Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness (Paperback)
In this engaging and eye-opening read, forager-journalist Becky Lerner sets out on a quest to find her inner hunter-gatherer in the city of Portland, Oregon. After a disheartening week trying to live off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home, she learns the ways of the first people who lived there and, along with a quirky cast of characters, discovers an array of useful wild plants hiding in plain sight. As she harvests them for food, medicine, and just-in-case apocalypse insurance, Lerner delves into anthropology, urban ecology and sustainability, and finds herself looking at Nature in a very different way. Humorous, philosophical, and informative, Dandelion Hunter has something for everyone, from the curious neophyte to the seasoned forager.
“Rebecca Lerner writes that ‘the dirt on which we walk is made of stars.’ So are we. And so is this elegant book, which illuminates a path to a nature-rich future.” — Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods
“If and when the apocalypse arrives, you’ll want Rebecca Lerner by your side – or, at least, her lucidly written new book, in which she and a pack of endearingly odd Portland pals demonstrate how to take locavorism to a whole new level (and provide some unexpected history, biology and mycology lessons in the process). You’ll never look at weeds the same way again.” — Brian Hiatt, senior writer, Rolling Stone
“Rebecca Lerner proves that foraging in today's urban landscape is not only possible, but remarkably productive. In this charismatic and delightfully unpredictable book, she shares her experiences and insights in a way that touches upon the profound without being preachy.” — Samuel Thayer, author of The Forager's Harvest and Nature's Garden
“Wild girl herbalist Becky Lerner plunges into the green world on page one and keeps the reader dazzled with one crazy adventure after another, all the while educating us in the art of hunting the wild dandelion. Never has practical advice about wild foraging been so entertaining. Move over Euell Gibbons.” — Matthew Wood, author of The Book of Herbal Wisdom
“In 2007, after an epiphany while visiting upstate New York, Lerner cut loose from her newspaper reporter job in the urban wastelands of New Jersey to embark upon the “mysterious, powerful, and esoteric” work of herbalism and explore nature. This book relates her hunter-gatherer adventures through the streets, parks, yards, and environs of her new home in Portland, Ore., accompanied by her dog, Petunia, and a revolving cast of botanical experts and quirky friends: a wilderness survival teacher who introduces her to burdock-root and ant-egg cuisine; a “freegan” dumpster diver retrieving 50 pounds of gourmet ravioli and parmesan from a waste bin; an urban homesteader illegally but reverently butchering a roadkill deer….[the result] may be the funniest herbal adventure you’ll ever read.” — Publishers Weekly