Around the World in 80 Plants takes us on an original and inspiring adventure around the temperate world, introducing us to the author's top eighty perennial leafy-green vegetables. We are taken underground gardening in Tokyo, beach gardening in the UK, and traditional roof gardening in the Norwegian mountains. . . . There are stories of the wild foraging traditions of indigenous people in all continents: from the Sámi people of northern Norway to the Maori of New Zealand, the rich food traditions of the Mediterranean peoples, the high-altitude food plants of the Sherpas in the Himalayas, wild mountain vegetables in Japan and Korea, and the wild aquatic plant that sustained Native American tribes with myriad foodstuffs and other products.
Around the World in 80 Plants will be of interest to both traditional vegetable and ornamental gardeners, as well as anyone interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging, slow food, gourmet cooking, and ethnobotany. A thorough description is given of each vegetable, its traditions, stories, cultivation, where to source seed and plants, and how to propagate it. Sprinkled with recipes inspired by local traditional gastronomy, this is a fascinating book, an entertaining adventure, and a real milestone in climate-friendly vegetable growing from a pioneering expert on the subject.
"Stephen Barstow presents fascinating and useful information about his top 80 perennial leafy vegetables including lots of historical references, his and other recipe ideas, along with photos and more. Many of these are easily grown and can be ornamental as well as great edibles. This will be a really useful book helping extend the range of food plants for gardeners."
– Martin Crawford, director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, author and agroforestry expert
"Around the World in 80 Plants is more than just excellent profiles of little-known delicious vegetable crops. Stephen Barstow is one of the world's great edible plant collectors and his stories of encountering plants in the wild, tracking down seeds of rare species, and of course growing and cooking with these species are absolute treasure. Many plant books just rehash information already written in other sources. Around the World in 80 Plants is delightfully marinated in personal experience. It will make you not only want to grow and eat these crops, but to travel to Siberia, Norway, and Chile to know them in their natural habitat."
– Eric Toensmeir, author, permaculture teacher and practitioner
"While Barstow's goal is not to provide a field guide for the 80 plants he introduces, he does aim "to inspire perennial vegetable gardening rather than foraging". The arrow certainly hits its mark. Readers even vaguely intrigued by such an idea will find themselves torn between continuing to read and wanting to start searching for various plants."
– Joan Bailey, food and farming blogger in Japan