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Foraging with the Wildman
Wild Edible Basics DVD
With Wildman Steve Brill
Review by Thomas J. Elpel

      Wildman Steve Brill does not live in the wilds, nor even in the rural countryside, but in New York City, where he forages for wild edibles and guides city folk on urban foraging adventures. This urban "Wildman" was once arrested by undercover agents for eating dandelions in Central Park. As a result of the publicity, Brill was later hired by the city to give edible plant walks in Central Park. As might be expected from a city guy who calls himself a "Wildman," Steve Brill infuses his Wild Edible Basics DVD with humor and playfulness to compliment expert presentation on identifying, harvesting, and using edible wild plants.

      Wild Edible Basics literally covers the basics, introducing a handful of edible plants, roots, nuts, fruits, herbs, greens, and mushrooms, plus how to safely harvest and prepare them. Plants covered include: black walnuts, wild black cherry, burdock root, wrinkled rose, lamb's quarters, blackberries, and chicken mushrooms. Brill also shows how to recognize and avoid poison ivy. Thoughtful narration, graphics, and professional production quality reinforce the lessons and make the viewing experience both entertaining and educational. The end of the video includes a helpful segment about preventing and recognizing tick bites and lyme disease. Wildman Steve Brill has appeared on numerous television shows, including Roker on the Road, David Letterman, CBS Evening News, and Regis. 56 minutes. This is an excellent video for personal education and classroom use.

Wildman Steve Brill: Wild Edible Basics DVD     $29.00     Quantity:

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Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD
With Christopher Nyerges
Review by Thomas J. Elpel

See also Christopher's
Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants

      Christopher Nyerges' video Exploring Edible Wild Foods: Useful Plants of the U.S. serves as an excellent introduction to edible and useful plants common across the North American continent. The video was filmed in a wetland preserve in the Los Angeles area that was once a Native American village site, and Nyerges helps connect the viewer with the historical past within the urban wilds. In watching this video I get the sense that the wild edible and utilitarian plants are the quiet ghosts of another people and an earlier civilization. Nyerges brings these ghosts to life, demonstrating how the plants were used for food and medicine and how they can still be used today.

      Unlike many wild plants videos I've seen, this one is fluid and interesting to watch. Nyerges doesn't go into any great depth with the plants, but simply puts forth the message that the plants--and the lands they grow in--are immensely valuable and worth preserving. Throughout this plant walk he gathers plant samples for a wild meal. At the end he demonstrates starting a fire with a handdrill set and preparing a meal from wild plants. This is a nice video for classroom use and for those wanting a first glimpse of what really exists beyond the beaten paths. Christopher Nyerges: Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD. 54 minutes.

Christopher Nyerges: Exploring Edible Wild Foods DVD     $20.00     Quantity:

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Edible Wild Plants DVD
Four Programs, Two Hours
With Jim Meuninck, advised by Jim Duke, Ph.D.
Review by Thomas J. Elpel

      Jim Meuninck and Jim Duke present four wild edible plants videos filmed over twenty years and combined onto one DVD. In these fun and informative programs, Meuninck and Duke present wild plants and their edible and medicinal uses. The first video on the disc is the newest program, emphasizing gourmet cooking with twelve of the most common herbs found in North America. The viewer will salivate with the dishes Meuninck cooks up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The second video is a short tack-on to the first. The third video takes the viewer twenty years back in time to cover a wide range of wild edible plants and their uses, and how to cook them. The fouth video covers trees, shrubs, nuts, and berries, including how to tap maple trees to make maple syrup, the edible and medicinal uses of apples, chokecherries, hawthorns, paw-paws, prickly pear cactus, and more. The four videos cover more than 150 plants from all across North America. Through the DVD you will learn how to:

      -Identify, harvest, and cook edible wild plants.
      -Substitute wild plants for conventional ingredients.
      -Learn how to make infusions and decoctions.
      -Identify poisonous plants and poisonous look-alikes.
      -Discover Native American and Pioneer uses.
      -Make "berry delicious" desserts
      -Save time and money foraging for free wild foods

      As with most plant videos, Edible Wild Plants is weak on plant identification details for most species. However, the coverage of edible-poisonous look-alikes is very well done. Edible Wild Plants will your eyes to the possibilities of harvesting and using wild plants-just be sure to consult books and local experts to accurately identify the plants before you use them.

Jim Meuninck: Edible Wild Plants DVD     $25.00     Quantity:

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Native American Medicine DVD
Little Medicine: The Wisdom to Avoid Big Medicine
Two Hour Interactive DVD
With Jim Meuninck

      In Native American Medicine, Jim Meuninck introduces the viewer to the medicinal uses of plants used by Native Americans and pioneers. Jim rolls up his sleeves and lets the mosquitoes engorge. He rubs himself with poison ivy. He makes dog food from old cattails. Discover how to make insect repellents, bear repellents, snake repellents. Follow simple steps to turn a common weed into a potent insecticide. See Jim covered with leeches, swimming with his trusty health advisor Rusty the golden retriever looking for spider repellents; snake bite treatments and washing his head free of lice with a secret "treatment " for baldness. Discover how to make herbal wound treatments, antiseptics and antibiotics from plants. What works? What doesn't? Jim demonstrates all!

      Discover how Native Americans use wild plants, dance, and massage to...:

      -Warm and cool the body.
      -Increase energy.
      -Treat poison ivy, sunburn, colds, flu and other afflictions and diseases.
      -Learn how to make salves, tinctures, infusions and oils..
      -See how "first people" expel worms, treat diarrhea and stomach disorders..
      -Learn infant formulas used for thousands of years.
      -Make Native American formulas: infusions, decoctions, and salves.
      -Discover the secrets of Sweat Lodge and how to make your own.

      In addition, see three Native Americans demonstrate their healing rituals. Learn smudging, sweeping, primal dancing, sweat lodge and Native American massage. Discover how to use "female" and "warrior" plants to dispel negative energy so the good spirits can enter and heal us. Also, learn more about bioflavonoids, healing flowers, health secrets of Rusty the dog, and how to make a backyard sweat lodge. Discover what herbs work or don't work. See the proof with your own eyes. DVD. 2 hours.

Jim Meuninck: Native American Medicine DVD     $25.00     Quantity:


See also Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

See also A Plant Walk with Mors Kochanski DVD Series


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