Press Release announcing Russ Cohen's New Foraging Book: "Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten"

FROM: Essex County Greenbelt Association
DATE: 7/1/04 (updated 6/4/06)
CONTACT: Sheilagh Doerfler, (978) 768-7241,

Greenbelt Publishes New Book

The Essex County Greenbelt Association is very pleased to announce the release of its latest publication, Wild Plants I Have Known... and Eaten, written by Russ Cohen, with illustrations by Stephanie Letendre. Click here to see front and back cover of the book

This guidebook focuses on plants that can easily be found throughout Essex County (and most of New England, for that matter). The first two sections of the book introduce helpful general information about where and when to forage, related conservation issues, foraging with children, safety concerns, and foraging etiquette.

Fourteen wild edibles are featured in Part Three of the book. Descriptions generally include: where and when to find each plant, how to identify the plants, related natural and human history, health and nutritional benefits, recipes, as well as other interesting information about each plant. In Part four, Cohen includes tasty tidbits of information about 27 more edible species found throughout Essex County.

The book's author, Russ Cohen, is one of the foremost wild edibles experts in New England, and has been foraging and teaching about the wild edibles of New England for over 30 years.

Cohen's vivid descriptions, depth of knowledge and obvious enthusiasm for the subject make the book fun to read as well as very informative. As Cathy Walthers, author of the Greens, Glorious Greens cookbook puts it, "Russ has condensed his more than 30 years in the field, literally, into an accessible and passionate guidebook. His knowledge and enthusiasm for all things wild and edible jumps from the pages and is contagious. The book contains basic information about foraging for both the amateur and more-skilled alike. Above all, the book celebrates nature, inspires and makes foraging fun."

John Hanson Mitchell, author and editor of Mass. Audubon's Sanctuary magazine adds, "This book offers a fresh look at your local woodlot. Cohen's method of understanding the environment is total involvement (a literal ingestion in this case) with the wild world. Who would have thought that such delicious (and free) fare could be found so close to home, even if you live in a city."

Illustrator Stephanie Letendre, a graduate of the Montserrat College of Art and current member of the Marblehead Arts Association, has created artistic yet accurate interpretations of many plants that help bring the subject to life for the reader. Illustrative photographs can also be found on almost every page to help with plant identification.

Both Cohen and Letendre have generously donated their expertise and time to the project. Cohen has also donated whatever proceeds come from the book towards Greenbelt's land conservation efforts. According to Greenbelt's Executive Director Ed Becker, "This book offers people yet another way to find inspiration in the scenic, ecological, and now culinary value of Essex County's wild open spaces. We are thrilled that Russ Cohen has worked with us to publish the book, and very grateful for his generous contribution of the book's proceeds."

Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten was officially unveiled at a foraging walk at Greenbelt's Cox Reservation held the afternoon of Sunday, June 27th. Thanks to nearly perfect weather, plus some nice publicity in the Boston Globe's Calendar section, 70 people followed Cohen around the Reservation, learning about twenty different species of wild edibles growing on Greenbelt's property, many of which are featured in Cohen's new book. Walk participants purchased and Cohen autographed over a dozen copies of his book following the completion of the walk.

For more information about Greenbelt or to purchase a copy of Wild Plants I Have Known... and Eaten, please call the Greenbelt office at (978) 768-7241. You can also purchase the book securely over the Web at Greenbelt's on-line store.

The Essex County Greenbelt Association is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to conserving the open space heritage of Essex County. Greenbelt acquires and stewards land to protect the integrity of ecological systems, maintain a base of local agriculture and preserve scenic vistas. A primary focus of our work is the creation of a network of "greenbelts" consisting of natural corridors and visually intact landscapes. More info about Greenbelt is available on the organization's general web page,

Last update: 4/23/12
Foraging articles from Mass. Wildlife Magazine
Schedule of Russ's Edible Wild Plant Walks/Courses
Russ Cohen's Biography
Comprehensive (as of 1999) Edible Wild Plant etc. Bibliography, plus updated excerpt
List of Organizational Sponsors