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Book Review: Wild Plants of Maine: A Useful Guide by Tom Seymour

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Wild Plants of Maine is a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in wild edibles or in useful plants that can be found in the wild. The book is divided by season, which will help foragers in learning which plants to find when they head out on each expedition.

Each plant has a detailed description including when it can be found, where to look for it, what its Latin name is, how to harvest it and what to do with it once you have harvested it. Each plant has at least one picture of what it looks like, which is invaluable in identifying these out in the woods or the fields.

There is a section in Wild Plants of Maine devoted entirely to plants that you can find on the Maine Seashore. This section also lists problems connected to people walking their dogs on the beach and urges foragers to avoid the beaten path and opt for less travelled areas like rocky terrain, which are not used as often by the casual traveller or dog walker.

Wild Plants of Maine also contains a section that helps identify wild mushrooms. It informs the reader about the three most popular mushroom varieties in Maine which are Hen of the Woods, Chicken of the Woods and Puffballs. It offers great close-up photographs of each variety to help with identification.

My very favorite section of Wild Plants of Maine is (of course) the recipe section at the end! I have been foraging wild plants for years and it's always challenging to find recipes that use these in most cookbooks. I cannot wait until next spring so I can try out the Fiddlehead Fern recipes! The Fiddlehead & Cheese Sauce Casserole sounds delicious!

While this book may have been written specifically for those in Maine, I was very pleased to find out that I have a majority of these plants growing in my backyard and woods here in Vermont. I can look out my front door and see the jewelweed growing around my garden shed. I have daylillies growing around the wood shed and I have tansy in with my walking onions.

This is a great introduction for anyone who is interested in learning more about wild plants in Maine and other similar areas. Toss it in your backpack or basket on your next walk through the woods and see what you can find!

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.