The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1545: Midwest Foraging with Lisa Rose

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    My guest today is Lisa Rose, author most recently of Midwest Foraging, which was supposed to be the basis of our conversation and we do touch on that some, but also spend our time telling stories about family traditions; place and the lands we each feel connected to; and how foraging and food can return seasonality to our lives, along with a host of new flavors, once we leave the grocery store behind. There’s also a digression in the middle about nocino, an Italian sipping liquer, which you can find a recipe for at Lisa’s site, Burdock and Rose, and pick up a copy of her book at Timber Press.

    When it comes to Midwest Foraging I agree with the quote from Sam Thayer that graces the cover, “A beautiful book that any forager in the Midwest will want to own.” As there is an overlap in plants from this book to where I am in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s a good addition to those book shelves as well.

    The layout and format leads to a book that you can, as Dan De Lion recommended, spend time with to leisurely browse and read to build a familiarity with plants which you can then begin to recognize as you go about your daily walks or journeys into the landscape.The entries, which are arranged alphabetically around a common name, include the latin binomial name, very important for proper discussion and identification, along with which parts are edible, a short introduction, and one to a few color pictures. Common features you’ll find in many field guides include descriptive text, how and what to gather, how to eat the plants, and, where necessary, cautions about poisonous plants that have similar identifying features.

    Where this book stands out from some earlier field guides is the inclusion of information on where and when to gather, very important for knowing the right time of year to look for a particular plant; and notes about future harvests. This latter portion in particular caught my attention because using those entries we can wildcraft ethically to insure plants are available for ongoing use and so we can tend to Zone 4 and the wild places.

    With 115 plants included, Midwest Foraging covers a lot of ground and is a good first choice for a beginning forager in the region covered. For more experienced folks with a larger library this is a valuable companion to include with your other field guides.

    Add a copy to your library by ordering from Timber Press or your local retailer, where the book lists for $24.95.

    If you enjoyed this conversation with Lisa and would like to add your thoughts to the discussion, or your own review of Midwest Foraging, leave a comment below. You can also contact me if you have any questions or if there is a way I can assist you on your permaculture path by emailing or calling 717-827-6266.

    As this episode comes out a reminder that there is less than a month until the drawing for the Permaculture Design Course at Joshua Peaceseeker’s farm Verdenergia in Costa Rica. You still have time to enter, but as this is limited to not more than 50 entries, get yours in today!

    An update on those show notes for mobile users. Whether you use iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, or another podcast catcher, thanks to some feedback from listeners you will now see the complete show notes in the episode feed. That includes links to make browsing and connecting easier when you are on the go.

    Part of that update did required a change to the RSS feed for the podcast, so if you go into your app you will now see it includes the 75 most recent episodes available, or a little over a year of content. If you want to explore deeper into the past shows, you will find the available past episodes on the archives page.

    If you haven’t heard the episode yet, I recently announced more information about the book I’m writing with Ethan Hughes. If you like his work and want to support that creation, more information is available at

    Another book in need of our assistance is from past guest and good friend of the show Adam Brock who is writing his treatise on social permaculture, People and Patterns. That campaign is at:

    From here for the next interview Peter Michael Bauer returns to discuss human versus conservation rewilding.

    Until then, eat some wild foods, learn about plants, and spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

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