I am a botanist and I'm in love with this book. Admittedly, it treats only a few dozen plants, but each is described in detail, with methods of distinguishing it in the field from similar species, harvesting, and preparing it. Numerous color photos are very useful. There are good general discussions of plant identification, harvesting, and preservation. The author complains about previous edible plant references, which exhaustively list hundreds of plants but give inadequate information on each, and frequently recycle information from previous literature, allowing misinformation to creep in (an undeniable problem). Thayer proposes that writers on edible plants should provide only information from their own experience or else specifically referenced information, a praiseworthy code of conduct and one that really makes this book shine. When he gives you detailed instructions for when and how to gather and prepare a plant, you know that he's actually done it himself and it worked. I like his standards for the plants as well: Food should taste good! If it doesn't taste good, he says, don't eat it! So, while other books provide long lists of "survival foods" that would gag a goat, Thayer discusses only the plants that he actually enjoys eating. He tells you what sort of quality to expect in the final products, and whether they will be worth the work you put into them. The only volume I can recall seeing of remotely similar quality was Steve Brill's book, which dealt with a different set of plants (emphasizing the common "weedy" species that Thayer is not particularly interested in), so if you already have Brill, you can buy this too. Otherwise, if you want to start learning to use edible wild plants, start with this volume.