A NATURAL YEAR by Grace Firth


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Except for pockets of oldtimers and young pioneers who've learned the hard way, there are not too many these days who forage for wild plants, make their own wine, and cure home-raised and game meats. The author lays out a year of digging, planting, tilling, harvesting, processing, preserving and storing; each section is larded with zodiac and lunar lore: ""Taurus rules the neck. . . leafy 'neck vegetables' should be planted on the waxing Taurus moon."" There is a March section on ""wild"" plants -- untamed edibles (?) like bulbous tubers from the shoots of cattail roots (""With crisp-fried fish they are terrific!"") or Sweet Flag (not Blue Flag, its poisonous cousin) to be candied. Firth also offers an airy overview of wine and beer making, bread (and sourdough) production, and all sorts of projects for the use of fresh garden fruits and vegetables, with some pleasant suggestions for serving. The last section contains essential information on poisonous plants and general tips. Read as a stimulus to further investigation for on-the-land living and eating, this is earnestly bouncy and roughly instructive. However, for serious potential practitioners of the ""natural"" way, additional field and library study is a must -- who knows what a fried local catkin holds in store?

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Simon & Schuster