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The Wild Life: A Year of Living on Wild Food

Written by

John Lewis-Stempel


21 May 2009

The Wild Life: A Year of Living on Wild Food

Walking around his Herefordshire farm one October, John Lewis-Stempel saw a trout flash in the brook, mushrooms sprinkle the fields, a squirrel eat hazelnuts, and thought: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one could live just on what Nature provided for free?
The Wild Life is John’s account of twelve months eating only food shot, caught or foraged from the fields, hedges, copse and brook of his forty-acre farm. Nothing from a shop and nothing raised from agriculture. Could it even be done?
John takes the reader on a Thoreau-esque journey through a landscape that is true England as he uncovers the ancient past of his five-hundred-year-old farm and the startling symmetries between his life now and that of the farm’s peasant founders. Lyrical, observant and sometimes mordantly funny, The Wild Life is an extraordinary celebration of our natural heritage. And a testament to the importance of getting back to one’s roots – spiritually and practically.


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