Doug Benoliel

Teaching experience:  Over 40 years
Primary region:  Pacific Northwest


Northwest Foraging

Written by Doug Benoliel, illustrations by Mark Orsen
Copyright 2011
Published by Skipstone (an imprint of Mountaineers Books)

Northwest ForagingContents include:

  • Northwest Foraging: How to Use This Book
  • Seasonal Edibles in the Northwest
  • Harvesting with Care
  • Drying and Storing
  • Wild Nutrition: Edibles vs. Supermarket Produce
  • Plant Structure
  • Edible Plants
  • Poisonous Plants

Although they are not specifically called out within the Contents page, the edible plants (with species specific to the Northwest) include:

    • American Bistort
    • Asparagus
    • Bittercress
    • Blackberry
    • Blueberry
    • Brook Saxifrage
    • Burdock
    • Camas
    • Cattail
    • Chickweed
    • Chocolate Lily
    • Chokecherry
    • Curly Dock
    • Dandelion
    • Elderberry
    • English Plantain
    • Evening Primrose
    • Field Mint
    • Field Mustard
    • Fireweed
    • Glacier Lily
    • Green Amaranth
    • Harvest Lily
    • Hazelnut
    • Highbush Cranberry
    • Huckleberry
    • Indian Plum
    • Juneberry
    • Kinnikinnick
    • Lady Fern
    • Lamb’s Quarters
    • Mountain Bluebells
    • Mountain Sorrel
    • Oregon Grape
    • Pineapple Weed
    • Purslane
    • Salal
    • Salmonberry
    • Thimbleberry
    • Sheep Sorrel
    • Shepherd’s Purse
    • Shooting Star
    • Siberian Miner’s Lettuce
    • Springbeauty
    • Stinging Nettle
    • Stonecrop
    • Thistle
    • Violet
    • Watercress
    • Western Red Currant
    • Wild Onion
    • Wild Rose
    • Wild Strawberry
    • Winter Cress
    • Wood Sorrel
    • Yarrow

The poisonous plants include:  baneberry, bittersweet nightshade, bracken fern, buttercup, death camas, false hellebore, falseglove, larkspur, lupine, poison hemlock, swamp laurel, water hemlock, western bleeding heart and wild cucumber.

Review:  Benoliel writes from personal experience with each wild edible plant.  He provides a plant’s common name(s) as well as the scientific name.  The book’s index reflects each of these names.  Each plant has an accurate black and white line drawing, a description of the plant’s form, leaves, flowers, fruit, habitat/range and a personal assessment of edibility.  The edibility section makes note of the parts of the plant which are edible and includes general statements about its  preparation as a food.  A nice addition to the book are recipes using these edible wild foods — recipes designed by Benoliel, his wife (Tamara Buchanan), friends and students.

The poisonous plants also receive careful treatment with a description of the plant, notes about how the plant poisons the human body (or animals) and the statement on each page (sometimes more than once) “Do not eat any part of —–.”  These plants are presented for comparison purposes — especially for the forager who might mistakenly think this plant is another (edible) plant.  Benoliel points out the similarities and differences between plants.

Available from:  Mountaineers Books (with sample downloadable pages), bookstores and online bookstores.

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2 Responses to Doug Benoliel

  1. Vicki Webb says:

    Are there any actual color photos in the book “Northwest Foraging” by Doug Benoliel?

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