Alicia Funk’s book


Recently, I had a great chat with author Alicia Funk. Her book, “Living Wild: A Taste of California’s Landscape” is a delight. CNPS is blessed to receive a bit of the proceeds, thanks to a generous commitment from Alicia. If you don’t know this book, please check it out. The photos are beautiful, it is well-laid out and graphically pleasing.

A newly released 2nd edition of the popular guidebook is now available and it offers solutions to climate change that actually taste good.

According to the official press release, “More than a simple survival guide explaining what you can eat when lost in the woods, Living Wild is an invitation to celebrate California’s heritage and culture, with advice on cultivating more than 100 native plant species and enjoying this natural abundance for sustainable wild food cuisine and herbal medicine remedies.”

And Alicia herself says, “Making sugar from manzanita berries and substituting gluten-free acorn flour for water-thirsty, pesticide-heavy wheat are steps that move us closer to the land while helping to address climate change. Native plants offer a nutrient-dense source of truly local food.”

Alicia makes some interesting points. One that intrigued me revolves around the issue of foraging. We have seen an amazing increase in the popularity of urban foraging, locavore dining and vegetable gardening. As this happens, foragers may outpace the ability of Mother Nature in the wild to produce!

But if we all gardened with a few local native edibles, we could increase their availability, and take a bit of pressure off the wildland-urban interface where most foraging occurs.

You can buy the book through  CNPS, and when you read it, please let us know your thoughts. I’d be happy to receive any plant information, anecdotes, arguments or discussions about all aspects of this fascinating topic. When we share, debate, study and codify information, we help ourselves, and we put in place aspects of the future.