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Foraging with the Wildman: Wild Edible Basics DVD.

Foraging with the Wildman
Wild Edible Basics DVD
With Wildman Steve Brill
Review by Thomas J. Elpel

      Wildman Steve Brill does not live in the wilds, nor even in the rural countryside, but in New York City, where he forages for wild edibles and guides city folk on urban foraging adventures. This urban "Wildman" was once arrested by undercover agents for eating dandelions in Central Park. As a result of the publicity, Brill was later hired by the city to give edible plant walks in Central Park. As might be expected from a city guy who calls himself a "Wildman," Steve Brill infuses his Wild Edible Basics DVD with humor and playfulness to compliment expert presentation on identifying, harvesting, and using edible wild plants.

      Wild Edible Basics literally covers the basics, introducing a handful of edible plants, roots, nuts, fruits, herbs, greens, and mushrooms, plus how to safely harvest and prepare them. Plants covered include: black walnuts, wild black cherry, burdock root, wrinkled rose, lamb's quarters, blackberries, and chicken mushrooms. Brill also shows how to recognize and avoid poison ivy. Thoughtful narration, graphics, and professional production quality reinforce the lessons and make the viewing experience both entertaining and educational. The end of the video includes a helpful segment about preventing and recognizing tick bites and lyme disease. Wildman Steve Brill has appeared on numerous television shows, including Roker on the Road, David Letterman, CBS Evening News, and Regis. 56 minutes. This is an excellent video for personal education and classroom use. Learn more at:

Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD, with Christopher Nyerges

Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD
With Christopher Nyerges
Review by Thomas J. Elpel

See also Christopher's
Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants

      Christopher Nyerges' video Exploring Edible Wild Foods: Useful Plants of the U.S. serves as an excellent introduction to edible and useful plants common across the North American continent. The video was filmed in a wetland preserve in the Los Angeles area that was once a Native American village site, and Nyerges helps connect the viewer with the historical past within the urban wilds. In watching this video I get the sense that the wild edible and utilitarian plants are the quiet ghosts of another people and an earlier civilization. Nyerges brings these ghosts to life, demonstrating how the plants were used for food and medicine and how they can still be used today.

      Unlike many wild plants videos I've seen, this one is fluid and interesting to watch. Nyerges doesn't go into any great depth with the plants, but simply puts forth the message that the plants--and the lands they grow in--are immensely valuable and worth preserving. Throughout this plant walk he gathers plant samples for a wild meal. At the end he demonstrates starting a fire with a handdrill set and preparing a meal from wild plants. This is a nice video for classroom use and for those wanting a first glimpse of what really exists beyond the beaten paths. Christopher Nyerges: Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD. 54 minutes. Learn more at School of Self-Reliance

Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Also be sure to check out Botany in a Day for a unique way to learn about plants and their uses.

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      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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