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Food For Free [Paperback]

Richard Mabey

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Book Description

May 3 2007
A complete guide to help you safely identify edible species that grow around us, together with detailed artworks, field identification notes and recipes. First published in 1972, this updated edition of Richard Mabey's cult bestseller has been revised to reflect the ever-increasing eco-awareness and popular interest in finding different, and more natural, sources of food. Each of the 240 types of fruit, nut, flower, seaweed, fungi and shellfish featured has its own identification field notes and artwork. Understand and learn about the fascinating edible species that you may come across and, with the help of the numerous recipes also included, find out the best way to pick and enjoy them. Beautifully illustrated and written, 'Food for Free, will inspire you to take more notice of the natural harvest that surrounds us, learn how to make use of it and conserve it for future generations.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (May 3 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007247680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007247684
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 18.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #826,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Thirty years after its initial publication, the forager's bible continues to inspire and enthral., Scottish Field 'Still a classic, The Financial Times 'Armed with this guide, this month you could be sampling the simple pleasures of eating a fleshy Hottentot fig straight from a Devon clifftop, making elderflower fritters gathered from the hedgerows, or frying fairy-ring champignons picked off your lawn. With its charming painted illustrations, it is a book to savour in itself., Devon Life

About the Author

Richard Mabey is a naturalist and award-winning author and journalist. He won wide acclaim on the publication of the original Food for Free in 1972 - which has never been out of print since - and again with the publication of the colour edition in 1989. Among his many other acclaimed publications are Gilbert White (Whitbread Biography of the Year) and the ground-breaking bestseller Flora Britannica, which won the British Book Awards' Illustrated Book of the Year and the Botanical Society of the British Isles' President's Award and was runner-up for the BP Natural World Book Prize. He collaborated with Mark Cocker on Birds Britannica, and his book Nature Cure, described as 'a brilliant, candid and heartfelt memoir', was shortlisted for four prestigious prizes: the Whitbread Biography, the J.R. Ackerley for autobiography, Mind (for its investigation into depression) and the Ondaatje for the evocation of the spirit of place. He is an active member of national and local conservation groups and lives in Norfolk.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars British Isles Specific! Feb. 8 2011
By Kodiak Firesmith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't realize, as it wasn't immediately apparent in the book summary that this is quite specific to the UK. I'd assumed that he was going to be covering temperate regions in general. This largely renders the book non-useful for anyone outside of Britain as the species covered appear fairly localized, even if they have close relatives in the US, the varieties are different enough to cause confusion if going upon the info in this book.

The biggest bummer is that I've got nobody I could give this book away to since it would cost as much to ship it to the UK as it would cost someone there to just buy it new.

No obviously this is partially my fault; I should've known that since it was a UK publisher it wouldn't be useful to me, but it would have been nice for Collins to describe it's region-specificity in the book description submitted to Amazon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connect with Nature Jan. 3 2009
By ArtyNess - Published on
Fun and free ways of connecting with the local countryside - it worked for my kids like a dream:
Me: "Let's go for a walk!" - Kids: "Groan..."
Me: "Let's go and collect free things to eat!" Kids: "Yay!"
- and of course I taught them never to eat stuff without checking with me first - so gradually they learned to recognise plants and know where to find them and to care if their favourite hedgerow was being ripped out - a great start to caring about the planet. And this book is small enough to take with you and comprehensive enough to be useful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Pocket Guide Jan. 12 2011
By Minna - Published on
I love this tiny little book!! I once was lucky enough to find a tiny book about herbs that is pocket sized and very useful, I never would have imagined I could find the same in a book for wild foods. It is really simple and easy and explains that we shouldn't be afraid to eat wild things and other tips and advice, some I like, some of it I ignore. It may not have enough information for some, but it has enough for me, it even crams in a whole bunch of recepies! I can't believe all the information could fit into it. When I first ordered it, I didn't think it would be this small, but I wasn't dissapointed, I would hate to have to carry around an unmanageble guide when out forgaing, even if it is A5 sized, this one is just perfect for me, and I hope you will ike it too. It is excellent for beginners I would think. I am only 19 so of course it is essential for me to have something to guide me, but then again, if you know a lot about wild food, you wouldn't need to bring any book out with you :)
+ it's is extremely full of pictures so you won't have much trouble finding the right plant, and it even has pictures of deadly relatives in some cases, so you don't pick a poisonous mushroom, if it really looks like the edible one..
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for Free June 4 2014
By TangerineSkies2005 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't have any experience in surviving outdoors. This is great. It has pictures and information that is easily understood. I highly recommend this book for any outdoor enthusiast. This book is compact and very easy to pack.
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for free March 11 2013
By Antoinette Dustin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book comes in very small format that cannot be read easily, nor the illustrations comparable to reality.
But the delivery was ok.

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