6 of the Best wild crafting Books for Identifying and Harvesting Wild Medicinal & Edible Plants
For plant geeks, whether herbalist, wild crafter, or nature lover, books are an important resource. Though not a substitute for getting up close and personal with the plants and trees in your bioregion, they can be tremendously helpful in identifying new plants and understanding those you already know. When it comes to identification and harvesting of wild medicinal and edible plants, these six wild crafting books are my best company on ventures into the wild.
A Side Note About Buying Books
Before you purchase any of these books, please consider who your purchase supports—the author, a small business, your local community, or a global corporate online book seller? We sell all but one of the books mentioned here in the shop. If you have an independent bookstore in your community, an herbal apothecary, a locally owned outdoor shop, or a local nursery and you want to keep them in your community, please buy plant books from these sellers. And even if they don’t carry the book you want, there’s a good chance they’d be happy to order it for you.
Medicinal Plants of the Desert & Canyon West by Michael Moore is one of three must-have books for herbalists, wildcrafters, and plant geeks of all stripes who live in the western United States. The late Michael Moore was a renowned and beloved herbalist and founder of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. His writing about medicinal plants is as humorous and irreverent as it is informative and insightful. His book includes detailed descriptions and botanical drawings to help you accurately identify plants, as week as instructions for collecting, drying, and preparing the plant as medicine.
I have loved Michael Moore’s Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West since I went to herb school in California more than twenty years ago. Like Moore’s other books, this is a classic for beginning and experienced herbalists and wildcrafters. In his entertaining, relatable prose, Moore weaves his intimate knowledge of the plants, their appearance, habitat and chemistry with his practical experience working with these plants as an herbalist and medicine-maker. From a geographical perspective, this book overlaps somewhat with the plants in Moore’s books, but is more focused on California and the temperate regions of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Whether you want to wild craft plants or simply get to know the plants in your bioregion, you will find something to nourish body, mind, and spirit in these six books. We sell most of these books in our Prescott, Arizona shop or look for them at a small local business in your community. Do you have a wild crafting book you’d add to this list? Share in the comments below or take a picture of it and tag with #NectarApothecary on Instagram.
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