Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 26.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

An edible plant and mushroom guidebook specifically tailored to the legendary pilgrimage in Spain; El Camino de Santiago!

Our project is to write and publish an edible plant and mushroom guidebook for the Camino de Santiago. If you’re unfamiliar, there are many “Caminos” (which translates to way, path, or trail in Spanish) that cross Spain in route to Santiago de Compostela. This Spanish city is believed to bear the remains of Saint James, one of Jesus’ disciples, and has been traveled to by foot, horseback, and now bicycles for over a thousand years. Traditionally, the Camino drew pilgrims for religious purposes, but the path now pulls international crowds for a multitude of motives.
 

Our mission: to create a book that reflects our personal passions - visual arts, writing, plants, mushrooms, cooking and culture. We aspire to present and incite a new experience for pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago.  

This will not be a typical guidebook. Pilgrims are infamously reluctant to carry extra weight, packing only the absolute essentials and abandoning the rest. Some even rip pages from books as they read them – but “The Edible Camino” will be one to keep. The guidebook is designed to be lightweight, affordable and user-friendly. The pages will be packed with maps, photographs, sketches, recipes, identification descriptions and perhaps an occasional folklore story. We will also create an e-book version. After completing field research, we will select the most common, nutritious, easy to use, and delicious wild plants and mushrooms found along the Camino. We hope the guidebook, composed with an artist’s touch, will enhance a pilgrim’s encounter (and perhaps save them a euro or two!) of this well-worn way.

Laetiporus sulphureus, Chicken of the Woods. Just one of the easily identifiable, delectable edibles found along the Camino.
Laetiporus sulphureus, Chicken of the Woods. Just one of the easily identifiable, delectable edibles found along the Camino.

There are many routes to Santiago de Compostela, some beginning as far away as Belgium. We intend to tread the most famous passage, the Camino Frances, starting in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France, 798 km from the destination. 

Many say the pilgrimage commences when you leave home – we feel our journey has already begun.

Writing such a guidebook is a challenging task. It requires great levels of organization, attention to detail, thoroughness and dedication. In order to deal with the scope and complexity of our project, we’ve divided the process into four stages: 

First Stage – Production and Preparation

This stage takes place in the United States and Israel. It includes the following: fundraising, seeking sponsors, purchasing and organizing equipment, developing protocols for data collection, meeting with professionals from the publishing world, and fulfilling awards as indicated. This stage is underway and will end by mid-April when we begin field research in Spain.

Second Stage – Field Research

This stage will take place entirely in Spain from April until late October. During this step we will be collecting data and footage of wild edible plants and mushrooms found on the Camino de Santiago (Frances). 9 goals for this step:

  •  1. Identify an array of wild plants and mushrooms (not strictly edible) on the Camino
  •  2. Identify ample edible options during the three growing seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall 
  • 3. Capture high quality footage of key stages in each plant's life cycle (i.e. shoot, blossom, seed/fruit) 
  • 4. Experiment, research, and develop food preparation methods using gathered edibles 
  • 5. Map the location of wild edibles on the Camino de Santiago 
  • 6. Gather folklore and local knowledge about edible plants and mushrooms 
  • 7. Maintain a blog and Facebook page (staying connected to YOU!) 
  • 8. Documenting our journey with words, photographs, and video 
  • 9. Fulfilling rewards as indicated  
While the focus of the guidebook is flora and fungi, Courtney will be documenting the entire journey photographically. This image is an example of her work, taken in 2012 during a trip to Nepal.
While the focus of the guidebook is flora and fungi, Courtney will be documenting the entire journey photographically. This image is an example of her work, taken in 2012 during a trip to Nepal.

Third Stage – Initial Editing & Sample Chapter

After field research, we will compile gathered data and select plants to include in the book. Choosing four, we will compose a high quality example to pitch to publications, demonstrating quality, creativity and economic potential of the guidebook. This stage will begin November 2013 and will end when we find a publisher. Note: if we do not find a publisher, we will self-publish the guidebook.

