Good Berry Bad Berry

Posted by on January 23, 2016

My new book is out….and the crowd roars…..



Ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little… has it for sale now, and it should be showing up at your local bookstores soon. If you don’t see it, ask. Maybe then they will order it.

Here’s an excerpt:

As a curious gardener and naturalist, I have always been intrigued by flashy berries hanging from branches of trees and shrubs.

There was a field next to our house where I grew up, and behind the field on one side of my elementary school was a small tributary. Along the water’s edge were Aronia melanocarpa. I knew them as chokeberries. On crips fall days as I walked to school, I would check the plants for ripe fruit.

In hindsight, eating an unknown berry from a small tree wasn’t the smartest thing a nine-year-old could do. I never go sick, but I had no idea if the berries were edible. They were somewhat tasty, yet a bit astringent, and I learned to spit seeds to great distances. I figure the fruit from the big old mulberry tree in my backyard was edible, so why not chokeberries. I really lucked out.

The berries of my childhood were my springboard for learning about berries and foraging wherever I go. Learning about cultivated plants with edible fruit has become even more interesting to me. This started a new journey and ignited some big and delightful surprises.


With wonderful pics like this one from Bill Johnson.

Myrica pennsylvanica - Bayberry - 3555-4

Myrica pennsylvanica – Bayberry – 3555-4


Here’s what people are saying about Good Berry Bad Berry:

From Joe Lamp’l, host of HGTV’s Growing a Greener World:
What a great resource! While I’ve often wondered which berries are good, bad or neutral, now I know – and so glad I do. Even better, Helen offers so much additional and interesting information for each of the 40 berries (who knew?) that we encounter in our gardens, landscapes and natural areas around the country. I’m thrilled to have this book as my one and only go-to guide on the topic.

From Stephanie Peterson, Associate Editor, Garden Gate magazine:

Helen has a real passion for plants and all the amazing ways they impact our lives. Her enthusiasm is contagious! She will introduce you to berries you didn’t even know existed, and then the next thing you know, you’re on your way to the garden center looking for them for your own garden.

Kitsap Sun

Empress of Dirt

Ann’s Garden Show Recommendations

The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC

All The Dirt on Gardening

Cold Climate Gardening

Park Seed

Carolina Country


3 responses to “Good Berry Bad Berry”

  1. How exciting! Can’t wait to read it. Stay warm.

  2. HelenYoest says:

    Thank you! And, you too, stay warm. The perfect weather for dreaming about edible berry bushes.

  3. […] Berry Bad Berry, by Helen Yoest, ISBN# 9781943366019, $18.95, from St. Lynn’s […]

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