Wild Edible Plants From Dirt To Plate By John Kallas – Book Review


Hey guys this is Josh with Trillium: Wild Edibles and I wanted to bring you guys a video review of the Wild Edible Plants From Dirt to Plate by Dr. John Kallas. This is an amazing book on the subject of edible wild plants. This book is really in depth, and it’s actually quite a bit more in depth than most of the other books on the subject that I’ve found. As you can see here it’s got some really good pictures, it’s got a lot of text as well. I’ll give you guys a quick little preview here. It’s a really thick book this book covers about fifteen different plants. Now that may not sound like a lot and it’s really not. But the most important thing to keep in mind is the depth of which this book goes into. This book goes so much in depth that the plants it does cover you are going to be using like a professional cook. Alright and one of my favorite things about this book is he actually goes through the life cycle of the plant, or what he calls the life story of the plant. This is really nice that he does this the reason being because if you’re new to foraging or new to anyone of these plants you’re going to see what the plant looks like at the very young stages through the middle stages all the way to the very end. That’s extremely important to be able to identify these plants and enjoy these foods or enjoy these plants as food. Here in the first part of this book he talks about how to get the most from this book he talks about how to use it his inspiration behind writing this book. He also kind of gives you a couple of pictures here to show that plant forms can change and sometimes a plant can have several variations and that’s one of the things that he’s showing you here. Another thing he talks about in this part of the book is what other books on the subject and this book as well means by properly prepared and gathered at the appropriate stage of growth, he kind of explains a little bit more in depth here as well as giving a couple of pictures to back up what he’s actually saying. Here’s some matures milkweed pods and here’s some young poke weed shoots. These plant parts are completely edible poke weed are edible in this stage and milkweed pods aren’t edible in this stage so that’s kind of important to keep in mind and that’s kind of what he’s telling you here. Another thing this author talks about throughout the book on every single plant is end size. This is extremely important and something I didn’t even know about or really even think about whenever I first started foraging. So I’m really glad this author goes into this because nobody I know of goes into it the depth this author does. Now there may be some books that do, I just haven’t read them yet. He kind of goes through and explains the end size of things like leaves and stems and various plant parts and how they afflect…affect the taste, texture, or palatability of different plants. He kind of goes through on each plant and explains factors affecting growth like growing conditions, germination time. And these are really important as well because sometime the growing conditions combined with the end size of the plant that you’re harvesting will affect the taste or the palatability of what it is that you are actually consuming. One thing I really like about the book is these really nice pictures. You can see the pictures are extremely in depth, they are great high definition photographs. They are up close they are personal and they show all of the detail that you need to know. I chose this plant because it’s really unique the uses the author gives are really unique he does a really good way of laying them out and goes into a lot of detail in the process. So I wanted to use Mallow as an example of the detail he goes into in this book. At the beginning section of each plant you’ll get a couple pages of text explaining the history and uses, information like chemical nutritional information, maybe identification information maybe even some fun facts just to kind of get you started with the plant. He also gives you the estimated range along with the official species name as well as different synonyms like historical names, he even gives you the common names as well. He also gives a little bit of fun facts you know like there are a couple different types of mallow plants that you may come across, and their uses are the same for food. However they may not be covered in the book you have which is pretty cool. After you get your introductory information with each plant he’s going to go and explain the life cycle of each plant or the life story of each plant. And you can see here how he’s showing you the sprouts and what they look like at an older stage and what they look like a little bit older. He does this with each plant. Here’s a really good closeup of the flower of mallow. He gives you plenty of text to help you with identifying the sprouts with good pictures to back that up. He goes in and explains the leaves, he explains the flowers, and the fruits. And then after he goes through and explains some of the identification factors of each part of the plant with pictures. He then goes through and explains how to harvest and use them properly which is extremely awesome. You know, here you can see that turkey sandwich again using mallow leaves and it looks like it has a garnish of wood sorrel flowers on it. At the very end section of each plant you’re going to get a couple recipes and these recipes are going to cover a wide variety of uses. Like for example here’s a recipe for shrimp mumbo gumbo sauce, then he goes into a chicken