Sprout Distro

New Zine: Edible Wild Plants of West Michigan, Vol. 1


New Zine: Edible Wild Plants of West Michigan, Vol. 1

edible_plants_west_mi_1We’re excited to announce the publication of our latest zine, Edible Wild Plants of West Michigan, Volume 1. As far as we know, it’s the only foraging zine or publication designed specifically around plants that can be found in the greater Grand Rapids area. While there are plenty of other field guides out there that cover a lot more plants, we thought it would be useful to have guide that focuses on a smaller number of plants. It’s far less overwhelming to look for just a few plants rather than trying to identify the thousands of edible plants that surround us.

The zine collects the fourteen plants profiled in our “plant profiles” series of blog posts. The plants featured are:

Ramps (Wild Leeks), Wild Garlic, Wild Asparagus, Lamb’s Quarters, Juneberry, Wild Bergamot, Black Raspberry, Blackberry, Purslane, Dandelion, Hen-of-the-Woods, Dryad’s Saddle, Chicken-of-the-Woods, Blue Violet, and Crabapple.

There is at least one photo for each plant and line drawings for many of them.

From the introduction:

This a short guide to identifying, foraging, harvesting, and using edible and medicinal wild plants that can be found in the area currently known as West Michigan. All of these plants have been found either within the city limits of Grand Rapids or within a short distance. They’re easy for beginners to find and unless noted, there are no (as long as you cross-reference if in doubt) poisonous or toxic look-a-likes .

We decided to put together this zine in order to have an easy-to-reproduce introduction to edible and medicinal wild plants. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to go out into the woods with a field guide and to try to identify everything that you see. Instead, we encourage people to start with a few varieties and familiarize themselves with more over time. While it may take a little bit of practice to learn how to identify wild plants, it’s an easy and rewarding process that we strongly encourage people of all ages to undertake.

The indigenous cultures who lived in this area had an intimate knowledge of the land, the plants, and the animals that inhabited it. In contrast, the majority of us living in this current society have a disconnected relationship with the land in which it is something to fear, be skeptical of, and to shape for our own purposes. Clearly, the former is the better approach and one that raises the question of how we might act differently if we had a different orientation towards the land. Would we allow the land we are a part of to be destroyed via fracking, mining, industrial production, etc? Hopefully this zine is one small part in re-thinking our relationship with the land.

Order the zine from us or get it via Etsy.