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2023 Naturalist-in-Residence Inspired Book List for Adults

Rooted in Nature!  Join Madison Public Library's Naturalist-in-Residence Qwantese Winters for a series of nature experiences this Fall aimed at inspiring reconnection to the natural world.

Book List Sections:

Library Naturalist Qwantese's Picks

Cover of Farming While Black: Soul

Farming While Black is the first comprehensive “how to” guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture.

Cover of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to

Gaia’s Garden has sparked the imagination of home gardeners the world over by introducing a simple message: working with nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens.

Cover of Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild
Lisa M

From fields to woodlands, riverbeds, and lakesides - and even in our own neighborhoods - the beautiful Midwest is rich in delicious wild edibles. Herbalist, forager, and urban farmer Lisa M. Rose helps you find peppery watercress and delectable nettles in the spring and nutritious burdock roots in the fall. Savor the delicate snow-pea flavor of rampant kudzu greens in the southern part of the region, or, in cool-running northern marsh waters, gather nutty wild rice for a foraged feast. With this savvy guide you'll learn what to look for, when and where to look, and how to gather in a responsible way.

Cover of Midwest Medicinal Plants:
Lisa M

In Midwest Medicinal Plants , Lisa Rose is your trusted guide to finding, identifying, harvesting, and using 120 of the region’s most powerful wild plants.

Cover of The One-Straw Revolution:

Call it Zen and the Art of Farming or a Little Green Book, Masanobu Fukuoka's manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world.

Cover of Sustainable Revolution: Pe
Juliana Birnbaum and
Louis Fox

Urban gardeners. Seed-saving collectives. Intentional communities. Renewable energy innovators and proponents of gift economies. How are these seemingly disparate groups connected? Based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history, the ecological design systems of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary - or evolutionary - movement.


Cover of Eat Weeds: A Field Guide t
Diego Bonetto
Georgiadis Costa

A guide to finding, identifying, and eating wild plants. An essential for anyone interested in reviving the lost art of foraging.

Cover of Foraging for Edible Wild P

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants is a practical and attractive guide to the many edible varieties of wild plant that grow all around us.  It will appeal to gardeners, botanists, cooks and foragers, and to anyone who wants to control invasive plants and weeds in eco-friendly ways.

Cover of The Skillful Forager: Esse

From harvesting skills that will allow you to gather from the same plant again and again to highlighting how to get the most out of each and every type of wild edible, trusted expert Leda Meredith explores the most effective ways to harvest, preserve, and prepare all of your foraged foods.

Cover of Urban Foraging: Find, Gath
Lisa M Rose
Miriam Doan

We can all make tasty and surprising dishes from wild food found in our cities. With expert advice from professional forager and bestselling Timber author Lisa Rose, alongside elegant photography, this handy guide explains how to identify and where to find 50 plants that grow across the temperate US; accompanying simple recipes help prepare wild feasts

Cover of Wild Remedies: How to Fora
Rosalee de la Forêt
Emily Han

That's not a weed-it's a healing meal! Learn how to use wild plants for food and medicine in this illustrated guide from two expert herbalists.


Cover of Container Food Gardening:

Starting your own garden might seem like an intimidating task, but gardening in pots makes it easy to be successful. Farley shows how to locate your potted food garden on your balcony, deck, driveway or porch, and provides solutions to the most common problems faced by container gardeners.

Cover of A Garden's Purpose: Cultiv
de Rosen

Through stories and essays, A Garden's Purpose invites readers on a journey to understand gardens as places where we build mutually beneficial relationships with the living world around us

Cover of Soil: The Story of a Black
Camille T

In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden, poet and scholar Camille T. Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominately white community of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cover of We Are Each Other's Harves

In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine Black people's connection to the American land from Emancipation to today.

Environmental Justice

Cover of Black Earth Wisdom: Soulfu

In this collection of essays and interviews, the writers address the essential connection between nature and our survival. They explore Black people's spiritual and scientific connection to the land, waters, and climate, and show how runaway consumption and corporate instability are harming the earth and impacting every faces of American society-- including racial violence, food apartheid, and climate injustice.

Cover of A Darker Wilderness: Black

A vibrant collection of personal and lyric essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory. What are the politics of nature? Who owns it, where is it, what role does it play in our lives? Does it need to be tamed? Are we ourselves natural? In A Darker Wilderness, a constellation of luminary writers reflect on the significance of nature in their lived experience and on the role of nature in the lives of Black folks in the United States.

Cover of Fresh Banana Leaves: Heali

An Indigenous environmental scientist breaks down why western conservationism isn't working--and offers Indigenous models informed by case studies, personal stories, and family histories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors.

Cover of The Intersectional Environ

The Intersectional Environmentalist examines the inextricable link between environmentalism, racism, and privilege, and promotes awareness of the fundamental truth that we cannot save the planet without uplifting the voices of its people -- especially those most often unheard...Simultaneously a call to action, a guide to instigating change for all, and a pledge to work toward the empowerment of all people and the betterment of the planet