Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Eat your weeds is, basically, what the book “The Weeder's Digest: Identifying and enjoying edible weeds”, by Gail Harland, 192 pages paperback, at £12.95, published June 2012 by Green Books, is telling us and she makes a great pitch for using weeds which are edible, and many, indeed, are.
Readers will be surprised, of that I am sure, as to the amount and variety of common weeds )and not so common) weeds in our gardens, fields, parks, woods and elsewhere are, in fact, valuable foods and medicines.
Some of them, however, should not be consumed in large quantities as they, like many where the leaves are useful in salads and as greens, contain oxalic acid. The author, however, gives the appropriate warnings, as and where necessary, for each and every plant and thus people are put on notice.
Another point to take into consideration when using wild foods of all kinds, whether weeds or whatever, is that some edible weeds, just like some edible mushrooms, have poisonous “cousins” and lookalikes. Again the the author also points this out with great care.
The listed weeds that can be used for food by humans an d animals to a great extent are a valuable source of many minerals, vitamins and trace elements and Stinging Nettle, used like spinach, for example, has a much higher iron content than does have spinach.
This book is a gardener's dream come true. A manual of how to get your own back on pesky weeds: you eat them.
“The Weeder's Digest” is a must for anyone thinking about the possibilities of wreaking revenge on the weeds in his or her garden by eating them.
It is a lovely presented paperback book with many photos that is a pleasure to read, to use, to peruse and to consult. The £12.95 is definitely money worth invested in this book. I got my review copy of this great book free, however.