  • Fourth Stage – Writing the Guidebook

With a publisher's support, guidance, marketing power, and professional editing abilities, we will create the guidebook. This stage includes: drawing, writing, additional research, photographic editing, page layout and initial translation to English and Spanish. It also includes marketing the book and sending backers remaining rewards.

“Tomer drinks” by Courtney Perry, 2013.  A blind contour, drawn while only looking at the subject without lifting the pen (or peeking!). Gouache paint springs the image to life. One of the rewards includes a drawing of a selected edible in this style!
“Tomer drinks” by Courtney Perry, 2013. A blind contour, drawn while only looking at the subject without lifting the pen (or peeking!). Gouache paint springs the image to life. One of the rewards includes a drawing of a selected edible in this style!
An original Doron Kilchevsky metal tree sculpture. A limited edition piece will be created based on a tree from the Camino, photographed by Courtney. Check out the “CAMINO CANOPY” reward!
An original Doron Kilchevsky metal tree sculpture. A limited edition piece will be created based on a tree from the Camino, photographed by Courtney. Check out the “CAMINO CANOPY” reward!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There will be inevitable physical, emotional, and mental challenges with this project and pilgrimage. It will be cold. It will be hot. It will be crowded. We will get blisters. Equipment might break and weather might not cooperate. And after six months of walking comes the challenge of securing a publisher.

But we will proceed prepared. We have both endured situations – together and apart - that push the human envelope. Whether sea kayaking through a storm in British Columbia or living in a remote cabin with no running water, we persevered and grew from the obstacles.

The most immediate challenge we are faced with is our limit of monetary resources. This led us to Kickstarter and, therefore, to YOU!

Your Funds will support:

• Necessary photographic equipment
• Lodging and food (don’t worry, no 5 star hotels & golden spoons!)
• Travel costs by train, bus and plane
• Computer programs for photographic editing and page layout
• Hiring an agent for publishing stage
• Necessary outdoor gear
• Kickstarter and Amazon fees

Certainly, many unexpected tribulations will arise, but we are committed to completing this project and will do whatever it takes to succeed!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions – we want to hear from you!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
167
Backers
$18,010
pledged of $17,500 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    WALK WITH US: your name on The Shell of Gratitude, hung from our backpacks as we walk, PLUS a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    WE WALK WITH YOU: a custom pin-on camino button with shell emblem, PLUS your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    E-BOOK: e-book of the final product, PLUS a custom camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    45 backers

    THE REAL DEAL: A signed hard copy of the guidebook, PLUS your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    NEW!!! - CHOOSE THE COVER: Get the opportunity to cast your vote for the cover design of the book! PLUS, a signed hard copy of the guidebook, a custom Camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    23 backers

    A PICTURE FROM THE PATH: Original photograph of choice from the Camino archive, 6X9 (19X22.5 cm), PLUS an e-book, first notification of publication to order a signed hard copy, a custom camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)

    THE EMBLEM: hand-painted shell emblem, signed & numbered, PLUS original 6X9 (19X22.5 cm) photo, a signed hard copy of the book, a custom camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    GO GOUACHE: 6x9 (19X22.5 cm) framed gouache painting (blind contour-style), PLUS two original 6X9 photos, signed hard copy of the book, a custom camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $550 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    NEW!!! - CAMINO CANOPY: An original metal tree sculpture created by Doron Kilchevsky, designed using one of Courtney’s original photographs from the Camino. See photo below for example. PLUS, a signed hard copy of the guidebook, a custom Camino button, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    THE WHOLE PACKAGE: 8X10 (20X25 cm) original natural science illustration, signed & framed, PLUS a hand-painted shell emblem, signed & numbered, TWO original 6X9 (19X22.5 cm) framed photos, a signed hard copy of the guidebook, your name on The Shell of Gratitude, & a personal thank you on our facebook page and blog!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

- (30 days)