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April 17th, 2013 PENELOPE BASS | Books
 

Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter

Book Review: Rebecca Lerner, Dandelion Hunter

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Like any Portlander, you’ve no doubt already planned your survival tactics for the impending zombie apocalypse—weapons, allies, a practical yet fashionable ensemble. But how long would canned goods sustain you? Eventually you’ll need to search for food. 

This thought led Rebecca Lerner to wonder if she could survive for a week eating nothing but wild plants found within Portland city limits. The answer was no—at least the first time around. Without thought to the season, or any reserves in supply, Lerner found herself expending too much energy for too little sustenance, such as pine-needle teas and a few leafy weeds. By day four she was so hungry she tried boiling and eating slugs. “[We] dropped them in, one by one, at which point they immediately exploded. Their skin turned white and their guts burst out in green goo. It was exactly as disgusting as it sounds.” 

But with help from friends and foraging experts, Lerner finds edibles everywhere. Fruits are preserved, plants are dried and nuts are ground into flour. At Thanksgiving, she makes an entire meal of foraged foods. Dandelion Hunter, (Lyons Press, 224 pages, $16.95) will leave you looking at your yard differently.


GO: Rebecca Lerner is at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Thursday, April 18. 7:30 pm. Free. 

 
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