Saturday, April 12, 2014

Foraging with Kids by "Wildman" Steve Brill Book Review

We received this book in eBook format free from "Wildman" Steve Brill to facilitate this review.

People these days have become so disconnected from nature. Our society has gotten so far away from gathering wild food. Foraging used to be a normal everyday occurrence, a way of life and a need for survival. Now it seems people are furthering themselves from this essential skill and losing touch with the natural world around them. Even agriculture is becoming far and distant for some. I for one, do not want my kids to grow up without this knowledge. I do not want this to become a forgotten skill.

My girls, Zari & Teela, last year with Dandelions
I love the outdoors and sharing my love of the outdoors with my kids is something I treasure. I love getting outside and learning hands-on and so do my kids. I love seeing the wonder on their faces when they are learning something new about the plants and other things that surround us. I admit that I sometimes am learning right along with them. My favorite subject was and still is science. It is the joy of seeing my kids having fun while learning that makes me also love homeschooling and drives me to make their lessons more of a enriching experience for them. Children definitely make everything more interesting and so much more enjoyable.

My hobby as a forager began when I was a child also. I learned about some edible and medicinal plants in Girl Scouts and later I picked up a book about edible flowers from our local library and devoured the contents. I don't really remember the title to the book but it had recipes too. I loved learning about how violets, dandelions, roses, and nasturtiums were all edible and what you could do with them besides add them to a salad. It was fun because the food involved something out of the ordinary for me.

Foraging is a wonderful survival skill, but it also teaches children (and adults) about all kinds of other needed skills as well. It teaches about: following directions, cooking and eating natural foods, where food really comes from, making discoveries, exploring, observation, collecting, and being in nature, etc. When you are teaching your child you can also dive into other things related that ties in with it like: science, health and nutrition, stories, folklore, history, poetry, games, and art.

This book, Foraging with Kids by "Wildman" Steve Brill, is a wonderful learning tool to teaching your children about plants that can be foraged for food. This book is perfect for the beginner of foraging with children or those that are beginners who want to teach children. It covers only those plants you can find just about anywhere with no poisonous look-alikes, especially edibles that kids tend to like a lot. It has a total of 76 wild edible species from the contiguous United States and Southern Canada. These plants are organized by season and plant type so you can easily identify the plant. It will take you through identifying characteristics, botany basics, where to (and not to) forage, how to forage without destroying the plant and wildlife surrounding it, a list of items to take with you foraging, and pictures of each plant to help you along the way get to know these plants well. Still a word of caution, you need to always verify a plant’s identity with 100% certainty before you eat it!

Foraging with Kids also has some wonderful tips, poetry, stories, folklore, history, games, activities, science, and recipes scattered throughout its pages. Each story, folktale, or blip about our history is surrounded by dashed and dotted lines and has a picture of a slightly open book with a dragon on the cover on the page so it is easily found. The science experiments and lessons are circled and have a funny anthropomorphic cucumber?? that is looking through a magnifying glass on the page. The recipes in this book are found with a drawing of a baby looking at a cookbook that says Cooking for Kids on the cover. They are all whole-food vegan (no animal products) recipes. Some have ingredients that you might not have available to you in your kitchen, but are easily found and bought at a health food store. These are all wonderful recipes without all the refined, processed junk and fillers.

My girls, Teela & Zari, this year with Violets
Dandelions and Violets are my daughters' favorites so far that we have found in our own yard. I love them too! Now that it is Spring I want to go out searching for more wild edibles with my kids. I enjoyed reading this book! It has a lot of great information packed into the 392 pages. I loved the stories and folklore and can't wait to try some of the recipes once I get to know each of these plants well myself.

You can purchase Foraging with Kids by "Wildman" Steve Brill for $54.95 for the print version or $12.50 for the PDF downloadable version.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.


Krista Swan said...

This looks wonderful! I love being out in nature with my kiddos, and this nook looks like it would be fun to explore together.

"Wildman" Steve Brill said...

Thanks for the great review of my book. Hope you and your kids have lots of fun using it.

Happy Foraging!


OrangeMew said...

This sounds like a great book- I always wonder in some shows how people have survival skills in terms of tracking and foraging- I guess growing up a very urban girl did not help me at all. This book sounds great as it has the whole package- nothing that is too hard so anyone can get sick, lots of pictures to keep you interested, and going the whole way from finding to eating with the recipes!

marlynn said...

This looks great! And timely: we're planning our summer adventures, and even though I am an Oregon girl through and through, I can always use some tips on teaching my own kids about the great outdoors!

Mary Ann said...

In high school, I had a friend whose senior project was based on finding edible plants. Her presentation including serving us things like fried dandelions. It was pretty cool. I'll definitely have to look into this book!

The GO Mamas said...

I have to admit, I prefer the beach to the forest. However my youngest son wants to learn more about nature so I will be venturing out a bit more. I love all the ideas you have to make exploring more enjoyable.

Pam Gordon said...

what a great idea!!! I love being outside with my kiddos :D

Jenni Bost said...

Fun! This is something my husband will love doing when my son is a bit older. I'll have to save the book suggestion! Thanks!

JT and Amanda said...

This looks awesome! I am learning about herbs and I love to take my son out and identify the wild ones growing around us. He loves gardening and playing outside.

Sarah Lou said...

Love the photos of your family - so cute. My sister in law and nieces go foraging all the time, they love it. I definitely think this is a good book to help educate people