line drawings help readers identify a wide range of plants — many of which are suited for cooking by following the more than thirty recipes included in this book. There are literally hundreds of plants readily available underfoot waiting to be harvested and used either as food or as a potential therapeutic. This book is both a field guide to nature’s bounty and a source of intriguing information about the plants that surround us.



2 .) Stalking the Wild Asparagus written by Euell Gibbons

Lists It Appears On:

  • Backdoor Survival
  • Goodreads
  • Wild Edible

Euell Gibbons was one of the few people in this country to devote a considerable part of his life to the adventure of “living off the land.” He sought out wild plants all over North America and made them into delicious dishes. His book includes recipes for vegetable and casserole dishes, breads, cakes, muffins and twenty different pies. He also shows how to make numerous jellies, jams, teas, and wines, and how to sweeten them with wild honey or homemade maple syrup.



1 .) Mushrooms Demystified written by David Arora

Lists It Appears On:

  • Backdoor Survival
  • Goodreads
  • Honest Food
  • The Survival Garden

Simply the best and most complete mushroom field guide and reference book, MUSHROOMS DEMYSTIFIED includes descriptions and keys to more than 2,000 species of mushrooms, with more than 950 photographs. Mushroom authority David Arora provides a beginner’s checklist of the 70 most distinctive and common mushrooms, plus detailed chapters on terminology, classification, habitats, mushroom cookery, mushroom toxins, and the meanings of scientific mushroom names. Beginning and experienced mushroom hunters everywhere will find MUSHROOMS DEMYSTIFIED a delightful, informative, and indispensible companion.





The 75+ Additional Best Books For Foraging And Foragers



# Books Authors Lists
26 100 Edible Mushrooms
The Survival Garden
27 A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America Lee Allen Peterson Goodreads
28 A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs Steven Foster Goodreads
29 A Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New Zealand Andrew Crowe Goodreads
30 A Peterson Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs Christopher Hobbs Goodreads
31 Abundantly Wild: Collecting and Cooking Wild Edibles in the Upper Midwest Teresa Marrone Goodreads
32 Any of Samuel Thayer’s books Backdoor Survival
33 Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat Ellen Zachos Goodreads
34 Booze John Wright
Hedgerow Harvest
35 Booze for Free Hardback Andy Hamilton
Hedgerow Harvest
36
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Wild Edible
37 Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpel’s Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families Thomas J. Elpel Goodreads
38 Cassell’s Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe Eat Weeds
39 Common seaweeds Field Studies Council
Hedgerow Harvest
40 Concise British Flora in Colour Eat Weeds
41 Culinary Artistry Wild Edible
42 Culpepper’s Complete Herbal Nicolas Culpepper Original Outdoors
43 Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness Rebecca Lerner Goodreads
44 Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal Ava Chin Goodreads
45 Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies Linda Kershaw Goodreads
46 Edible and Useful Plants of California Honest Food
47 Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest: Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona Delena Tull Backdoor Survival
48 Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains Honest Food
49 Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America: A Field-To-Kitchen Guide David W. Fischer Goodreads
50 Edible Wild Plants & Herbs : A Compendium of Recipes and Remedies Pamela Michael
Hedgerow Harvest
51 Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide Thomas Elias Goodreads
52 Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager Langdon Cook Goodreads
53 Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, with 88 Recipes Tama Matsuoka Wong Goodreads
54 Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook Dina Falconi Chestnut Herbs
55 Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook Dina Falconi Goodreads
56 Foraging with Kids: 52 Wild and Free Edibles to Enjoy with Your Children Adele Nozedar
Hedgerow Harvest
57 Fungi Name Trail: Identification Guide Field Studies Council
Hedgerow Harvest
58 Gathering the Desert Honest Food
59 Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
The Survival Garden
60 Harrap’s Wild Flowers (Top Recommendation) Eat Weeds
61 Idiot’s Guide to Foraging Wild Edible
62 Keeping It Living: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America Douglas Deur Goodreads
63 Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside : Creative Ways to Help Children Discover Nature and Enjoy the Great Outdoors Fiona Bird
Hedgerow Harvest
64 Medicinal Plants of the Desert & Canyon West Michael Moore
Nectar Apothecary
65 Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Michael Moore
Nectar Apothecary
66 Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West Michael Moore
Nectar Apothecary
67
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
The Survival Garden
68
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
The Survival Garden
69 Native American Ethnobotany Wild Edible
70 Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide Wild Edible
71 Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest Doug Benoliel Goodreads
72
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Wild Edible
73 Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation
The Survival Garden
74 Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary James G. Harris Goodreads
75 Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska Jim Pojar Goodreads
76 Preserves Pam Corbin
Hedgerow Harvest
77 Preserving Wild Foods: A Modern Forager’s Recipes for Curing, Canning, Smoking, and Pickling Matthew Weingarten Goodreads
78 Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide Rosemary Gladstar Goodreads
79 Southern California: “The New Wildcrafted Cuisine” Pascal Baudar Backdoor Survival
80 Southwest Foraging – 117 Wild & Flavorful Edibles John Slattery
Nectar Apothecary
81 The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Gary Lincoff Goodreads
82 The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants U.S. Department of the Army Goodreads
83
The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America: Nature’s Green Feast
Wild Edible
84 The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally Robin Mather Goodreads
85 The Front Yard Forager: Identifying, Collecting, and Cooking the 30 Most Common Urban Weeds Melany Vorass Herrera Goodreads
86 The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants U.S. Department of the Army Goodreads
87 The Joy of Foraging: Gary Lincoff’s Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying a World of Wild Food Gary Lincoff Goodreads
88 The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of Secrets, Eccentrics, and the American Dream Langdon Cook Goodreads
89 The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Michael Pollan Goodreads
90 The Regional Foraging Series Backdoor Survival
91 The Wild Flower Key Francis Rose Original Outdoors
92 Thrifty Forager: Living Off Your Local Landscape Alys Fowler Goodreads
93 Ugly Little Greens: Gourmet Dishes Crafted from Foraged Ingredients Mia Wasilevich Chestnut Herbs
94 Vegetative Key to the British Flora Eat Weeds
95
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
Wild Edible
96 Wild Flower Key Eat Weeds
97 Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland Eat Weeds
98 Wild Flowers of Britain & Northwest Europe Eat Weeds
99 Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe Podlech and Lippert Original Outdoors
100 Wild Food Gordon Hillman and Ray Mears Original Outdoors
101 Wildcook – ceps, shrubs & rock ‘n’ roll Garry Eveleigh
Hedgerow Harvest
102
Wildflowers Of Tennessee, The Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
Wild Edible
103 Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales Pat O’Reilly and Sue Parker Original Outdoors
104 Mushrooms John Wright Original Outdoors
105 Mushrooms Roger Phillips Original Outdoors


10 Best Foraging Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Backdoor Survival The Best Foraging Books Worth Reading
Chestnut Herbs The Ten Best Books on Foraging Wild Foods and Herbs
Eat Weeds Top Plant Identification Books For Foragers
Goodreads Popular Foraging Books
Hedgerow Harvest Family Foraging Books
Honest Food Best Foraging Books
Nectar Apothecary 6 of the Best Books for Identifying & Harvesting Wild Medicinal
Original Outdoors Ten foraging books you need on your bookshelf
The Survival Garden The Best Mushroom Foraging Books
Wild Edible Best Foraging Books
A.M. Anderson

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A.M. Anderson

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