Skip to content

Euell Gibbons, 1974

Euell Gibbons, near High Point, North Carolina, February 1974

I came across this photo today while going through an old box of photos. I have sometimes mentioned to people that I once went foraging with Euell Gibbons and took a nice picture of him, but I had never scanned the picture, and I had forgotten what box the photo was in. Today I came across the photo while sorting through my disorganized archives.

It was February of 1974. A reporter friend at the Winston-Salem Journal (which was the first newspaper I ever worked for) had arranged an interview and a foraging trip with Gibbons, who probably was on a publicity tour. My reporter friend asked me to go along, since I at least had a bit of experience with foraging while she had none.

Even on a strawberry farm in February, Gibbons found plenty to eat. After the foraging, the owners of the strawberry farm had invited us to fix lunch in their kitchen, using our foraging finds.

I still remember taking that photo. I saw the row of ducks on the far end of the field, and I realized that if I made a quick dash to get into position, I could get a photo of Gibbons with the ducks in the background. The Winston-Salem Journal, of course, had photographers, and copy-editing, not photography, was my job. But rather than sending a staff photographer over to the next county, they trusted me to come back with pictures.

Sadly, Gibbons died the following year. He was quite a cultural phenomenon in the early 1970s — outdoorsman and natural foods advocate. I am pretty sure that Stalking the Wild Asparagus has been kept in print for all these years. I lost my first edition years ago but replaced it with a new edition that doesn’t seem to have a date other than the date of the first edition, 1962.


  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Wow, that is really cool you got to Forage with Mr Gibbons. I recall his first book. My aunt in Sacramento used to walk through her property picking wild asparagus; they were real thin and dark dark green – ate them raw – very tasty

    Monday, March 20, 2023 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Henry: Very young asparagus is delicious raw! Gibbons was on the leading edge of an important movement. It was such a privilege to have met him…

    Monday, March 20, 2023 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *