Dandelion Hunter – Foraging the Urban Wilderness — book review

Just finished reading “Dandelion Hunter, Foraging the Urban Wilderness” by Rebecca Lerner. It was just published, I had come across it in several blogs and websites I follow, so was excited to see it at our local library. The author is from Portland, so I was doubly excited to be reading something local. The book was very easy to read – took me 3 evenings.
Anecdotal stories were fun an interesting so it was a pleasure to read. However, the content left a little to be desired. Perhaps my expectations were unrealistic…. It’s basically a story of a woman setting out to find edibles in her local urban environment. I was disappointed there were no diagrams of plants or even something to add to the story. Portland is a very left-wing area and so it’s not surprising that she shares these views, however I was dismayed to find them in her book. There was a section discussing why we are not able to forage as effectively as the native population did and it was pointed out that this is because we live in dense cities with cement, sidewalks, parking lots, roads, etc… places that plants can’t grow wild. The authors comment was that this is another indicator of how corporations are evil. It was also a little off-putting that the first few recipes in the back are all for rolling-your-own smokes. I don’t think it’s wrong, certainly believe that you have the right to do what you want to your body, but with her assumption in some of the stories and then with these recipes that everyone will want to smoke, I’m not letting my kids read it.

Overall, a disappointing book because it could have been so much more….

Reclaiming plastics back into crude

Exciting news from a local company setting up a test facility to reclaim unrecyclable plastics and melt them back into crude oil. Checkout Plas2Fuel and their plans to convert plastics into petroleum products. It’s a great idea and one that I hope is profitable. Would be interesting to see how the cost of producing crude via their method compared to the cost of a barrel of crude. Visited the Waste Management landfill and recycling center in Hillsboro this week. Amazing to see the work that goes into sorting recyclables and then crushing non-recyclable material and creating the landfill. Apparently there is a market for recycled carpet pads! They had a big stack of them piled up in the corner to shake out and recycle! They are currently unable to recycle sheetrock, but I thought there were ways of doing it? Mark that down to research some day.