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River Cottage Handbook: Hedgerow

Story location: Home / Blog / books /
05/Aug/2010

I ordered this book last week and it arrived this morning. I had a quick flick through it initially and one of the first things I noticed was that one of the plants which grows along the path through the woods looks a lot like Horseradish.

I had a more thorough read through at lunchtime to confirm the identity of a few other plants which I have seen locally. Each plant in the book has a page or two describing its appearance, typical location, any associated folklore, and usually a recipe suggestion.

I was never brought up to recognise wild plants - I knew about sloes and blackberries but that was about it. I have since encountered elderberries, plums and rowan berries but that's about it. The book is going to be invaluable in helping me learn a bit more about the various plants growing in the countryside, and to spot which ones are worth eating. There is also a section on poisonous plants and how to recognise them when they might be confused with other edible plants.

In addition to the brief recipe suggestions associated with each entry, there is also a chapter of recipes at the back of the book which makes use of many of the wild ingredients.

I'm very new to the foraging/wild food idea but the book is an excellent introduction. It will certainly accompany me whenever I'm out in the countryside.