mumbo gumbo soup using mallow. Which is really cool because it’s something you may not think to do with a plant you thought was just a weed. This is the kind of depth that the author goes into, here he explains mallow confections, and then he shows the very beginning of making mallow whites or mallow foam, which can be used to make mallow whipped cream, or mallow meringue. He even gives you the recipe for mallow meringue huckleberry pie. Then here he talks about the mallowmallow and he gives really good in depth information and he explains it’s kind of like a Kraft jet puffed marshmallow. The information he gives is so in depth that after reading this once or twice I felt like I could go out in my yard and grab them and do it with out even reading it from the book. So I was really pleased with the depth he went into and how well he lays all this stuff out .He lays this stuff out so well and so plain that it’s easy for the average person to pick it up and understand what he’s saying. Here you can see the very end result of the mallow making process. So this is the kind of depth this author goes into. After reading this book and read something on any one of these plants you can do anything with it that you can possibly think of in your normal diet, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to. This book gives you that kind of information and I know a lot of people may be wanting it and this book has it. Another thing I really like about this book is he goes in and explains a bit about bitter greens. Now most people when they forage for their first time one of the first things they eat is usually dandelion or clover or something of that sort and usually a lot of the wild greens your going to be eating are going to be bitter or pungent or sour or something along those lines. In some cases and some times of the year depending on what condition they are in and where they are growing can sometimes affect how bitter the plant actually is. Now here before he goes into the bitter plants he talks about why they plants are bitter he also explains how to manage the bitterness in these fresh greens and also how to manage the bitterness in cooking the fresh greens. Which is really nice of him to just go ahead and lay all this out for you and lay it out in such a way that makes so much sense that when you go into your yard and pick dandelion greens you’re not going to be picking the nasty ones you don’t want to eat. That’s something I’ve ran across with a lot of people is they eat dandelion once or twice and they never get it to taste right and they don’t know why, he explains that very well in this book. Another thing he does very well is he gives you comparison photographs between some plants. Like this is a comparison between chicory, dandelion, and cat’s ear leaf. This is really good information to know, not that any one of these are toxic but maybe you aren’t wanting chicory maybe you’re dandelion, maybe you’re wanting cat’s ear and this is the kind of depth he goes into in his pictures as well. Here in the back of the book he talks about the potential of wild foods and this part of the book is really interesting and in my opinion it’s one of my favorite parts of the book. The reason it’s one of my favorite parts of the book is because he goes in and he explains why wild foods are good for you and you’re family, how they can be a great social activity, how they can treat nature deficit disorder, you know help get your kids away from their x box’s and playstations and such. He also talks about the nutrition of wild foods which is really interesting because this guy’s a certified nutritionist because this guy’s also a doctor so he a really large list of credentials. He talks a little bit about the nutrients in wild foods and how there are some common misconceptions about domesticated and wild foods. You know like are wild more nutritious or healthier than domesticated foods. What nutrients do wild foods even have to offer some people might not think they have anything to offer which is surprising because, here in the back of the book. Here he gives you a nutrient chart of the greens that are listed in this book. Not all of them are listed but almost all of them are. He even gives you a nutrient values in 100 grams of domesticated greens you know like mustard collards kale broccoli spinach. Which is really cool of him to do because you can compare the nutrient values between the two and when you do you’re going to be extremely surprised at the differences. Another thing he also does in the back of the book which is really nice is he talks a little bit about crafting a wild paradise and utilizing wild plants in your garden. Here’s a tomato plant growing with it looks like chickweed or something of that sort that he’s using as a ground mulch or a green growing mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. So that’s really cool that he does this and it gives you some really good ideas for utilizing these wild plants in your yard without having to do a whole lot of work, which will provide you with some extra food. So I thank you guys for watching this video I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned something. If you want to learn more about wild edible or medicinal plants make sure to subscribe.

5 thoughts on “Wild Edible Plants From Dirt To Plate By John Kallas – Book Review

  1. This book is on my list. As I was watching your video I thought to myself how could I get copies of this book into the hands of hungry homeless or anyone living in poverty. Thank you bro.

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