You don’t have to be lost in the Everglades of South Florida to find value within “Forager: A Subjective Guide to Miami’s Edible Plants.” A well-researched, beautifully presented documentation of 39 delectable plants found within the area and beyond, the book is far more than a field guide. While it might be useful when foraging for food around Miami, the small tome also serves as an agricultural map and demonstration of the region’s diversity. Written by Tiffany Noé, the owner of urban microfarm plantmatter, and graphic designer George Echevarria, this Jai-Alai Books offering appeals to the Audubon interests latent in all of us.
You can find ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, growing in Miami yards or abandoned lots (not to mention in supermarkets). With “Forager,” however, you can also learn when it’s safe to consume in order to avoid toxins within the unripened fruit, and how—eat it raw or boil it to further to release the nuttiness. Sargassum, the sea vegetable, is best known as gulfweed. Found year-round, the briny edible contains antioxidants and fatty acids. While plentiful, most people aren’t aware of its value which oftentimes goes ignored.
All this information—as well as insights regarding location, preparation and value within the plants—circulates alphabetically within “Forager.” When a plant is well-known but scarce, the book tells you where to look. When a plant is common, but often overlooked or misunderstood, “Forager” tells you the best means of preparation. Yaupon Holly follows up Tree Spinach, while Monstera comes before Moringa—but more common edibles like aloe vera and elderberry are also featured. There’s an array of flavors, nutrients and more—all rounded out with the photography of Nick Vagnoni.
“Forager” is available for purchase online for $25.
Photos by David Graver