Recommended Reading

Reading is a wonderful way to learn about any number of things. I honestly believe that books can change the way humans see and live in the world. The books listed below are books I've personally read (most of which I also own) and highly recommend to anyone interested in foraging, ethnobotany, botany, mycology, and natural history. You'll notice these recommendations come with a strong bias to the southeast and more specifically Kentucky because this is my home and our history is rich with adventure, hardship and beauty. Some of these titles could be found in your local library, most can be found in local bookstores and online for purchase. I don't want to support Amazon by using an affiliates link for these books because I'd rather you purchase them from a local bookstore or more independent online bookstore. Where applicable, I'll include links to books that you can purchase directly from the authors and/or publishers. These links will be underlined on the book titles.

Foraging / Ethnobotany

Sam Thayer’s Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, The Forager’s Harvest, Nature’s Garden, and Incredible Wild Edibles by Samuel Thayer

Foraging Kentucky: An Introduction to the Edible Plants, Fungi and Tree Crops of the Southeast by George Barnett

Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas

Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie by Kelly Kindscher

Ancestral Plants, vol. 1 and vol. 2, by Arthur Haines

Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel E. Moerman

Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson

Medicine of the Cherokee by J. T. Garrett and Michael Garrett

Regional Plants (Southeast)

Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky and Bluegrass Land and Life by Mary E. Wharton and Roger W. Barbour

Vascular Plants of Kentucky by Edward T. Browne Jr. and Raymond Athey

Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky by Thomas G. Barnes and S. Wilson Francis

Wildflowers and Ferns of Red River Gorge and the Greater Red River Basin by Dan and Judy Dourson

Identifying Trees of the East by Michael D. Williams

Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians by Dennis Horn, Tavia Cathcart, Thomas E. Hemmerly, and David Duhl

Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont by Timothy P. Spira

Agroforestry / Permaculture

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture by J. Russell Smith

Trees of Power by Akiva Silver

The Mayan Forest Garden by Anabel Ford and Ronald Nigh

Farming the Woods by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel

The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk

Living the Good Life, The Maple Sugar Book by Helen and Scott Nearing

Indigenous Landscapes: Native Plant Agriculture, vol. 1, by Solomon Gamboa and Austin Miller

The Regenerative Landscaper by Erik Ohlsen

Regional Mushrooms (Southeast)

Appalachian Mushrooms by Walter E. Sturgeon

Mushrooms of the Southeast by Todd F. Elliott and Steven L. Stephenson

100 Edible Mushrooms and Morels by Michael Kuo

A Field Guide To Mushrooms of the Carolinas by Alan E. Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette, & Michael W. Hopping

Wild Food Cookbooks

Mushroom Wanderland by Jess Starwood

The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar

The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora by Alan Bergo

Naturalist Guides

Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians by Karl B McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kirsten McKnight Ward, and Warren J. Perdrizet

Nature Inspired 

Self-Reliance and Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journals, Walden, Wild Fruits, Faith in a Seed by Henry David Thoreau

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Down the River and Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Kentucky History

Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan

The Hunters of Kentucky by Ted Franklin Belue

The Kentucky by Thomas D. Clark

Water in Kentucky: Natural History, Communities, and Conservation edited by Brian D. Lee, Daniel I. Carey and Alice L. Jones

Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape 
by Richard Taylor

Kentucky Illustrated: The First Hundred Years by Martin F. Schmidt

Appalachian & eastern North American History

The Wilderness Road by Robert Lee Kincaid
Ginseng Diggers: A history of Root and Herb gathering in Appalachia 
by Luke Manget

Endangered and Disappearing Birds of Appalachia and the Southeast by Matt Williams

18th Century 


RipRap, This Present Moment, and The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder