Eat Weeds: A field guide to foraging: how to identify, harvest, eat and use wild plants

Diego Bonetto

Eat Weeds: A field guide to foraging: how to identify, harvest, eat and use wild plants
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Eat Weeds: A field guide to foraging: how to identify, harvest, eat and use wild plants

Diego Bonetto

There is food within 3 metres of your front door.

Three generations ago it was common practice all over the world to collect this wild food; knowledge of what, where and when to forage was a necessary part of daily life. We still had lived experience of harvesting wild food with our own hands. But with the advent of supermarket culture the knowledge associated with foraging has mostly been lost.

Today, we want this knowledge back. From forest to seaside, riverbank to city street - even your own yard - there is wild food and medicine available to those who know where to look. In the face of global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity and pandemics, we seek to empower ourselves with the information and skills that enable self-reliance and equip us to care for our families and communities.

Eat Weeds shows you how to engage with wild food sources, transforming your neighbourhood into an edible adventure.


I promise this gorgeous book will impart more than just an image of yourself on your footpath foraging weeds for your mealtime. Beautifully bound, this book is a call to eat more greens, create more pickles and observe your surrounds more carefully. Think of this book as more a botanical adventure rather than a culinary journey. Use this book to become more in tune with your neighbourhood and the various wonders it can provide.

Diego Bonetto grew up in northern Italy, where he spent time gathering wild plants for his mother. He takes this knowledge, and the skills he gained from his work in orchards and garden centres, to bring you a comprehensive collection of recipes and instructions around wild plants. Take his wonderful recipe for dandelion and macadamia pesto for example; it turns out, the entire dandelion plant is edible and delicious. Mixing its stems and flowers with basil and nuts makes a lush pesto that can be used in a variety of meals. And of course there is an entire section on fungi, including a scrumptious risotto recipe for the use of the saffron milk cap pine mushroom, which oozes an orange milk and is apparently a real treat for the taste buds.

Bonetto begins the Great Weed Tour of 2022 in his own backyard, before heading out to woodlands, seasides and riverbanks. Along the way he picks various seaweeds, mushrooms, greens and leaves. Each ‘weed’ is photographed and discussed alongside recipes featuring the plant. I recommend this book for all of us trying to do more for the environment, more for our children and – most importantly – more for our taste buds. Eat Weeds: A Field Guide to Foraging is a cookbook, as well as a walking tour, that celebrates our past and hopefully our future.

Chris Gordon is the community engagement and programming manager at Readings

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