An inspirational journey around the world, looking at Stephen’s top 80 perennial leafy green vegetables.

There are stories of the wild foraging traditions of indigenous people in all continents: from the Maori of New Zealand, the rich traditions of the Mediterranean people, high altitude foods with the Sherpas in the Himalayas and the wild aquatic plant that sustained Native American tribes with a myriad of foodstuffs and other products.

Each vegetable is given a thorough description, including its traditions, stories, cultivation, where to source seeds and plants, and how to propagate it. There is also a sprinkling of recipes inspired by local gastronomy. This adventure in climate-friendly vegetable growing is interesting to both traditional vegetable and ornamental gardeners, as well as people interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging and ethnobotany. Foreword by Alys Fowler.

“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. 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

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Book Details

Published: November 2014

ISBN: 978 1 85623 141 1

Size: 240 x 170mm

Format: Paperback, 304pp. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout.


Stephen Barstow has devoted 30 years to trialling the world’s perennial vegetables. It is unlikely that anyone anywhere has tried as many different species of edible plants – just witness his salad comprising 538 varieties in 2003 – earning him the title of ‘Extreme Salad Man’! Stephen grew interested in green issues whilst studying in Norwich. He began eating whole-foods baking bread and learning the names of birds and plants. He became vegetarian when studying in Edinburgh and began a vegetable patch at his landlords flat. He was even sold with the building to the new owner as a lodger/gardener.

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