It's been a good season for Michelle Arseneault, with the debut of her new weed cookbook The Good Season: Easy recipes for wild edibles. Hard-copies of the book were on-sale today in the Bovey Greenhouse Cafe.
Arseneault co-authored the book with her friend, Michelle Carkner, a fellow Plant Ag alumni and chef.
So far, the response has been great, with an initial batch of 100 copies printed. If sales go well, the pair expects to expand sales beyond the Plant Ag department, reaching to the greater University and City of Guelph community.
Arsenault started the project last summer under the direction of Mike Cowbrough, a weeds specialist with OMAF. "When you are getting rid of weeds on a regular basis, you start to get creative," said Arsenealt. "You start looking for ways to use them."
With the seed of inspiration planted, the group did some research. "When we were first considering the book, we checked out what else was out there. And surprisingly, no other weed recipes looked appetizing," said Arsenealt. Other books focused on identification of weeds, rather than creating appealing recipes.
"It doesn't have to be a stretch from traditional foods," said Arsenealt. Weeds are not so different from many other greens available at the supermarket, but with an added perk - they're free!
"Our focus for the book was clarity, and having tons of photos," she said. All photos in the book were taken by Arseneault herself, who practices photography as a hobby.
Michelle is currently completing her masters program in the Department of Plant Agriculture.